Tonight, a BBC Panorama programme will challenge the explanation provided by the BBC itself, regarding the dismissal of a Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile’s alleged sex offences. The Newsnight editor responsible for dropping the programme - Peter Rippon - has now stepped aside “for the duration of the inquiry into Newsnight’s handling of the planned report.”
Earlier this month, Peter Rippon published an online blog, explaining his reasons for axing the Newsnight investigation. However, the BBC have now issued corrections to that blog, suggesting that it may have been inaccurate or misleading in some way. A statement from the broadcaster read “The BBC regrets these errors and will work with the Pollard Review to assemble all relevant evidence to enable the review to determine the full facts.”
The BBC’s Director General, George Entwhistle, has announced that there will be two separate investigations into the sex abuse claims made against Jimmy Savile. The first will look into why the Newsnight investigation was shelved. This investigation is being led by Nick Pollard, the former head of Sky News and is expected to report in December. The second investigation will look into the “culture of the BBC during the years that Savile worked there.” That investigation will be led by Dame Janet Smith and the results are expected in spring 2013. Tonight’s Panorama will be aired at 10:35pm on BBC One.