George Entwistle resigns as BBC director general

Key points

  • The BBC's director general, George Entwistle, resigns in the wake of the Newsnight child abuse broadcast
  • In a statement, Mr Entwistle says the "wholly exceptional" events of last week had convinced him to stand down
  • Tim Davie, who is currently director of audio and music, is to be acting director general from Sunday
  • BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said of Mr Entwistle's resignation: "This is undoubtedly one of the saddest evenings of my public life"

Live text

Reporting:

  • Gerry Holt 
  • Margaret Ryan 

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The BBC's director general, George Entwistle, resigns in the wake of the Newsnight child abuse broadcast.

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Welcome to our live coverage of the resignation of BBC director general George Entwistle. We'll be bringing you all the latest news, reaction and analysis.

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In a statement given outside New Broadcasting House at 21:00 BST, Mr Entwistle said: "I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down."

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His statement said: "In the light of the fact that the director general is also the editor-in-chief and ultimately responsible for all content, and in the light of the unacceptable journalistic standards of the Newsnight film broadcast on Friday 2 November, I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down from the post of director general." Read the statement in full here.

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George Entwistle

Mr Entwistle, pictured leaving his home earlier today, had been in the post for less than two months.

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His statement went on to say that the "wholly exceptional" events of the past week had convinced him he should stand down.

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He said that when he was appointed to the role, he was confident BBC trustees had chosen the best candidate for the post and the "right person to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead". Watch a video of his statement in full here.

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His statement went on: "To have been the director general of the BBC even for a short period, and in the most challenging of circumstances, has been a great honour. While there is understandable public concern over a number of issues well covered in the media - which I'm confident will be addressed by the review process - we must not lose sight of the fact that the BBC is full of people of the greatest talent and the highest integrity. That's what will continue to make it the finest broadcaster in the world."

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George Entwistle and Lord Patten

Speaking after Mr Entwistle gave his statement, BBC Trust chairman, Lord Patten (pictured right), said it was "undoubtedly one of the saddest evenings of my public life".

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George Entwistle had been BBC director general for less than eight weeks, having taken up the job on 17 September. You can read a full profile of his career with the corporation by clicking here.