As it happened: Reaction to Entwistle's resignation

Key Points

  • BBC director general George Entwistle has resigned in the wake of the Newsnight north Wales child abuse broadcast
  • The broadcast led to former Conservative treasurer Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in abuse
  • BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten, who criticised "shoddy journalism" at Newsnight, says the BBC needs a thorough, structural, radical overhaul
  • Lord Patten says a new director general will be chosen within weeks

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  1.  
    0753:

    Welcome to our coverage of the continuing reaction to the resignation of BBC director general George Entwistle. He quit last night in the wake of a Newsnight broadcast which led to former senior Tory Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child abuse surrounding north Wales homes.

     
  2.  
    0753:

    Mr Entwistle - who was the director general for just two months - gave a statement outside Broadcasting House at 21:00 GMT on Saturday night, explaining he had decided to do the "honourable thing" and step down. Watch a video of his resignation here.

     
  3.  
    0800:

    Mr Entwistle had been under pressure to resign in the wake of two controversial decisions by Newsnight:

    • The first, not to broadcast a report exposing claims the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile sexually abused young girls
    • The second, to screen a film about allegations of historic child sex abuse in north Wales, which although it did not name him led to Tory peer Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated
     
  4.  
    0801:
    George Entwistle

    Mr Entwistle said the "wholly exceptional" events of the past few weeks "have led me to conclude that the BBC should appoint a new leader".

     
  5.  
    0806:

    On Saturday, Mr Entwistle apologised unreservedly to the former Conservative treasurer Lord McAlpine over the matter, saying the Newsnight film was "unacceptable" and should not have been broadcast. He also suggested disciplinary action could be taken over the matter.

     
  6.  
    0807: Stratford Joe

    comments on the BBC News website: All other factors aside, at least Entwistle accepted the adage I learnt in the army: You can delegate the authority but not the responsibility. Ministers and civil servants should take note.

     
  7.  
    0809:
    Steve Messham

    The abuse victim who appeared in Newsnight's film, Steve Messham, also apologised to Lord McAlpine after saying he did not assault him.

     
  8.  
    0813:

    Meanwhile, Sir William McAlpine, brother of Lord McAlpine, has in an article in the Mail on Sunday condemned the "damage" done.

     
  9.  
    0815:
    Lord McAlpine

    Lord McAlpine's solicitor says he will take legal action against those who later named and linked him to the claims - which he described as "wholly false and seriously defamatory".

     
  10.  
    0817:

    Ken MacQuarrie, Director BBC Scotland, is due to deliver a report on Sunday into what went wrong over the Newsnight child abuse film - something Mr Entwistle was widely commended for ordering. Mr Entwistle had also suspended or "paused" all Newsnight investigations.

     
  11.  
    0818:

    You can read more about the events leading to Mr Entwistle's resignation here.

     
  12.  
    0819: Dan

    comments on the BBC News website: What's wrong here is that the news has become the news. What about the original story? What about the potential victims of abuse? Not to forget that the BBC didn't name anyone. The ultimate effect of this farce is that attention has been distracted from where it was - which suits some people just fine.

     
  13.  
    0820: Chris Ivory

    comments on the BBC News website: Entwistle falls on his sword, but there are many people in the BBC who have to ask themselves questions. He has led, although I believe his resignation should not have been accepted. Others must follow.

     
  14.  
    0825:

    Mr Entwistle's departure comes after he faced an intense interview with John Humphrys on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday, in which he admitted he hadn't read a Guardian article suggesting a case of mistaken identity involving Lord McAlpine. He also said he hadn't seen the Newsnight broadcast until the following day as he had been "out".

     
  15.  
    0830:

    The presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Media Show, Steve Hewlett, says Mr Entwistle - who has been dubbed "incurious George" about the Savile scandal - appeared not to have "a grip" of the crisis enveloping the BBC. He didn't appear to be "a man in control" and that was his downfall.

     
  16.  
    0830:
    Tim Davie

    Director of BBC Audio and Music Tim Davie is taking over as acting director general immediately. We understand he's been holding the fort during the last few days while Mr Entwistle has been dealing with the situation.

     
  17.  
    0833:

    Steve Hewlett says there are now indications that people's attitudes towards the BBC are being changed because of the way it has handled the Savile claims. Read our Q&A on the Savile abuse claim scandal here.

     
  18.  
    0836:

    Maintaining people's trust is vital to the BBC, which is a publicly funded organisation, says BBC Home Editor Mark Easton. This is key to understanding why George Entwistle stepped down, he explains in his blog.

     
  19.  
    0839:

    Mr Entwistle only took up the post on 17 September, and his sudden resignation makes him the shortest-ever serving BBC director general. You can find out more about his 23-year-long BBC career as a producer and manager at our full profile of him here.

     
  20.  
    0840: Stephen Fry Actor and BBC broadcaster

    tweets: Inevitable George Entwistle would fall on his sword. Damned for stopping a Newsnight, damned for allowing one. A kind, wise man. Heigh ho.

     
  21.  
    0840: Wendy Morris in Taunton

    emails: This resignation appears to have been contrived to save face for the BBC. Unfortunately it does not do so. There has been too much wrong at the BBC for too long for this to ameliorate public disquiet.

     
  22.  
    0842:

    In his resignation statement, Mr Entwistle said it had been an "honour" to serve as director general, adding: "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."

     
  23.  
    0843: GFR1

    comments on the BBC News website: You have to respect the man for taking the rap for someone else's poor journalism. We need strong, honest and independent journalism in this country and we don't appear to be getting that at the moment. If journalists want strong regulation, they are going the right way about getting it.

     
  24.  
    0845: Guardian Media

    tweets: BBC in crisis as George Entwistle quits over Newsnight fiasco http://t.co/817GORS5

     
  25.  
    0848:
    jimmy savile

    The BBC has set up three inquiries or reviews over the Savile claims.

    • One, led by ex-Sky News boss Nick Pollard, is examining whether there were BBC management failings surrounding Newsnight's Savile programme not being broadcast in 2011
    • Another inquiry, led by former Appeal Court judge Dame Janet Smith, has begun into the culture and practices at the BBC in the era of alleged sexual abuse by Savile
    • A third review is to examine sexual harassment policies at the BBC
     
  26.  
    0851:

    "Out of touch. Out of his depth. Out of a job: BBC Director General George Entwistle quits" - says the Independent on Sunday.

     
  27.  
    0853: Nigel in Kent

    emails: Let's hope that this resignation does not detract from the media's focus on getting to the truth surrounding abuse of children and alleged paedophile rings operating at all levels of society.

     
  28.  
    0854:

    John Whittingdale MP, chairman of the Commons media select committee, said on Saturday that the events of the past week "reflect serious failures throughout the management of the BBC". He adds there are now "very serious questions" to be asked about how the BBC is run.

     
  29.  
    0856: Simon in London

    emails: The BBC has been weak in not standing up to playground bullies. Newspapers, politicians and a lynch-mob mentality in the Twittersphere could and should have been faced down. This self-flagellation is uncalled for and makes the world think the BBC is the main culprit here. It isn't.

     
  30.  
    0858:

    Last night, the BBC released a letter from Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, responding to Mr Entwistle's resignation. In it, he said: "I think... you have taken responsibility and given the BBC the chance to start moving on from this difficult period."

     
  31.  
    0859:

    Lord Patten is expected to appear on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show this morning.

     
  32.  
    0907:
    Kim Howells

    Former Labour minister Kim Howells is calling for the resignations of Lord Patten and BBC director of news, Helen Boaden. Speaking on BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement Programme, Dr Howells said: "Unfortunately, there is a culture at the top of the BBC that is vain and out of touch."

     
  33.  
    0909:

    Mr Howells went on: "It's not doing what it should be doing, which is supporting and encouraging muscular investigative journalism of the highest quality. Instead of that it's all over the place." When asked who he meant, Mr Howells said his criticism was of both BBC management and the Trust.

     
  34.  
    0911: Charlie Beckett Director of Polis, the LSE's media think-tank

    tweets: Really not sure Patten should stay. He chose the wrong guy, wrong strategy and mishandled the crisis.

     
  35.  
    0914:
    Jeremy Paxman

    Veteran Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman says Mr Entwistle was "brought low by cowards and incompetents". He says the BBC, scared by the Hutton Inquiry, has appointed "biddable people," cutting programme budgets and "bloating the management". His comments appear in a series of tweets on Saturday night by his agent Capel & Land.

     
  36.  
    0916: Tim in Singapore

    emails: I heard the Today programme interview. Entwistle seemed like a public sector administrator for whom following due process was everything. He should not have waited for the issue to be referred up to him. He should have got the key people in a room for a detailed briefing and followed every development like a hawk. He should have been knocking heads together proactively, not waiting for the system to operate.

     
  37.  
    0916:

    Reading East MP Rob Wilson says he never called for George Entwistle to stand down, and says it's a "botched" and "cowardly" decision. Mr Wilson has repeatedly written to Lord Patten over both the BBC's handling of the Savile scandal and the recent Newsnight programme.

     
  38.  
    0918: Gabriel Oaks

    comments on the BBC News website: Perhaps in doing the decent thing and resigning, Entwistle realised how rotten parts of the BBC really are and that is what made his position untenable. I hope his career improves after this.

     
  39.  
    0920:
  40.  
    0923: Robert Peston Business editor

    tweets: I cannot be dispassionate - or even terribly rational - about exit of Entwistle & BBC chaos so am keeping schtoom.

     
  41.  
    0925: SocialReject

    comments on the BBC News website: It's funny how ministers love witch-hunts, except when the boot is on the other foot. The BBC are damned if they do, damned it they don't.

     
  42.  
    0926:

    Home Secretary Theresa May is being interviewed on the Marr Show now.

     
  43.  
    0926:

    Theresa May says the question of "quality of journalism" goes to the heart of the current crisis at the BBC.

     
  44.  
    0938:

    The Sunday Telegraph explains why it thinks George Entwistle had to resign: "Even when almost everyone else at the BBC must have known it was a problem, George Entwistle, the director general, claimed to have been ignorant of the latest child abuse scandal engulfing the corporation."

     
  45.  
    0938:

    BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten is now live on the Marr Show - he says it was the "right decision" that Mr Entwistle stepped down.

     
  46.  
    0939:
    Theresa May

    Home Secretary Theresa May says the issue of trust is "striking at the heart of the BBC" and the corporation has a "job to do to restore that trust".

     
  47.  
    0941: Kevin in Swanley

    emails: How can someone in charge for such a short time be responsible for the mess that has gone on before him? He should have been given a chance to sort it out and heads should roll below him.

     
  48.  
    0942:

    Lord Patten says one of the tragedies about Mr Entwistle's resignation is that he "wanted to do all the right things" - but this in the end actually undermined him. "He is a very, very good man - cerebral, decent, honourable, brave. And I'm afraid this would have overwhelmed a lot of people with those sorts of skills".

     
  49.  
    0944:

    Lord Patten says he is not stepping down, but says his job is to learn the lessons from the three reviews the BBC has put in place over the Savile claims, and to try to restore people's trust in the corporation.

     
  50.  
    0949:
    Lord Patten

    Lord Patten says "we want to make sure that Newsnight and other programmes are properly managed". He adds the BBC does need a thorough, radical structural overhaul and he will be looking at who will be the next director general of the BBC. That person, he says, must have a good team around them.

     
  51.  
    0953: Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Patten agrees BBC will look and feel very different after management overhaul to come

     
  52.  
    Chris in Brighouse

    emails: The head of an organisation as large as the BBC has little control in tactical management issues. Their remit is rather strategic. It seems to me that to have the CEO as the editor-in-chief is to set up both the individual and the organisation to fail. The CEO role should go to a professional manager with a successful track record of transformation and not a BBC insider or indeed anyone from any other public sector organisation.

     
  53.  
    1002:

    The BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten says the decision about Newsnight last Friday "went through every damn layer of management and lawyers".

     
  54.  
    1004:

    Asked about the BBC's future, Lord Patten tells Andrew Marr he thinks people want the BBC to continue. It must have the self-confidence to keep carrying out investigative journalism - but making sure what it reports is accurate. He says it would be "very sad" to give up Newsnight, indicating it needs an overhaul to make sure it has a grip on its content.

     
  55.  
    1004: Keith Roberts in Portsmouth

    emails: I'm sorry for Mr Entwistle, but as a former civil servant, I was amazed by the interviews he did yesterday. Managers need to be in charge and I would have expected my staff to warn me of high profile issues, and in turn, I always kept my senior managers aware of issues that might blow up. He should have demanded positive management from his staff, but equally he should not have needed to.

     
  56.  
    1011: Armando Iannucci Writer and satirist

    tweets: George Entwistle is a decent man, brought down by a bucketful of botchers in the Police and Newsnight team.

     
  57.  
    1014:

    "On a personal level, it is nice to see that my own battles with the BBC now appear to have been relegated, and that the current crisis has the label 'the worst in BBC history' attached to it," says former Labour spindoctor Alastair Campbell in his blog post.

     
  58.  
    1014:

    Read our full story on Lord Patten's response to George Entwistle's resignation.

     
  59.  
    1020: Lou Paget in Bristol

    emails: It's all avoidably sad, especially when a government in love with severe cost-cutting is questioning the value of a public service broadcaster. The BBC is giving them more and more reasons to dismantle the most British institution of all. It's time to return to the integrity and standards the BBC is famous for. The constant errors - big and small - need to stop. It's all up to the next director general. Good luck to them.

     
  60.  
    1020: The New Statesman Magazine

    tweets: Chris Patten tells Andrew Marr: "The BBC has more senior managers than the communist party" http://www.newstatesman.com/staggers/2012/11/chris-patten-bbc-has-more-senior-managers-communist-party …

     
  61.  
    1022: Diane Abbott Labour MP

    tweets: Too many Tories like Theresa May using Entwistle resignation to make generalised attack on BBC journalism @MarrShow

     
  62.  
    1022:

    BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten is live on Sky News now.

     
  63.  
    1023:

    "He was the quiet man of the BBC. After spending nearly a quarter of a century in news and factual programmes - including as an award-winning head of Newsnight - he became director general. Then the Savile storm hit the corporation." The Guardian looks back at the 54 days that brought George Entwistle's downfall.

     
  64.  
    1031:

    Commenting on George Entwistle's interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme yesterday, Lord Patten says it was John Humphrys "at his strongest" - and it was a "difficult interview" for Mr Entwistle. But he adds that is often the case and he has done "lousy interviews myself" with Mr Humphrys.

     
  65.  
    1032:

    Speaking to Sky News, Lord Patten again underlines he will "not take his marching orders from Mr Murdoch's newspapers" but says if he fails to restore trust and learn lessons, it will then be appropriate for him to step down as the corporation's Trust chairman.

     
  66.  
    1040:

    Lord Patten says the management situation at the BBC has been complicated by the fact that director of news Helen Boaden has been "recused" from getting involved with matters relating to Savile and other abuse claims.

     
  67.  
    1043: Lee Rogers in Stradbroke, Suffolk

    emails: This debacle indicates that the malaise in the BBC stretches right to the top of the organisation. It is clear from what we have been told that the BBC is in serious need of reform. The decision to appoint an insider like George Entwistle indicates that what is now needed is an external DG who can come in and clean up the public broadcaster. This is an opportunity to introduce some badly needed reforms to this over-bureaucratised body.

     
  68.  
    1044: Philip Benstead in New Milton, Hampshire

    emails: Given the abysmal performance of George Entwistle and his rapid fall from grace, those who appointed him should consider their positions. If the BBC fails to move into the real world by setting up proper accountability and ridding itself of its systemic arrogance, its demise is assured. Having been a loyal listener to the BBC for over 60 years, my patience has finally been tested to the limit.

     
  69.  
    1044: John Martins in Keighley

    emails: Will the BBC please stop beating itself up? It has made two lapses of judgement. Can we name a person, company, institution or organisation with a better record? Parliament? News International? The Roman Catholic Church? I cannot think of any organisation in the world that I admire more than the BBC, for all its lapses and failures.

     
  70.  
    1046:

    The Sun on Sunday describes the ex-director general as "George of the bungle" today: "The BBC's journalism is in the gutter and Director General George Entwistle is humiliatingly torn to shreds by his own staff. Ruthlessly interrogated by Radio 4's John Humphrys about Newsnight's false paedophile claims, a squirming Entwistle — salary £450,000 a year — portrayed himself as the man who knew nuffin about the much-trumpeted programme everyone else was talking about."

     
  71.  
    1050:

    The Spectator's Fraser Nelson writes: "George might have survived had he handled the first Newsnight row better. Or if he'd learnt from his mistakes. He did neither." Read more media reaction to Mr Entwistle's resignation on our journalism round-up here.

     
  72.  
    1059:
    Tim Davie

    The new acting director general Tim Davie - a one-time Pepsi executive - is a former head of audio and music at the BBC which means he is untainted by the Savile years or Newsnight.

     
  73.  
    1108:

    Meanwhile, it's worth pointing out that BBC News management has been approached for comment after Lord Patten said there would be a thorough, radical structural overhaul at the BBC - but they have not responded.

     
  74.  
    1111: Brian Toole in Launceston, Cornwall

    emails: How odd to notice the different ways in which organisations and individuals respond to errors of judgement. George Entwistle, and Greg Dyke before him, took responsibility for what happened while they were on the bridge, while politicians routinely squirm and wriggle themselves into holding onto their posts in perfectly similar circumstances.

     
  75.  
    1112: John Gilligan in St Albans

    emails: The BBC finds itself, yet again, at the centre of a media panic, created by journalists, sustained by journalists and of overwhelming interest to journalists. The BBC should be leading an intelligent debate about media frenzies and committing resources to breaking stories of real social, economic and political importance.

     
  76.  
    1113: Efrosean

    comments on the BBC News website: Looks as if the BBC bashers have got their Christmas early. All the usual suspects with their not very well hidden agendas lining up with baseball bats to give the Beeb a good old seeing to. What policy changes will be enforced and what will their relevance to current events be? I predict lots and very little.

     
  77.  
    1121:

    Some people have compared George Entwistle's resignation to what happened at the time of the Hutton Report, which also strongly criticised BBC journalism. Former BBC director general Greg Dyke stepped down in 2004 and was replaced by Mark Thompson as a result of the review to help restore confidence in the BBC. Find out more by reading our special report on it.

     
  78.  
    1122: David Harrison in Saint-Sulpice-de-Favieres, France

    emails: How Chris Patten can bat away claims for his resignation beggars belief. It was the trust that appointed Entwistle, a good man, and by all accounts, a more than competent programme maker. What clearly he isn't is a DG, in the mould of Greg Dyke. Entwistle's failings as DG are rightly to be laid at Patten's door because he chose the DG and he must go.

     
  79.  
    1123: Maverick

    comments on the BBC News website: It's about time the Beeb got back to reporting on the news instead of making it.

     
  80.  
    1140:
     Bryn Estyn

    Inquiries are currently going on into child abuse at care homes in north Wales in the 1970s and 1980s. Lib Dem AM Aled Roberts, chair of a Wrexham council panel which implemented the recommendations of the Sir Ronald Waterhouse report into the abuse a decade ago, has been speaking to the BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement programme.

     
  81.  
    1154:

    Mr Roberts says the reasoning behind the decision not to prosecute people identified by the Waterhouse inquiry is "worrying". He questions whether that decision was "properly taken". He adds it is vital for those working in child protection today to remain vigilant.

     
  82.  
    1157: Will Gant

    comments on the BBC News website: Instead of a "radical overhaul" of what remains one of the greatest newsgathering organisations in the world, perhaps instead it's worth disciplining and training the small number of journalists involved in these two cases. No media organisation in the world, however diligent, is able to avoid occasionally publishing something that is incorrect, in rare instances disastrously so.

     
  83.  
    1200:

    The real story of all this is the abused children "whose voices were never heard and now may slide back into the shadows to spend the rest of their lives disfigured by guilt, shame and a justifiable cynicism that society has failed them again," says former Conservative MP Jerry Hayes in his blog post.

     
  84.  
    1201: Lucy Manning ITV News UK Editor

    tweets: The pressure on George Entwistle was too great. He had to go. But has always appeared v decent in the dealings I've had with him this month.

     
  85.  
    1201:

    Meanwhile, Home Secretary Theresa May says the two inquiries she announced last week into the north Wales abuse claims - one reviewing the Waterhouse Review into the original 1990s claims, and one looking at the police handling of the historic claims as well as fresh allegations - will continue.

     
  86.  
    1207:

    The alleged abuse centring on children's homes in north Wales - and specifically the Bryn Estyn home at Wrexham - began to emerge in the 1990s. They were highlighted again last week when victim Steve Messham said the Waterhouse inquiry had uncovered only a fraction of the abuse. Find out more about what happened by reading our Q&A.

     
  87.  
    1208:

    The Independent on Sunday reports on how "the truth" about the north Wales child abuse scandal was "suppressed" in what it calls "an astonishing cover-up".

     
  88.  
    1219:
    Harriet Harman

    Just getting a bit more political reaction to Mr Entwistle's resignation. Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman says the BBC needed "clear leadership" on the Newsnight controversies, but "it was evident" from his appearance in front of MPs and on Radio 4 yesterday that Mr Entwistle was "not able to step foward and show that leadership".

     
  89.  
    1220:

    Ms Harman adds that although this is a "difficult moment" for the corporation, everyone wants the BBC to "go forward".

     
  90.  
    1221:

    Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist, says George Entwistle had to go. "There had to be bloodletting on this one." She says he didn't know about the Newsnight programme everyone was waiting to see. "When someone is so out of touch, no doubt in a panic, I'm afraid he's a good man but he did have to go."

     
  91.  
    1222: Craig D in Solihull, West Midlands

    emails: Now that the predictable, pointless ritual humiliation of the director general has taken place, would the BBC please inform me - as a licence fee payer - precisely when John Humphrys will interview and hold to account the producer and executive producer of Newsnight, and indicate to them that they should consider their positions, in light of their production and broadcasting of "shoddy journalism"?

     
  92.  
    1223:
    Polly Toynbee

    Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee says "BBC journalism is second to none. This was a bad mistake but it doesn't suggest that all BBC news is rotten."

     
  93.  
    1233:

    Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby says he has seen a lot of "malice" in the coverage of the George Entwistle's resignation.

     
  94.  
    1236:

    To find out all the latest about the crisis surrounding the BBC, have a look at our special report which pulls together all the latest backgrounders, Q&As, features and analysis.

     
  95.  
    1237: Hugh Bonneville Actor

    tweets: BBC journalism is the best in the world. Usually. Entwistle resigned where other leaders would not. Let's not forget either of these things.

     
  96.  
    1249: Breaking News

    Number 10 says although Mr Cameron understands this crisis is "very difficult, very serious," the BBC has been through serious crises before and survived. Sources say he regards the BBC as "one of the great institutions of this country" and says it has the capacity to reform itself and address its failings.

     
  97.  
    1249:
    Conservative MP Philip Davies

    Conservative MP Philip Davies, who sits on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, questions Lord Patten's judgment. He says Lord Patten "has been asleep at the wheel as well". He adds: "Absolutely he should resign. His position is just as untenable as George Entwistle's was."

     
  98.  
    1250:

    Mr Cameron's aides believe the BBC needs to "show grip" and that Lord Patten "has started to make the right noises".

     
  99.  
    1303: Lucy Manning ITV News UK Editor

    tweets: Chris Patten says he doesn't agree with Paxman that DG brought down by cowards & incompetents.

     
  100.  
    1303:

    Now live: BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend has a special hour long edition examining the depth of the crisis at the BBC and asking how it should be reformed. Presenter James Robbins is hearing from senior politicians and big figures in the broadcasting industry, as well as the former children's minister, who says the real issue is being sidelined.

     
  101.  
    1307:

    Lord Patten's former cabinet colleague, David Mellor, gives a scathing assessment of the way his "old friend" has handled the BBC crisis on the Sunday Politics, suggesting he is "so tainted by this nonsense" that he should consider standing down. He also suggests George Entwistle, someone who had "risen without a trace through the BBC," was unsuited to a public-facing leadership role.

     
  102.  
    1308:

    And more political reaction: Tory MP Rob Wilson says George Entwistle did not receive sufficient support as director-general. The MP says Mr Entwistle was "Lord Patten's man" and he is disappointed that the BBC Trust chairman appears to have deserted Mr Entwistle "when the going got tough".

     
  103.  
    1312: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    There is a view that Lord Patten can begin to put in place structural changes which will ensure that this sort of disaster does not happen again.

     
  104.  
    1312: Quo Vadis

    comments on the BBC News website: The BBC is not perfect - it is run by humans with human frailties after all, but it is the best we have, and I'll stick with it as it is thank-you very much. There's no need for a root and branch reform, because if we do we risk throwing the baby out with the bath-water, and the BBC is far too precious for that to happen.

     
  105.  
    1314:
    policeman at Downing Street

    Downing Street says they don't think the BBC is facing "an existential crisis" following the resignation of the director general. Sources say the pime minister believes this is a crisis that the BBC needs to resolve and it would not be appropriate for the government to become involved.

     
  106.  
    1316:

    Media commentator and former Panorama editor Steve Hewlett says we are now seeing Lord Patten "unleashed" and "back in charge". The BBC has been demanding that somebody now gets a grip.

     
  107.  
    1320: Tony Halmos in London

    emails: Has anyone looked into and considered the role of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in this crisis? What were they up to, who are they, how do they go about their work, who funds them and why does Newsnight use them at all?

     
  108.  
    1325:

    Much has happened in a short space of time. Our timeline outlines the events that led to the resignation of George Entwistle from the post of BBC director general after just 54 days.

     
  109.  
    1327:

    Former BBC and ITV chairman Michael Grade says the director general job is "very demanding" and you rely on "people of judgement" to inform you of what is going on. Mr Entwistle was "let down" in that respect, he says.

     
  110.  
    1329:

    "I have no doubt the BBC will recover from this. It is a great, great institution," says Mr Grade. He rejects the situation that Lord Patten's position may have been compromised in any way and says he needs support to restructure the corporation.

     
  111.  
    1329: Jean Fessey in Hailsham, UK

    emails: The British public want to see abusers in the dock - not Beeb execs. Please don't be bullied into silence on the real villains. Why have you stopped reporting the case? It's imperative that we get to the truth.

     
  112.  
    1330: adriansmith

    comments on the BBC News website: Lord Patten is right in that a radical reforming process is now needed, the corporation needs bringing into line with equality issues and its ethical code needs looking into too. It has been damaged but a lot of good can come out of a crisis with the right leader. It was the wrong time for Entwistle and I respect him for taking the action he has. Lets turn this ship around now.

     
  113.  
    1334:
    Peter Snow

    Newsnight remains "solid" and is an "absolutely vital resource", says the programme's first-ever presenter Peter Snow. He says the programme is under resourced, whereas BBC managers receive large salaries.

     
  114.  
    1336:

    The ex-Newsnight presenter Peter Snow says Mr Entwistle is a "wonderful, decent man" who was under-served by the structure that should have supported him.

     
  115.  
    1343:

    Who is Tim Davie who has been appointed acting director general immediately after Mr Entwistle's resignation? If you haven't seen it already here is our profile of him.

     
  116.  
    1344:

    Former Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer, who previously worked closely with Mr Davie, describes him as an "extremely competent person".

     
  117.  
    1345: David

    comments on the BBC News website: This is being portrayed as an issue about the BBC. But its a much wider issue facing society: how do journalists operate when the internet is populated by so much unsubstantiated rumour? Journalism has changed beyond recognition, and its as much about how journalism responds to the challenge of the internet as it is about the "structure of the BBC".

     
  118.  
    1348:

    More on the inquiries already announced into allegations of child abuse in north Wales. A new police inquiry led by the head of the National Crime Agency will look into the child abuse dating from the 1970s and 1980s. Separately, Mrs Justice Macur will investigate the terms of the Waterhouse abuse inquiry, which began in 1996. These inquiries will continue, says the Home Office.

     
  119.  
    1351: John in London

    emails: The DG seems to me to be an innocent victim in all this. The BBC needs to supported from those who will use this to attack the basic principles of public broadcasting.

     
  120.  
    1401:
    John Whittingdale

    John Whittingdale, who chairs the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, says he does not think there is a case for Lord Patten to step down. However, he says the BBC Trust chairman does need to a get a grip of the situation very quickly.

     
  121.  
    1401:

    Labour's Ben Bradshaw, a former culture secretary and another member of the committee, says the current situation is not just about the resignation of one man. Mr Entwistle was, he says, "seriously" let down by various tiers of management within the BBC.

     
  122.  
    1402:

    Mr Bradshaw says the whole of the governance of the BBC is "not fit for purpose". "Self governance does not work," he says, arguing that the role of the BBC Trust in its current form is "just not sustainable". "That is something that the government should look at," says.

     
  123.  
    1407:

    Janet Daley, of the Sunday Telegraph, tells The World This Weekend that the BBC is "incestuous" and "complacent". She says a lot of people work in the BBC who have never worked anywhere else and she criticised this "self-referring culture of the BBC."

     
  124.  
    1407:

    To find out what commentators - both within the mainstream media and on social media - are saying about Mr Entwistle's resignation, read our round-up of international reaction.

     
  125.  
    1415:

    Peter Snow, the first presenter of Newsnight, had much to say about the programme and its future. If you missed it first time round, you can listen to his interview on Radio 4's

     
  126.  
    1416: Jeff Simpson

    comments on the BBC News website: The first blunder was pulling a story that was a story, the second was broadcasting a story that wasn't a story. The common factor? Seems that in each case, the decision was influenced by a certain mood in the air at the time. First, the mood to celebrate Savile. Secondly, the mood to point fingers. Both times, the facts were overshadowed by factors which weren't part of the story. Fatal.

     
  127.  
    1422:

    In an email to BBC staff Lord Patten says when he took the job as BBC Trust chairman he had said "while not perfect, at its best the BBC is the greatest broadcaster in the world". He adds "I believe that today, just as I did then."

    But serious questions remain, he says, around the "decision not to pursue the initial Newsnight investigation, how last week's story went so horribly wrong" and, "how the BBC's historic culture and behaviour allowed Jimmy Savile to get away with his vile criminal activity for so long".

     
  128.  
    1419:
    Kim Howells

    Former culture minister Kim Howells says there appears to be a big gap between senior managers and the journalists "at the coal face". He questions why communication "broke down" so that details of the Newsnight story were not relayed to the corporation's editor-in-chief, leaving the programme "with so much mud on it".

     
  129.  
    1426: Bradford

    comments on the BBC News website: The problem with the BBC is that the role it sees itself performing has changed over time. It sees itself as a shaper of views rather than just a reporter of news. It has allowed itself to become politicised. Many people now view it as a political entity. When a publicly funded body allows itself to be seen as having a political agenda, don't be surprised if it becomes a target for politics.

     
  130.  
    1427:

    The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, says it is "absolutely important" that the BBC regains public confidence as "quickly as possible" following Mr Entwistle's resignation. He tells BBC Wales: "Episodes like this clearly don't help, but lessons have to be learned in order to get the BBC back to what it should be."

     
  131.  
    1441:

    So, who are the top contenders in the race to succeed George Entwistle? Caroline Thomson, the corporation's former chief operating officer, is the bookies' favourite to become the next BBC director general. Ladbrokes is reportedly offering 5/2 odds on Ms Thomson, while Paddypower has offered even-odds on Ofcom boss Ed Richards.

     
  132.  
    1442: Nick Robinson Political editor

    says three words sum up the attitude of many politicians and many in the press to the BBC crisis - "It's your turn." Read his blog entry on the problems faced by the BBC for his assessment of the situation following Mr Entwistle's resignation.

     
  133.  
    1442: Jonny in Nottingham

    emails: What the BBC needs now is a steady ship. Let's not allow those who criticise the corporation to use this opportunity to introduce more political control or to further limit the BBC's freedom to operate. What we need is an independent organisation, dedicated to achieving the highest quality journalism and entertainment, with sufficient transparency and accountability in its management to secure the public's trust.

     
  134.  
    1448:
    George Entwistle leaves a Culture and Media Committee hearing

    Mr Entwistle's tenure in the BBC's top job was short, but eventful. If you haven't seen it yet, check out our gallery of images from his 54 days as the corporation's director general.

     
  135.  
    1500: Meninwhitecoats

    comments on the BBC News website: There clearly are issues at the BBC but let's keep a sense of proportion about all this. Newsnight may or may not have been right not to air the Savile report. They were clearly wrong not to check the McAlpine story. Sloppy journalism for sure, but not the end of the world. It does not justify the Fleet Street holier than thou frenzy.

     
  136.  
    1504:
    Timn Loughton

    Former children's minister Tim Loughton says he fears that the real issue of child abuse is being sidelined by the BBC crisis. "We really mustn't forget this is about vulnerable children and young people, going back many decades, who have been subjected to pretty horrific abuse," he says. You can listen to his full interview on BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.

     
  137.  
    1509:

    This crisis is "self inflicted", says Neil Midgley of the Daily Telegraph. "People who want to use this as an excuse to attack the BBC should be careful about what they wish for," he says. They have to realise the BBC is a "treasured" institution, he continues.

     
  138.  
    1513: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    There is no sign anywhere, at the moment, of politicians and senior figures in government and the opposition seeking to involve themselves in the BBC's crisis. There is a sense that this is something that the BBC needs to resolve itself. I do not detect in Downing Street a sense that this is a pivotal moment which could threaten the future of the BBC. In other words, the BBC's future is not on the line.

     
  139.  
    1514: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    As to Lord Patten, he's a man who knows how to manage a crisis.

     
  140.  
    1523:

    Sir Christopher Bland, former BBC chairman, says the "BBC needs to get to bottom of what happened" over Newsnight. He says the BBC already has in place a "long established system of reference up of difficult decisions" and has editorial guidelines. "If it is plainly human error, a rewriting of the guidelines isn't going to make any difference." He says the culture has to change.

     
  141.  
    1523: Jonok

    comments on the BBC News website: All the heat seems to have shifted from the real story which is institutional child abuse, we want the truth not a smokescreen witch hunt against the BBC for airing concerns over a victim's story.

     
  142.  
    1532:

    Let's recap on the main points:

    • There has been widespread reaction after BBC director general George Entwistle resigned last night in the wake of a Newsnight broadcast which led to former senior Tory Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child abuse.
    • BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten says the corporation needs a "thorough, radical, structural overhaul" in the wake of the resignation
    • Downing Street sources say the situation is "very difficult, very serious" but the BBC has the capacity to reform itself and to address failings, although the prime minister believes the BBC needs to "show grip".
     
  143.  
    Geoff Leake in Camberley, Surrey

    emails: For a long time the BBC has been smug, self-satisfied and complacent. Secure with its license fee, it has dumbed down. Link this latest fiasco to its very poor performance during the Jubilee, the scandal of it allowing its employees to join tax avoidance schemes, Savile and the Ross-Brand fiasco and you have a snapshot of an organisation that needs to be totally slimmed down and reorganised.

     
  144.  
    1549:

    What happens next? Lord Patten said talks about Mr Entwistle's successor would begin today and the outcome of inquiries are to follow. In the meantime, Tim Davie as acting director general is tasked with beginning to restore stability to the corporation, before Mr Entwistle's permanent successor is announced. You can continue to follow our full coverage on the BBC News website.

     

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