As it happened: BBC Newsnight inquiries

Key Points

  • The BBC's own inquiry into Newsnight's shelving of a report into sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile has criticised BBC management but found no evidence of a cover-up
  • Former BBC director general George Entwistle had been warned about the Savile tributes and the need to take the "dark side" of Savile into account
  • A separate report is critical of a Newsnight report which led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child abuse allegations
  • The BBC's Director of News Helen Boaden returns to her job, but her deputy has resigned and is to retire. Radio 5 Live's controller has moved on
  • The Culture Secretary Maria Miller says the report "raises serious questions around editorial and management issues at the BBC"
  • The editor and deputy-editor of Newsnight are to be replaced

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  1.  
    1210:

    Good afternoon, and welcome to our coverage of the Pollard Review into Newsnight's shelving of a report on alleged sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile. We'll also be covering the release and reaction to a separate report into how the same programme broadcast an incorrect story which led Lord McAlpine to be implicated in child abuse allegations.

     
  2.  
    1212:

    Nick Pollard, former head of Sky News and author of one of the Newsnight reports, is now addressing the conference which is being held at New Broadcasting House in central London.

     
  3.  
    1215:

    Nick Pollard says his report concentrates on the decision by Newsnight to axe a report into Savile abuse allegations. He says he found the decision was not made "for any improper reason" but is speaking of serious failings.

     
  4.  
    1216:

    Mr Pollard says decisions about the Newsnight report were hampered by "rigid management chains".

     
  5.  
    1217:

    The key to the Pollard findings here is that BBC management has been criticised but the review found no evidence of a cover-up.

     
  6.  
    1217:

    You can read our main news story here.

     
  7.  
    1219:

    There have been some changes at a senior level as a result of the report. Helen Boaden is to return to her role as Director of News.

     
  8.  
    1221:

    Adrian Van Klaveren has a new role - he is being replaced as Controller of Radio 5 Live by Jonathan Wall, currently a commissioning editor.

     
  9.  
    1221:

    Lord Patten says the BBC will publish everything from the Pollard Review including transcripts - with some redactions for legal reasons.

     
  10.  
    1221:

    Nick Pollard is still speaking: There were clearly "serious problems all the way through this process" in which Newsnight decided to shelve the Savile report in December 2011.

     
  11.  
    1222: Breaking News

    Mr Pollard adds he found there was no "undue pressure" put on Newsnight editor Peter Rippon to drop the Savile report. But he says there was importance placed on "getting the story right" by senior managers.

     
  12.  
    1225:

    The editor and deputy editor of Newsnight are to be replaced.

     
  13.  
    mr_skylord

    tweets: Lets be honest when it really counted, #BBC management failed which has gravely damaged an important national institution #pollard #Savile

     
  14.  
    1227:

    Media commentator asks about then-Newsnight editor Peter Rippon's blog. Mr Pollard says: "The reasons why there was a delay in correcting the blog is a complete breakdown of the chain between Peter Rippon and George Entwistle. Virtually all the people trying to find out if the blog was wrong were working on faulty information. All the emails I have seen make it clear people were trying pretty hard to get to the bottom of it."

     
  15.  
    1230:

    Asked whether Newsnight reporter Meirion Jones was leaking to the newspapers, Mr Pollard says: "It was clear that BBC management and the press office suspected Meirion Jones was leaking stories and causing stories to be leaked and that sowed distrust and guaranteed that the faulty version out there couldn't be fixed. Several managers told us they were convinced Meirion Jones was the source of leaks. He vehemently denies it but there is no evidence either way."

     
  16.  
    1231:

    One more change at the top: Deputy director of news Stephen Mitchell will leave the BBC next year.

     
  17.  
    1232:

    The chairwoman of the BBC's executive board, Dame Fiona Reynolds, says the BBC is taking a "proportionate response" to the Pollard Review.

     
  18.  
    Stewart Knapman

    tweets: I'm sure licence fee payers across the country will all agree this was a great use of £2m http://gu.com/p/3cj8e/tw #pollardinquiry

     
  19.  
    1235:

    Dame Fiona says there will be a new Newsnight editorial team and a strengthening of guidance on when and how material should be handed to the police. She says the corporation will make sure its editors' blog complies to BBC standards and communication channels will be reviewed. In the longer term, senior management structures will be reviewed and there will be a plan for wider cultural change.

     
  20.  
    1237:

    On whether public trust in the BBC has been damaged by the Savile/McAlpine affair, Mr Pollard says the public shared his view that BBC News was trustworthy: "There is no fundamental undermining of the BBC's journalism and any fall in that (trust) is temporary."

     
  21.  
    1238:

    Dame Fiona says: "News must be independent but it must not be a silo…There will be a plan for wider cultural change at the BBC in the run-up to Tony Hall's arrival (as Director General). At the heart of this are the victims of Jimmy Savile and they are the subject of a separate review by Dame Janet Smith."

     
  22.  
    1238:

    She adds before finishing: "We accept his (Nick Pollard's) recommendations in full. This has been a difficult and important process. It makes uncomfortable reading about the way we work. We will take action about the specific challenges raised. It's clear to us that the answer is not to impose more rules and bureaucracy…There are implications for a small amount of individuals."

     
  23.  
    Labour MP, Ben Bradshaw

    tweets: #pollard extremely damning of #BBC management & its culture over #savile fiascos. Consequences must follow

     
  24.  
    1240:

    Now acting director Tim Davie says: "We are working through disciplinary proceedings with a number of individuals." Steve Mitchell has tendered his resignation this morning, and Mr Davie has accepted it.

     
  25.  
    1240:

    Mr Pollard's 185-page report can be read in full online. Take a look at it here.

     
  26.  
    1241:

    Tim Davie says Adrian Van Klaveren, controller of Five Live, is to move to a new role to be announced in the New Year. Have a look at our who's who page to see the key BBC figures caught up in the affair.

     
  27.  
    1243:

    A Daily Mail reporter asks about the cost to the BBC. Tim Davie says the Pollard Review alone will cost the BBC £2m.

     
  28.  
    1244:

    The BBC has welcomed the report and says it will act upon the recommendations. Read their response in full here.

     
  29.  
    1244:

    Lord Patten says the Pollard Review does not give any grounds for thinking there was reason for Mr Entwistle being sacked as a result of the Savile investigation being shelved.

     
  30.  
    1244:

    BBC Home Affairs editor Mark Easton asks about former director general George Entwistle not reading emails warning him about Savile's "dark side". He asks if Entwistle was "worth the pay-off". Lord Patten says he had answered questions about Mr Entwistle's departure and the danger of a constructive dismissal.

     
  31.  
    Former BBC News producer, Jane Hadden

    tweets: Public trust in the BBC's journalism will return in time says Nick Pollard #pollard #savile. Totally agree, it is still best in the world

     
  32.  
    1244:

    ITV home editor Lucy Manning asks Tim Davie why no-one had been sacked. He replies: "The DG has left the BBC, deputy director of news has left. There are lots of learnings (sic) to be made from this but that doesn't necessarily mean summary dismissal."

     
  33.  
    1245:

    Tim Davie denies that Steve Mitchell was getting a pay-off - the resignation of deputy director of news Stephen Mitchell has been accepted by the BBC, and he will leave the corporation next year. Mr Davie says: "With the benefit of hindsight we would not have aired the [Jimmy Savile] tribute programme."

     
  34.  
    1246:

    The BBC Trust's report into the Newsnight story which led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly named as a paedophile has also been published. Read it in full here.

     
  35.  
    1246:

    Lord Patten is asked again whether he plans to resign. He says: "I haven't (given any thought to resigning). The BBC Trust is not in charge of operational issues." He also said there was a lack of "professional camaraderie" in the BBC, which he found surprising.

     
  36.  
    1247:

    Dame Fiona says Tony Hall - the incoming BBC director general - will oversee a "wider cultural change" within the BBC when he takes over as DG and it would be a "top priority".

     
  37.  
    1248:

    Lord Patten says he accepts what Mr Pollard reported and cannot make any more comments on former director general Mark Thompson - who was DG when Newsnight decided to drop its report.

     
  38.  
    Robert Peston Business editor

    tweets: Am saddened that deputy head of news Steve Mitchell is retiring. He has been a great asset to BBC News.

     
  39.  
    1251:

    Question from Newsnight's James Robbins about trust and breaking up of BBC. Lord Patten: "Trust in the BBC has undoubtedly been affected by what happened. It still remains extraordinarily high… but we can't be complacent about that. This report enables the BBC to look at itself with searing honesty."

     
  40.  
    1253:

    BBC staff are going to be briefed this afternoon about the reports and their implications

     
  41.  
    Ed Fraser Managing editor, Channel 4 News

    tweets: Pollard Inquiry will cost the BBC £2MILLION Pounds

     
  42.  
    1254:

    Mr Davie adds the BBC has taken "a hit" and it would be arrogant to assume that trust will bounce. It must be earned back, he says.

     
  43.  
    Matt Baker

    tweets: Someone needs to tell Lord Patten the truth about how he comes across in public. It isn't flattering....

     
  44.  
    Laura Brander, ITV News

    tweets: Bearing in mind we've paid £2mil for this inquiry, you'd think Patten would refrain from sighing quite so heavily

     
  45.  
    Stuart Duffy

    tweets: Lord Patten looks completely out of touch with public opinion as he takes a thrashing from journalists. Seems very arrogant. #bbc @SkyNews

     
  46.  
    1258:

    Former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw tells Sky News the BBC needs to act quickly and act upon the report's recommendations. "It cannot wait for the arrival of the new director general," he says.

     
  47.  
    1300:

    Let's recap the main points from the Nick Pollard's review into Newsnight's decision to drop its report on alleged abuse by Jimmy Savile:

    • There was no evidence of a cover-up to drop the Savile report
    • There was no pressure put on Newnsight editor Peter Rippon to axe it
    • Newnsight's senior editorial team should be replaced
     
  48.  
    1300:
    • Mr Pollard found evidence of "chaos and confusion" inside BBC management
    • The decision to drop the report was deeply flawed
    • Deputy director of news Steve Mitchell has been criticised
    • Leadership in the BBC was in short supply
    • George Entwistle had been warned about the Savile tributes and the need to take the dark side of Savile into account
    • BBC management had been queasy about the Savile tributes
     
  49.  
    1301:
    Peter Johnston

    This is the Director of BBC Northern Ireland, Peter Johnston, who is to continue in his role after a critical report.

     
  50.  
    Former Labour MSP, Pauline McNeill

    tweets: #bbcinquiry press conference Lord Chris Patten looks rattled and very tired BBC must be open & transparent to win back trust

     
  51.  
    1304:

    For more on the results of the BBC Newsnight inquiries, have a listen to the World at One which is live now on BBC Radio 4.

     
  52.  
    1305:
    Steve Mitchell

    This is Steve Mitchell, the deputy director of news, who has resigned and will leave the BBC after 38 years at the corporation.

     
  53.  
    1305:
    Adrian Van Klaveren

    And Adrian Van Klaveren will leave his job as controller of Radio Five Live but stay on at the BBC.

     
  54.  
    1305: Breaking News

    The Culture Secretary Maria Miller says the report "raises serious questions around editorial and management issues at the BBC and I look to the Trust to help tackle these". She adds: "I also remind the Trust how vital it is to publish all relevant evidence, as soon as possible, in order to re-build public trust and confidence in the BBC."

     
  55.  
    1305:

    Mr Bradshaw also tells Sky: "There's clearly been a real problem with the culture, style and functionality of BBC news management style." He adds: "This is a chance for a clean break and the BBC needs to take that opportunity."

     
  56.  
    1306:
    Helen Boaden

    Helen Boaden will return to her role as Director of News

     
  57.  
    1307:

    Culture secretary Maria Miller adds: "It remains critical that we do not lose sight of the most important issue in this - the many victims of sexual abuse by Savile. I urge the BBC to now focus on the review into those abuses, and ensure it is swift and transparent." She says she will remain in close contact with the Trust as it undertakes its work.

     
  58.  

    Read the full text of Nick Pollard's 200-page-report here.

     
  59.  
    Simjoss

    I keep wondering what would have happened if the BBC had pulled the tribute programmes before the Newsnight investigation had been broadcast which, given the Christmas timetabling, they would probably have to have done. What would the public reaction have been then? Trashing a loved presenter without evidence?

     
  60.  
    Jonathan Dimbleby Broadcaster

    tweets: No Newsnight conspiracy. Will those who said there was now apologise profusely? I doubt it

     
  61.  
    1307:
    Peter Rippon

    Peter Rippon, who was editor of Newsnight, has now been replaced, along with his deputy.

     
  62.  
    INSERTCOINS

    comments: I used to defend the BBC & the licence fee. Not anymore. The last 12 months have changed my opinion!

     
  63.  
    1310:

    Today has also seen the publication of a separate review critical of a Newsnight report which led to Tory peer Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child abuse allegations. The report found that basic journalistic checks were not carried out, the story had been badly managed and the decision to broadcast the report was wrong. Read the full text here.

     
  64.  
    Ben Monro-Davies, Channel 4 News

    tweets: stephen mitchell resigns. was a very nice bloke to trainees when i was there many many years ago. good luck

     
  65.  
    Adam Mills

    tweets: van Klaveren to leave Five Live. So much good work at the station undone in one foul swoop at Newsnight. #pollard

     
  66.  
    1313:

    Media commentator Steve Hewlett, on Radio 4's The World At One programme, says the Pollard Review is a "lambasting" of BBC management culture. He said people will hope that the incoming Director General, Tony Hall, will be able to "sort it out". Mr Hewlett said the picture painted by Nick Pollard of Mr Rippon is that he was "not really on the job".

     
  67.  
    1313:

    For more background on how Newsnight's report into child abuse in Wales led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly accused, read our Q&A here.

     
  68.  
    1315:

    Deputy head of news, Stephen Mitchell releases a statement saying he has decided to retire with "great sadness" after more than 38 years' service "of which I am very proud and which I have found greatly enjoyable". He says: "Given the strain over the past month since being told to stand aside from the job I loved, having endured the Pollard review process and now having read its criticisms, I have decided that it is in my interests and those of the BBC that I bring my career to a dignified end."

     
  69.  
    1315:

    Mr Mitchell adds: "Whilst I feel vindicated that the review has found that I put no undue pressure on Peter Rippon, I disagree with the remainder of Mr Pollard's criticisms in relation to me. I am grateful for all the support I have received from friends and colleagues around the BBC."

     
  70.  
    1317:

    BBC presenter Andrew Marr is speaking on Wato now, describing deputy director Steven Mitchell as an honest, good guy - straight down the line. Mr Mitchell is resigning but Mr Marr says that any sense that there was improper pressure applied by Mr Mitchell on Newsnight editor Peter Rippon is utterly out of the question.

     
  71.  
    1317:

    Liz Dux, solicitor for 40 of the Savile victims, tells The World At One they will take comfort" from the fact that the original Newsnight investigation was right in the first place. She says: "The victims don't want to see months more of BBC navel-gazing" and the focus has now turned to Dame Janet Smith's review into child protection.

     
  72.  
    1318:

    BBC Broadcaster Andrew Marr defends Mr Mitchell as a "good man". He tells WATO: "Clearly there were lots of mistakes made but any suggestion there was pressure by Steve Mitchell about a story about paedophilia… is utterly out of court and against his character."

     
  73.  
    1319:

    Lord Patten now speaking on the World at One.

     
  74.  
    1319:

    Lord Patten says it will take some time to change the management culture at the BBC, and Tony Hall is the right person to lead that change.

     
  75.  
    A BBC website reader

    texts: So the only people to blame for the Newsnight shelving of Savile scandal are the the ones who have already gone. Very convenient.

     
  76.  
    1320:

    Lord Patten says lack of communication turned out to the thing that caused George Entwistle to lose his post.

     
  77.  
    Owen J Watson, Al-Jazeera English

    tweets: #bbc how can helen boaden survive as head of news. #pollard report is scathing of her lack of leadership

     
  78.  
    1321:

    Lord Patten reaffirms the BBC's task must be to rebuild trust.

     
  79.  
    1322:

    Steve Hewlitt, media commentator speaking on Sky News: "You wouldn't find a harsher review of the BBC than this [Pollard Report]"

     
  80.  
    1322:

    Lord Patten says it's unfair to think that simply identifying a few senior managers will do the trick - he says there is much more extensive work to do.

     
  81.  
    1324:

    Lord Patten says the Pollard Review has been a rigorous and expensive process, but he is sure it was the right thing to do. And important points about journalism have been made.

     
  82.  
    AndyW

    comments: BBC structure is that editorial decisions and decisions to broadcast are made at editorial level with limited interference from above - to try to maintain an independence of reporting and avoid an overall bias. Yes it was a wrong decision re the Newsnight report (hindsight?) and an unfortunate overreaction to this resulted in a report being broadcast that shouldn't but lets avoid going overboard!

     
  83.  
    1326:

    Lord Patten adds he hopes the NHS will act as rapidly as the BBC has in reviewing the problems caused by Savile. You can read about the other abuse allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile here.

     
  84.  
    Adam Boulton, Sky News political editor

    tweets: Boaden returns, Mitchell resigns - Old BBC saw "Deputy Heads must roll" - true as ever. What abt Lord Patten who's presided over this mess?

     
  85.  
    Janan Ganesh, Financial Times political columnist

    tweets: Jaw-dropping that nobody is being sacked over the Newsnight farce.

     
  86.  
    1327:

    Lord Patten says the BBC Trust was not responsible for editorial or operational matters regarding the Newsnight decisions. Asked by Wato presenter Edward Stourton if he would do anything different with the benefit of hindsight, he says: "Hindsight is something which could make us all millionaires. But we could have set up these inquiries a day or two earlier. But the advice we got from the DG was that the police did not want us to do anything which would hamper their inquiries."

     
  87.  
    1332:

    Newsnight editor Peter Rippon issues a statement picked up by the Guardian. Here's an extract: "Editorial decisions are taken on the basis of weighing up often complicated situations and sets of evidence, and can always be second-guessed. On this occasion, I am being judged not about what we broadcast, but what we did not, and this means that will always be questions about whether more could have been done to get the item on air. However, I do not agree that my decision on this occasion was flawed."

     
  88.  
    1334:

    And former DG George Entwistle also issues a statement, which can be seen here in full: "I am pleased that the Pollard report makes it clear I played no part whatever in Newsnight's decision not to broadcast the original Savile investigation - just as I was not personally to blame in any way for the journalistic failures on Newsnight when it broadcast its erroneous report about the North Wales care home."

     
  89.  
    1337:

    Stewart Purvis, former editor in chief at ITV News, is speaking on the News Channel now. He says the debate in the next few days will be what is the most appropriate response for the BBC.

     
  90.  
    1337: Katie Stallard Media correspondent, Sky News

    tweets Tim Davie was very clear (and was asked specifically about this) that Mitchell had resigned, not retired, Mitchell says he has retired.

     
  91.  
    1338:
    Stewart Purvis

    Stewart Purvis says the scale and size of the BBC will undoubtedly be part of the political debate about the corporation's future.

     
  92.  
    Neil Midgley Daily Telegraph media editor

    tweets: BBC's response to Pollard almost literally unbelievable. Those headlines in full: 1. Nobody - NOBODY - gets fired

     
  93.  
    1339:

    Just to recap on today's events: An inquiry into Newsnight's shelving of a report on sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile has published its findings. Findings have also been announced in relation to a Newsnight report that led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child abuse allegations. Here is a summary of the main points at a glance.

     
  94.  
    Phillip Blond

    tweets: If anything the NewsNight scandal shows the independence of the BBC editorial process - just a wrong decision by Peter Rippon a good man

     
  95.  
    David

    comments: The outcome of this report underlines the long overdue need for a root and branch re-organisation of the BBC management. it has been my opinion for years that top management has been aloof from the lower levels of management thus leaving we licence payers with the BBC we have today.

     
  96.  
    1340:

    Labour MP Ben Bradshaw is speaking on the News Channel. He says while Nick Pollard has done a good job, the questions going forward will be if the BBC response is adequate. He says the review was "lacerating" of BBC management.

     
  97.  
    revolutionnow999

    comments: OK BBC you done wrong. But you are still set the highest standard by which other media organisations are judged. So forgive yourself, learn from it and move on. The Panorama program on the tax avoiding Barclay brothers was excellent.

     
  98.  
    AndyW

    comments: BBC structure is that editorial decisions and decisions to broadcast are made at editorial level with limited interference from above - to try to maintain an independence of reporting and avoid an overall bias. Yes it was a wrong decision re the Newsnight report (hindsight?) and an unfortunate overreaction to this resulted in a report being broadcast that shouldn't but lets avoid going overboard!

     
  99.  
    Neil Midgley Daily Telegraph media editor

    tweets: All execs directly involved in both Newsnight debacles stay at BBC. What did Pollard say about BBC lifers being unhelpful??

     
  100.  
    1344:
    Ben bradshaw

    The former culture secretary Mr Bradshaw questions whether the BBC management's response to the review is sufficient. He says the real problem lies with senior management and many will doubt if they "get" the real fundamental change that is needed.

     
  101.  
    Anthony Heard

    tweets: So we still don't know why NewsNight did not run the programme about Savile. Why did Mr Rippon suddenly change his mind ?

     
  102.  
    1348: Breaking News

    Former Newsnight presenter and director of BBC World Service, Sir John Tusa, says that while it is good news there was no cover up, the picture emerging from the BBC is one of lack of trust and cohesion, too much structure and an awful picture of an organisation mired in procedures.

     
  103.  
    Neil Midgley Daily Telegraph media editor

    tweets: Apart from being caught with pants down or hand in the till, is it possible for a BBC News exec to commit a sackable offence?

     
  104.  
    1351:

    Here are some key extracts from the Pollard Report

    • "No evidence that anyone involved in the making of the tribute programmes knew of any allegations against or rumours about Savile"
    • "Evidence held by the BBC [after Newsnight investigation] would probably have been of interest to the police… should have been provided to the police"
    • "The preparation of the blog can only be described as chaotic….there were significant failings in the managerial oversight of Mr Rippon's blog"
     
  105.  
    1351:

    Sir John Tusa says while he was in charge of Newsnight there were "two layers" of management to go through with difficult decisions. "Whereas clearly here there are steps, there are side steps, there are policy people, there are compliance people - and it's quite clear from what Pollard says that people couldn't work out what they were doing."

     
  106.  
    1354:
    Sir John Tusa

    Sir John says he does not blame people concerned in those decisions, but the organisation that allowed "that sort of structure to grow up" has something to answer for and must be "cleared out".

     
  107.  
    Gingertips

    comments on the website: Good to see all those who failed in their roles, continue riding along on the BBC Gravy train, albeit some in different roles...nothing will change until the compulsory licence fee is scrapped. This is beyond a joke!

     
  108.  
    1358:

    Another interview with Lord Patten - this time by Home Editor Mark Easton on the BBC's News Channel. Changing BBC culture means getting people to talk to one another, he says. Also, BBC management is currently "under-managed and over-managed".

     
  109.  
    1359:

    And Lord Patten is adamant the BBC's Trust (and he personally) hasn't been damaged by the controversy. It's separate from the corporation's news division, which made the mistakes he says.

     
  110.  
    Robin Lustig, Former BBC presenter

    tweets: #Pollard statement from Steve Mitchell - what a decent man he is ... but it's a sad day for all BBC journalists http://bit.ly/T733CB

     
  111.  
    1400:
    Kevin Marsh

    Kevin Marsh, former editor of the BBC Radio 4's Today programme, tells BBC News the corporation "has become - like many other institutions - a prisoner of its own processes". He says the punishment is quite "severe". The detail of what Pollard found shows no one acted "maliciously" but "mistakes were made".

     
  112.  
    1401:

    More extracts from the Pollard report

    • Errors in Mr Rippon's blog "began to feed into the BBC's responses to media requests almost immediately" but the "inaccuracies... did not go unnoticed for long".
    • The BBC was "thrown into disarray by the errors in the blog and had no structure in place to deal with them".
    • The BBC's news and editorial management needs to be reviewed - a "key job" for the acting and designate directors general but it is "certainly not the case that everything in BBC News management needs repair".
     
  113.  
    1404:

    Meanwhile, we are also reporting that detectives investigating historical claims of sex abuse linked to the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile have arrested a man in his 70s in London. The man was arrested at 06:30 GMT on suspicion of sexual offences by officers from Operation Yewtree and he is now in custody. Read more here.

     
  114.  
    1406:

    Here's a handy breakdown to who was in charge of BBC News when the row over Newsnight's investigation into Jimmy Savile first broke and what has happened since.

     
  115.  
    1415:

    The Daily Telegraph is running an article suggesting a former BBC director-general believes the Pollard Review into the decision to axe Newsnight's report on Jimmy Savile "has been a waste of licence fee-payers' money". Read more here.

     
  116.  
    Lucy Manning UK editor, ITV News

    tweets: Lord Patten tells me BBC Trust looked at if they could get money back from George Entwistle payoff but lawyers said wasn't possible

     
  117.  
    1418:

    More Pollard report:

    • The BBC needs to decide what their blogs are for... "some doubts as to whether they are genuinely a useful tool for accountability".
    • The BBC's news and editorial management needs to be reviewed - a "key job" for the acting and designate directors general. But it is "certainly not the case that everything in BBC News management needs repair".
    • Several witnesses believed the Savile affair and the BBC's handling of it would not have happened, or would have not have been so damaging, if the role of deputy director general had still been in existence.
     
  118.  
    1419:
    Liz Dux

    Liz Dux, solicitor for the 45 alleged victims of Jimmy Savile, says they will take comfort from Nick Pollard's view that the Savile report should not have been dropped by Newsnight. But she adds they do not want months of BBC soul searching.

     
  119.  
    1426:

    An update on the arrest made by police investigating historical sex abuse claims linked to Savile and others in the entertainment industry. The former BBC Radio One producer, Ted Beston, was detained at 06:30 GMT by detectives from Operation Yewtree. He's being questioned on suspicion of sexual offences at a police station in south London.

     
  120.  
    1428:

    The two Newsnight reporters at the centre of the Pollard inquiry are making a statement outside New Broadcasting House.

     
  121.  
    1429: Breaking News

    Newsnight reporter Liz McKean says the decision not to run the Savile report was "seriously flawed" and also "a breach of our duty to the women who trusted us to reveal that Jimmy Savile was a paedophile".

     
  122.  
    1431:

    Ms McKean adds: "Many found it difficult to share their experiences as vulnerable girls. Our editor did not watch the main interview with our witness. Nick Pollard did and he found her credible and compelling - as did we."

     
  123.  
    1431:

    She also welcomes the recommendation that the BBC should "trust its journalists".

     
  124.  
    Miriam O'Reilly, broadcaster and journalist

    tweets: The BBC deserves more than some of the people who've been failing to manage it #savile

     
  125.  
    1435:

    Here are Newsnight reporter Liz McKean and producer Meirion Jones giving their statements outside New Broadcasting House.

    Liz McKean and Meirion Jones
     
  126.  
    1436: Breaking News

    Newsnight producer Meirion Jones says last Christmas Newsnight knew, and the BBC knew, that Jimmy Savile was a paedophile. "We knew there had been a police investigation, they had taken it seriously. We'd interviewed a victim, a very good victim, on camera. We had corroboration, we had footage of victims with abusers on BBC premises. And yet the BBC decided to pull the investigation and run tributes to Jimmy Savile instead." He adds: "I hope the BBC takes measures to ensure nothing like that happens again."

     
  127.  
    Posioned Challice

    comments: Savile got away with his heinous acts all his life. They only came to light after his death and because the BBC investigated. The Police came close several times, but could not pursue due to lack of evidence. Hindsight is a wonderful thing? However the BBC needs gutting from the top down, starting with Patton. Make Sir Attenbourgh the director and programming will improve 1000%.

     
  128.  
    1442:

    Here are some extracts from the MacQuarrie report on Newsnight's decision to run a story that led to Lord McAlpine being falsely identified as a paedophile.:

    • The allegations "were not based on sound evidence. They were not thoroughly tested and, whilst there was no suggestion that the programme makers had sought to mislead the public, this had been the effect".
    • The combination of the Newsnight Report and the online speculation led to Lord McAlpine being incorrectly identified as an abuser.
    • Failures by members of the Newsnight team resulted largely from a failure to adhere to the BBC's editorial guidelines.
     
  129.  
    1446:
    Liz Gibbons

    Newsnight's deputy editor - Liz Gibbons - who decided to run the film - has now been removed from her position, as has the man in overall charge of Newsnight at the time, Adrian Van Klaveren.

     
  130.  
    Tom Swarbrick, journalist

    tweets: Still confused. Has Stephen Mitchell retired or resigned? Tim Davie says he's resigned. Mitchell says he retired. #bbc #whoknows?

     
  131.  
    1449:
    Neil Midgley

    Neil Midgley of the Daily Telegraph tells BBC News that Lord Patten was "very combative" towards some journalists in this morning's conference. He says Lord Patten was "unnecessarily and inexplicably hostile this morning". Mr Midgley adds it is "remarkable" that nobody has been fired over the Newsnight reports - into Savile and the abuse in south Wales.

     
  132.  
    Giles Jones

    comments: The BBC acts like a commercial organisation these days. Hiring "talent" for ridiculous salaries and these people can hardly be called talented when they mess things up so spectacularly. There is also no penalty for failure when they get a nice big pay off, the likes of which most licence payers could only dream of.

     
  133.  
    1500:

    Let's remind ourselves of the inquiries the BBC launched in the wake of the Savile scandal.

    • The Pollard Review - on Newsnight's axed Savile report - has now been published
    • The MacQuarrie report into the Newsnight film on child abuse in north Wales - also now published
    • An investigation led by former Appeal Court judge Dame Janet Smith into the corporation's culture and practices during Savile's career and current child protection and whistle-blowing policies
    • An investigation led by Dinah Rose QC into handling of past sexual harassment claims
     
  134.  
    1504:

    It's nearly time for us to wrap up our live coverage. You can follow the main story here as it develops through the day. In the meantime, here the key points:

    • Ex-head of Sky News Nick Pollard found there was no evidence of a cover up of Newsnight's Savile investigation, but the decision not to run it was "flawed"
    • There was "chaos and confusion" in BBC management
    • Deputy director of news Steven Mitchell was specifically criticised
    • Generally, leadership in BBC News was in short supply
    • Former director general George Entwistle was warned about the BBC's Christmas Savile tributes
    • One BBC manager said he felt queasy about running tributes that ignored the dark side of Savile
     
  135.  
    1504:

    And after the publication of the Pollard report:

    • The BBC Trust chair Lord Patten said he accepted all the findings
    • Steven Mitchell resigned, saying he does not accept Pollard's criticism
    • The editorial team at Newsnight is to change as a result of today's announcement
    • Head of News Helen Boaden will return to her post on Thursday
     
  136.  
    1505:

    Findings have also been announced in relation to a Newsnight report that led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child abuse allegations. Here are the key points:

    • The report found "basic journalistic checks on the story were not carried out"
    • It found the Newsnight team "did not make adequate attempts to seek validation for the story beyond what the reporter delivered"
    • Failures by members of the Newsnight team resulted largely from a failure to adhere to the BBC's editorial guidelines
    • The story had been badly managed and "the decision to broadcast the Newsnight report was wrong"
    • It concluded that it was a "serious failure of BBC journalism"
     

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