UK

George Entwistle's statement in full

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Media captionGeorge Entwistle and BBC Chairman Lord Patten give their statements outside Broadcasting House

George Entwistle has announced he is stepping down as BBC director general in the wake of a broadcast on Newsnight which led to an ex-senior Tory being wrongly implicated in child sex abuse at Welsh children's homes.

He also sent a letter to the BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten. The two men spoke to the media outside outside New Broadcasting House in central London. Here are the statements in full, as well as their exchange of letters.

Mr Entwistle 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 2nd November, I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down from the post of Director-General.

"When appointed to the role, with 23 years' experience as a producer and leader at the BBC, I was confident the Trustees had chosen the best candidate for the post, and the right person to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead.

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

"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."

Extract from George Entwistle's resignation letter
George Entwistle's resignation letter to Lord Patten [406KB]

Lord Patten said:

"This is undoubtedly one of one of the saddest evenings of my public life.

"George Entwistle has worked for the BBC for nearly 23 years. He exemplifies the finest values of public service broadcasting. At the heart of the BBC is its role as a trusted global news organisation. And as the editor in chief of that news organisation George has very honourably offered us his resignation because of the unacceptable mistakes - the unacceptable shoddy journalism - which has caused so much controversy.

"He has behaved as editor with huge honour and courage and would that the rest of the world always behaved the same.

"George was set on putting in place a number of reforms and changes which will be required in this great organisation and it's a real tragedy that he was overwhelmed, as we all were to a great extent by these events before he was able to act in a way which is clearly necessary.

"As from tomorrow, the acting general will be Tim Davie and we will of course begin the process of agreeing a permanent successor.

"I'm not going to answer any questions this evening but tomorrow I'm doing a number of interviews including one with Andrew Marr at nine O'clock so you will be able to ask some questions then if you have any.

"But for the time being I would just like to say again that George Entwistle has behaved extremely honourably in the best standards of journalism of integrity."

Lord Patten's letter to George Entwistle [163KB]

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