Senior BBC staff before the firing line ahead of report on handling of Savile scandal

 

Senior BBC News executives are fighting to save their jobs ahead of a report expected to heavily criticise the corporation’s handling of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The findings of a review by Nick Pollard into why the BBC Newsnight programme quashed its initial investigation into Savile’s sexual abuse, will be made public tomorrow.

Executives involved in the subsequent Newsnight report, which led to the false linking of Lord McAlpine to child abuse allegations and the resignation of George Entwistle, the Director-General, are also in the firing line following internal disciplinary hearings.

Peter Rippon, the Newsnight editor who stepped aside after his programme failed to run the Savile allegations, is expected to face criticism following the £500,000 investigation conducted by Pollard, a former Head of Sky News.

Rippon wrote a blog explaining why he chose not to pursue the Savile allegations, which turned out to be false but was left uncorrected.

Pollard will rule on whether corporate pressure was placed on Rippon to drop the report by BBC executives. Helen Boaden, BBC head of News, who questioned the level of proof Newsnight had that Savile was guilty, may face criticism, although friends say she expects to survive.

Reports suggest Stephen Mitchell, 63, the deputy head of news, will be criticised for his role in the Rippon blog and could take early retirement.

Pollard has also interviewed Entwistle, who failed to halt tribute programmes to the entertainer after being told that a Savile investigation was underway, and Mark Thompson, the former BBC Director-General, whose office was contacted last May by a journalist investigating claims that Savile had abused children on BBC premises.

Newsnight journalists Liz McKean and Meirion Jones, whose investigation into Savile was halted by Rippon, have been interviewed by the inquiry, which trawled through thousands of emails and conducted interrogation sessions lasting up to eight hours.

Tim Davie, the acting BBC Director-General, has been lobbied by senior executives and some presenters, to avoid sackings over the Savile and McAlpine affairs. Friends of Mitchell are believed to have written to Davie on his behalf.

Letters have been sent to BBC executives who face criticism by Pollard, giving them a final opportunity to rebut the findings.

Despite pleas for clemency, Lord Patten, chair of the BBC Trust, which will consider Pollard’s findings, has said he expects heads to roll if senior executives are personally held responsible for the failings which left the BBC in crisis.

The BBC hopes to publish a second report by Ken MacQuarrie, BBC Scotland director, into the November 2 Newsnight report, which wrongly implicated former Tory treasurer Lord McAlpine in child sex abuse at a children's care home in Wales.

Today, the BBC and ITV apologised to Lord McAlpine at the high court for "disastrously" and falsely linking him to the allegations.

ITV apologised for the blunder which allowed This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield to brandish a list of senior politicians whose names he had found on the internet, when he questioned the Prime Minister about the affair. Lord McAlpine’s name was briefly visible.

Lawyers for the two broadcasters expressed “genuine remorse” and withdrew the allegations in a statement read by Sir Edward Garnier, counsel for McAlpine.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Boxer Amir Khan will travel to Pakistan in bid to 'make a difference' in the wake of army school massacre
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Charter Selection: Graphic Designer, Guildford

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Charter Selection: This renowned and well establish...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture