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.

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Web / Digital Analyst - Google Analytics, Omniture

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Sales Perfomance Manager. Marylebone, London

£45-£57k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Social Media Director (Global) - London Bridge/Southwark

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Social Media Director (Gl...

Personal and Legal Assistant – Media and Entertainment

£28,000 - £31,000: Sauce Recruitment: A Global media business based in West Lo...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial