Panorama on Savile: 'No stone left unturned'

Pressure mounts on editor of 'Newsnight' over decision to drop report on abuse claims

Pressure was mounting on Peter Rippon, the editor of Newsnight, last night ahead of a damning Panorama investigation into the Savile scandal that "will leave no stone unturned". Details of the programme, to be aired tomorrow, emerged as the police confirmed that Jimmy Savile may have abused up to 200 victims and that they were now investigating suggestions that an informal network of abusers around him exploited underage girls and boys. The alleged abusers, some named by Savile's victims, will be pursued with a view to charges, police confirmed last night.

The programme is due to air hours before the BBC director-general, George Entwistle, gives evidence to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. It will hear claims that Mr Rippon ditched the controversial Savile Newsnight segment by switching the thrust of the programme from claims of child abuse to whether a police investigation was dropped because Savile was too old. One BBC insider said the controller of BBC1, Danny Cohen, ordered Panorama's editor, Tom Giles, "to leave no stone unturned and save the respectability of the BBC".

In the Panorama programme, Meirion Jones and Liz MacKean, two senior Newsnight journalists who worked on the original dropped segment, will state that Mr Rippon narrowed the investigation – a claim he has always denied.

The programme may also touch on why the BBC's own investigation into the dropping of the segment, headed by the former Sky News executive Nick Pollard, will not look at the editorial reasons behind Mr Rippon's decision. Some claim Mr Pollard's terms of reference do not allow him to fully explore if Mr Rippon sacrificed the programme to allow Savile tributes to air. Yet a failure to ask his reasons would weaken the investigation's credibility, possibly leading to claims of a whitewash. One well-placed newsroom source said: "[The omission] is absolutely ridiculous."

As Mr Entwistle prepares for an hour's grilling by the Culture Committee, it also emerged that Ms MacKean sent him an email saying that "misleading statements" from the BBC press office were "fuelling damaging claims of a cover-up".

The committee will want to clarify why Mr Entwistle did not ask about the nature of the Savile allegations – and answer criticism that he should have, as that was his job.

Other BBC journalists – including head of news Helen Boaden, her deputy Steve Mitchell and former director-general Mark Thompson, could also be forced to give evidence to the committee, it has emerged.

Scotland Yard's Yewtree investigation into Savile is following more than 400 lines of inquiry.

News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
Jonathan de Guzman of the Netherlands and Willian of Brazil compete for the ball
world cup 2014LIVE BLOG: Hosts Brazil take on the Netherlands in third-place play-off
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

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?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
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