Savile inquiries to be led by judge and a journalist

 

Former High Court judge Dame Janet Smith and ex-Sky News executive Nick Pollard are to lead the BBC's independent reviews stemming from the Jimmy Savile sex abuse allegations.

The corporation last week announced separate inquiries and now the two heads have been appointed by the BBC Executive and agreed by the BBC Trust. Dame Janet Smith DBE will lead the examination of the "culture and practices of the BBC" during the years Savile worked there.

Mr Pollard, a former head of Sky News, will look into whether there were any "failings" in the way a Newsnight report into claims against Savile was handled. The news report was dropped late last year and there have been repeated suggestions the decision was made because the BBC was planning to do more favourable programmes, claims which the BBC has denied. BBC Director-General George Entwistle said last week that he was launching the Newsnight inquiry to shake off the "clouds of suspicion". The Pollard review, to begin soon, will also look into the handling of material that may have been of interest to the police or other authorities. He will be given legal support independent of BBC management.

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