BBC editor steps aside over Savile scandal

Reuters , Monday 22 Oct 2012

Another crisis hits British Broadcasting Corporation after Peter Rippon, editor of TV news show Newsnight, announces he has stepped aside

A pedestrian walks past a BBC logo at Broadcasting House in central London October 22, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)

The editor of the BBC's flagship TV news show stepped aside on Monday after the publicly funded broadcaster said his explanation for pulling an expose into alleged sexual abuse by one of its former presenters was "inaccurate or incomplete".

The BBC is facing a growing crisis over claims that its bosses covered up allegations against Jimmy Savile, one of its top presenters during the 1970s and 1980s who died last year.

Peter Rippon, editor of "Newsnight", had said he had shelved a documentary into the Savile claims shortly after his death for editorial reasons and that the investigation had only focused on institutional failings by police and prosecutors.

But that explanation has been publicly disputed by the show's journalists.

"The explanation by the editor in his blog of his decision to drop the programme's investigation is inaccurate or incomplete in some respects," the BBC said in a statement, confirming Rippon was stepping aside from his role.

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