MPs to quiz BBC boss over Savile

The BBC has altered an explanation as to why a Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile abuse claims was spiked

George Entwistle was director of vision when Newsnight dropped its investigation into Jimmy Savile

BBC Director-General George Entwistle leaves his home in south west London

BBC Director-General George Entwistle gives evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee

First published in National News © by

BBC boss George Entwistle is to be quizzed about the Corporation's handling of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal by a committee of MPs.

The Director-General faces the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee a day after Newsnight editor Peter Rippon stepped aside after the BBC said his explanation of why the show dropped its investigation into Savile was "inaccurate or incomplete".

The committee is expected to quiz Mr Entwistle, who took up his post last month, about the two reviews into the case set up by the BBC, the Corporation's vetting procedures at the time it employed the late DJ and its existing policies on sexual harassment.

Mr Rippon has handed over control of the flagship current affairs show while the inquiry headed by Nick Pollard, the former head of Sky News, into how the BBC handled the scandal is carried out.

Earlier this month, he defended his decision to axe the report in a BBC blog but on Monday the Corporation issued a correction. He originally said there was no evidence staff at the Duncroft approved school could have known about allegations Savile abused children, but the BBC said: "In fact some allegations were made (mostly in general terms) that some of the Duncroft staff knew or may have known about the abuse."

Mr Rippon also said the women who spoke to Newsnight journalists had already spoken to police, but the BBC now says that is untrue and Newsnight actually uncovered new evidence about Savile's alleged crimes. The corrected blogpost also said that while no allegations were made, BBC staff "were aware" of Savile's behaviour, and Newsnight did hear allegations of "abusive conduct on BBC premises".

A BBC spokesman said: "On the basis of material now available, it is apparent from information supplied by the Newsnight editor and programme team that the explanation by the editor in his blog of his decision to drop the programme's investigation is inaccurate or incomplete in some respects."

It comes after excerpts from Monday night's edition of Panorama highlighted the different explanations given by BBC bosses about the nature of the documentary and why it was dropped.

In the aftermath, Mr Entwistle wrote to all staff saying the Newsnight investigation was into "Surrey Police's inquiry into Jimmy Savile towards the end of 2011".

Mr Entwistle will also face questions about a reported conversation he had with BBC director of news Helen Boaden, who told him - in his then role as director of vision - about the Newsnight investigation and its possible impact on planned tributes to Savile during an awards lunch on December 2. She told him if the Newsnight investigation went ahead, he might have to change the Christmas schedules.

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