Peter Rippon Newsnight silence

Peter Rippon, who stepped aside from his role as Newsnight editor after the programme decided not to run a report on Jimmy Savile's alleged sexual abuse, refused to comment on whether the BBC programme could survive.

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Hugh Grant on the BBC in crisis

Discussing the recent developments at the BBC, actor Hugh Grant has told ITV1's The Agenda that the reaction of the corporation - to have people leaving their positions - is in stark contrast to that of the print media, when similar errors have been made.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV1 at 10:35pm.

Boris: 'I see no reason why Chris Patten should go'

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has told ITV1's The Agenda that Lord Patten should stay as BBC Chairman.

"It's very sad to see the BBC go through turmoil.

I see no particular reason why Chris Patten should go. I think you need him there to steady the ship.

But it's perfectly obvious that they had an absolutely catastrophic breakdown of journalistic standards.

First of all they ignored the Savile scoop which they were sitting on and it seems like they had quite a lot of evidence and then they had this crazy switching the steering wheel in the other direction and going for some 'top Tory paedo' without any real evidence.

It was absolutely disastrous and I'd like to see a wholesale massacre of everybody involved professionally speaking.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV1 at 10:35pm.


Head of BBC NI not considering his position after inquiry

Key findings of the MacQuarrie report: Part three

  • During the editorial decision-making process, some of the basic journalistic checks were not completed. Specifically, identification was not confirmed by photograph with the first victim. The second victim could not be traced in order to provide up to date corroboration.
  • Legal advice was sought. No right of reply was offered to the unnamed individual at the centre of the allegation.
  • There was a different understanding by the key parties about where the responsibility lay for the final editorial sign off for the story on the day.

Key findings of the MacQuarrie report: Part two

  • It was not clear whether this story was regarded as Savile-related or not, or when that decision was made and communicated: a clear decision on this does not appear to have been taken until lunchtime on Friday 2 November.
  • As a consequence there was ambiguity around who was taking the ultimate editorial responsibility for the Newsnight report, particularly in the days leading up to the day of transmission.


Key findings of the MacQuarrie report

  • This was a highly complex story that went from commission to transmission within a short period (Sunday, 28 October – Friday, 2 November)
  • The Newsnight editorial management structure had been seriously weakened since the Editor stood aside and one of the Deputy Editors left the organisation. The editorial leadership of the team was under very considerable pressure.

BBC's Executive Board to take action following report

In a statement, the BBC's Executive Board has stated it will be taking a number of actions, following the findings of the MacQuarrie report. They are:

  • To address the lack of clarity around the senior editorial chain of command, a decision has been taken to re-establish a single management to deal with all output, Savile related or otherwise, as announced earlier today.
  • To address the pressure on the Newsnight team, Karen O’Connor has agreed to take on the role of Acting Editor of Newsnight.
  • We will now embark on a disciplinary process where appropriate. Clearly we will not discuss the details of these individual cases.
  • We will as a matter of urgency fill the current vacancy for a Non-Executive Director of the BBC with a senior external figure with a proven track record of overseeing journalism.

MacQuarrie report finds 'unacceptable failings'

BBC Scotland Director, Ken MacQuarrie, was asked to investigate the circumstances and editorial failings around an edition of BBC Newsnight, which made false sex abuse claims against a Conservative peer. A summary of the report findings have been released.

Responding to the findings, the BBC Executive Board said:

The failings identified by Mr MacQuarrie are unacceptable, and the Executive Board is taking clear and decisive action, as set out below, to restore public trust in the BBC’s journalism. The Executive Board thanks Mr MacQuarrie for undertaking his report quickly.

Newsnight abuse report inquiry: 'Basic checks not done'

The BBC's political correspondent Ross Hawkins has been tweeting the findings of the MacQuarrie report, set up to investigate the decision to broadcast a Newsnight programme that made false sex abuse claims against a Conservative peer:

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