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Report: Shapps complains to BBC over Savile 'gag' attempt

The BBC warned Conservative Party chairman, Grant Shapps, against raising damaging allegations over the Jimmy Savile scandal during his recent appearance on Question Time, according to the Daily Mail.

An email leaked to the newspaper, reportedly insisted claims Newsnight dropped an investigation into the affair because of internal pressure were "malicious".

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps

The BBC's head of public affairs, Julia Ockenden, is quoted as having said in the email: "No pressure was applied to drop this investigation. None. To suggest otherwise is to risk impugning the professional reputation and integrity of a number of journalists."

Yesterday, Mr Shapps made a formal complaint to BBC Trust chairman, Lord Patten, the newspaper said.

He is said to have accused the corporation of "trying to provide guidance for an elected representative appearing on a BBC opinion show – guidance which in the event has turned out to be wholly inaccurate"

Thompson: NY Times questions over CEO role 'correct'

The BBC's former director-general, Mark Thompson, faces questions over whether he is the right person to take charge of the New York Times newspaper in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Thompson, who is due to become the paper's chief executive on November 12, said, it is "totally reasonable for institutions like the New York Times and the BBC to be free to examine everything, including subjects of corporate interest in the institution itself".

The BBC's former director-general, Mark Thompson Credit: PA

He also said that it was the BBC's head of news, Helen Boaden, who told him there was nothing about Newsnight's investigation into Savile that should concern him.


'Frank exchange of views' between BBC producer and manager

ITV News understands there was a verbal confrontation between Merion Jones - the Newsnight producer whose story into Jimmy Savile was dropped - and David Jordan, the head of editorial policy.

Mr Jordan was sitting next to the Director General yesterday in front of the Culture Select Committee.

There was no physical confrontation, but as a BBC spokesman told ITV News a few minutes ago, there was a brief discussion about a "single isolated incident".

Then there was a "full and frank exchange of views - nothing more".

It is key to point out here this was not about what Mr Jones said to Panorama about his displeasure in the investigation being dropped.

ITV News' Richard Pallot said the fact that there was a confrontation in full view of many BBC employees, gives you an indication of the tense atmosphere within.

Producer of Jimmy Savile investigation involved in heated exchange with senior BBC manager

David Jordan gives evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on the BBC's handling of the Jimmy Savile allegations Credit: PA Wire

The producer who worked on the BBC Newsnight programme on Jimmy Savile that was later scrapped was involved in aheated exchange with a senior manager at the BBC, ITV News understands.

David Jordan, the head of editorial policy at the BBC, sought out producer Meirion Jones to have the conversation which took place in a corridor.

Why Nick Robinson can 'still smile during the BBC crisis'

Political editor Nick Robinson, in his contribution to the Spectator, said:

The reason I can still smile during this crisis in the corporation is that nothing I have seen suggests that Auntie is guilty of either of the charges that really matter: knowingly covering up sexual abuse or halting a journalistic inquiry to put out a tribute programme to a cheesy and sleazy celebrity. That is, as prime ministers in trouble like to say, the big picture.

John Simpson warns against 'panic reaction' at the BBC

John Simpson, BBC world affairs editor, has written in tomorrow's Spectator. Credit: PA Wire

BBC world affairs editor John Simpson said the BBC made "a fearful mistake" in not broadcasting the Newsnight investigation, but warned against a "panic reaction".

Writing in tomorrow's Spectator, he said: "Eight years ago, in a panic reaction to the Hutton inquiry's findings, Greg Dyke was forced to resign as director-general.

"It was a huge mistake. I speak for a lot of people within the BBC, and probably outside it too, who feel this mustn't happen again.

"We should find out what really happened in an atmosphere of calm and reflection, not thrash around looking for a scapegoat to punish for Savile's crimes.

"And above all, the BBC's top figures mustn't be stampeded into hasty resignation."


MP calls for independent judge-led inquiry into Savile case

Rules on children and young people working in the entertainment and media industry must be overhauled, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said.

There is a "clear need" to ensure that the regulations are fit for purpose, he warned.

In a speech, Mr Twigg said that Labour was willing to work with other political parties to develop measures to protect youngsters who are working in these areas.

And he called for an independent judge-led inquiry into the Jimmy Savile case.

I want to talk today about child safeguarding, something which has been at the forefront of our minds, given the horrific revelations about Jimmy Savile.

The terrible truth is that the claims that something like this couldn't happen today don't stand up to scrutiny.

Recent child abuse cases, like in Rochdale, show how power relationships are still exploited, and young people, particularly girls, are too often ignored when they come forward.

It's why an independent, judge-led inquiry into the Savile case is essential, not just for the victims, but to ensure mistakes are not repeated.

Newsnight producer is happy Savile story 'is out there'

Newsnight producer Meirion Jones, who worked on the programme's investigation into Jimmy Savile abuse allegations before it was dropped, has said he is "happy the story is out there" after the Panorama documentary.

Mr Jones had warned the programme's editor Peter Rippon that axing the investigation would put the BBC at risk of being accused of a cover-up.

When asked by reporters his thoughts about Mr Rippon's reasons for his decision, Mr Jones declined to comment.

Veteran BBC radio presenter asks for views on Savile crisis

John Humphrys, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, has invited people to express their views on the corporation's handling of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The question is posed on the YouGov website:

The growing scandal about Jimmy Savile has done more than destroy his own reputation. Institutions with which he was involved are also being put through the mill as questions are asked about what they knew of his activities and why he was able to get away with them throughout his life.

None is more in the firing line than the BBC where he worked for over forty years.

The revelations have plunged the corporation into what one of its most senior journalists has called its worst crisis in fifty years.

How well is it handling this crisis?

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