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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Paxman: Entwistle's resignation 'a great shame'

BBC Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Journalist and BBC Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman has issued a statement tonight commenting on George Entwistle's resignation, he said: "George Entwistle's departure is a great shame. He has been brought low by cowards and incompetents.

"The real problem here is the BBC's decision, in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry, to play safe by appointing biddable people. They then compounded the problem by enforcing a series of cuts on programme budgets, while bloating the management. That is how you arrive at the current mess on Newsnight."

Paxman added: "I very much doubt the problem is unique to that programme. I had hoped that George might stay to sort this out. It is a great pity that a talented man has been sacrificed, while time-servers prosper.

"I shall not be issuing any further statements or doing any interviews."

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