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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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Grayling warns Twitter users also face libel laws

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has warned that Twitter users who libel individuals on the social networking site face the same laws as newspaper editors.

Mr Grayling told MPs, "It is utterly, utterly wrong that anybody should have their name blackened, inappropriately and falsely, on any form of social media".

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling addressing the House of Commons Credit: ITV News

Speaking after a report on BBC's Newsnight led to Lord McAlpine wrongly being branded a child abuser, the Justice Secretary said he is "as concerned as anybody else about what has taken place over the last two weeks".

"The laws of libel apply equally to what you publish on your Facebook page or Twitter page as they do in a printed form," Mr Grayling said. "Those who are damaged in that way have full legal redress to try and get proper justice".

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