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James Harding named as BBC's new director of news

James Harding pictured in 2011. Credit: PA

Former Times editor James Harding has been appointed head of BBC News, replacing Helen Boaden who was in charge when the Jimmy Savile scandal erupted.

The journalist, who edited the paper for five years before leaving last year, starts in the £340,000-a-year role in August.

"James has a very impressive track record as a journalist, editor and leader," BBC director-general Tony Hall said.

"High quality journalism is at the heart of our organisation. I believe James will give News a renewed sense of purpose as it moves on from what has been an undeniably difficult chapter."

When Harding stepped down from his position at The Times in December 2012, he indicated the decision had been forced on him by publishers News International in his resignation speech.