1. ITV Report

MPs quiz BBC boss over handling of Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal

BBC boss George Entwistle is being quizzed about the corporation's handling of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal by a committee of MPs.

The Director-General faces the Culture, Media and Sport select committee a day after Newsnight editor Peter Rippon stepped aside after the BBC said his explanation of why the show dropped its investigation into Savile was "inaccurate or incomplete".

Director General of the BBC George Entwistle Credit: Press Association

The committee is expected to quiz Mr Entwistle, who took up his post last month, about the two reviews into the case set up by the BBC, the corporations vetting procedures at the time it employed the late DJ and its existing policies on sexual harassment.

Mr Rippon has handed over control of the flagship current affairs show while the inquiry headed by Nick Pollard, the former head of Sky News, into how the BBC handled the scandal is carried out.

Jimmy Savile Credit: Press Association

These are some of the key questions BBC Director-General George Entwistle may face today from the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee:

  • Why did Mr Entwistle fail to make himself fully aware of the nature of the Newsnight investigation before deciding not to broadcast it?
  • Why did he tell staff it was an investigation into Surrey Police's inquiry into Savile, rather than an investigation into allegations that Savile was a paedophile?
  • Why did Mr Entwistle persist with broadcasting two Christmas programmes in tribute to Savile?
  • Why were allegations of abuse by Savile that were uncovered by Newsnight journalists not then passed on to police?
  • If the Newsnight programme was pulled because there was insufficient evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service to bring any charges, why were reporters not given more time to make their investigations?
  • Did the BBC act on any of the information uncovered by the Newsnight reporters and conduct any internal inquiries into the allegations about Savile? If not, why not?
Newsnight has always maintained its report against Savile was pulled for editorial reasons Credit: Press Association