23 Oct 2012

BBC editor steps aside

8:16 am on 23 October 2012

The editor of a BBC TV news programme has stepped aside after the organisation said his explanation for pulling an expose into complaints of sexual abuse by one of its former presenters was "inaccurate or incomplete".

The BBC is facing a growing crisis over claims that its bosses covered up accusations against Sir Jimmy Savile, one of its top presenters from the 1960s who died last year.

Newsnight editor Peter Rippon said he shelved a documentary into the claims against Savile shortly after his death for editorial reasons.

He said the investigation was focused only on institutional failings by police and prosecutors. But that explanation has been publicly disputed by the show's journalists.

Two inquiries are being held by the BBC:

The first is looking into why the Newsnight investigation was shelved and is being led by the former head of Sky News Nick Pollard. It is expected to report in December.

The second will be led by former High Court judge Dame Janet Smith and will examine the culture of the BBC during the years that Savile worked there. The results are expected in spring 2013.