Newsnight editor Peter Rippon stands down at BBC ahead of Panorama investigation into axing of Jimmy Savile report

The BBC has confirmed that Newsnight editor Peter Rippon has stepped down ahead of the broadcast of a Panorama investigation into why the corporation chose not to broadcast its investigation into the conduct of Jimmy Savile.

Following a story splashed by the Daily Mail this morning,the BBC has confirmed Rippon's decision amid the publication of emails from senior executives and Rippon discussing whether or not the Newsnight investigation should run.

Rippon had previously written a blog denying that he had been pressured into canceling the broadcast ahead of tributes being paid to the late DJ and presenter.

"Did we withhold evidence from the police? No," stated Rippon in his blog. "We are confident that all the women we spoke to had contacted the police independently already. We also had no new evidence against any other person that would have helped the police.

"Did my bosses order me to do anything? No. I did discuss it with my bosses in News in the same way I do any contentious story we are working on. I was told in the strongest terms that I must be guided by editorial considerations only and that I must not let any wider considerations about the BBC affect my judgement," he added.

A statement from the BBC explained that it had issued a correction to Rippon's blog; "On the basis of material now available, it is apparent from information supplied by the Newsnight editor and programme team, that the explanation by the editor in his blog of his decision to drop the programme’s investigation is inaccurate or incomplete in some respects.

"The BBC regrets these errors and will work with the Pollard Review to assemble all relevant evidence to enable the review to determine the full facts.

"In addition, the BBC has announced that Peter Rippon is stepping aside with immediate effect from his post while the review by Nick Pollard, the former head of Sky News, into the management of Newsnight’s investigation, is carried out."

It has also been reported that recently appointed director general George Entwistle has also been implicated in the decision not to run the programme, despite having previously denied his involvement.

Entwistle will appear before MPs tomorrow to answer questions about Savile’s conduct and whether there was a cover up by the BBC.

One of two investigations into the potential cover up by the BBC is currently underway with one looking at why the Newsnight investigation was shelved, which is expected to report back in December.

Search The Drum Jobs

Explore the best jobs in Marketing and Media industries
View all open jobs