Acting head of news cautions staff on publicising BBC’s “problems” on Twitter and Facebook

Fran Unsworth, who took over Helen Boaden to become the acting head of news, has warned staff over using social media to discuss the corporations “problems” as she tries to do damage control following the Newsnight crisis.

In an internal email sent to staff on Tuesday she said: "We now need to restore some equilibrium to the organisation.

"It would be helpful if some of our problems were not played out publicly across social media and in the pages of the national press. We need a collective and collegiate sense of all pulling together to restore trust in the BBC's news output."

A number of Twitter users are facing legalities following tweets wrongly naming Lord McAlpine after the Newsnight report was broadcast. Most recently Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism which worked on the film, was forced to leave his job after his tweet saying that a Tory politician would be named on Newsnight as a paedophile.

Unsworth went on to try and reassure staff and thank them for support, saying: "This is a tough time for everyone in the organisation – in particular for those of us in BBC News. And, of course, for some individuals most of all. Both Helen and Steve are outstanding leaders of BBC News whose experience and ability will be much missed in the coming weeks. Many of you have today shown a great deal of support for them and they wanted me to let you know how grateful they are for that."

Unsworth went on to confirm that Adrian Van Klaveren, who was one of the senior editorial executives overseeing the Newsnight report on an MP involved in the false Newsnight report on child abuse at a North Wales carehome, had returned to Salford as controller of BBC Radio 5 Live.

Unsworth also stressed in the memo that the new BBC News senior line-up – which has thus far seen three executives stepping aside from their jobs until the inquiries are concluded – was a temporary one.

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