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Trustees for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism 'appalled' by false accusations made within Newsnight's child sex abuse report

The trustees of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has attempted to distance themselves following its involvement in the Newsnight programme that made false allegations against Lord McAlpine, claiming that its trustees are ‘appalled’ at it breach of standards.

Last week, chief reporter for the Bureau, Angus Stickler presenter the report about child abuse in North Wales that took place in the 1980’s, which included one victim who has now admitted to having mistakenly identified Lord McAlpine as a perpetrator.

McAlpine’s lawyers have vowed to take action as a result of the allegations.

It is understood that as a result of the report, Stickler’s position at the Bureau is now under threat, with the BBC’s director general George Entwistle standing down on Saturday night following the broadcast of the report.

James Lee, Chairman of the Bureau, commented on behalf of the Trustees: “The Bureau of Investigative Journalism was established to apply the highest standards of investigative and fact-based journalism in the public interest. During its first three years, the Bureau has won a number of major awards for its journalism and built a reputation for quality and the avoidance of sensationalism. The governing Trust of The Bureau does not endorse any material or output that fails to meet these standards.

“The Bureau was named as a contributor to the broadcast of a BBC Newsnight programme on November 2 on child abuse in North Wales. The Trustees are appalled at what appears to be a breach of its standards. To the extent that the principles of The Bureau have been ignored by an involvement in this story, remedial action will be taken against those responsible. The Trustees must ensure that due process is applied and are establishing the key facts.”

A report into the broadcasting of the Newsnight report is expected to reach acting-director general Tim Davie today.

Meanwhile, politicians are up in arms over the £450,000 pay-off to Entwistle, after only two months as director general at the BBC.

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