Jimmy Savile scandal: George Entwistle to give evidence at Newsnight inquiry

November 24, 2012 Comments Off on Jimmy Savile scandal: George Entwistle to give evidence at Newsnight inquiry

Jimmy Savile scandal: George Entwistle to give evidence at Newsnight inquiry

Ex-director general to appear before Nick Pollard inquiry into handling of programme’s aborted investigation of presenter

Dan Sabbagh guardian.co.uk, Thursday 22 November 2012

George Entwistle, the former BBC director general, is expected to give evidence on Monday before Nick Pollard’s inquiry into the handling of Newsnight’s aborted investigation into sexual abuse by the late Jimmy Savile, in a demanding hearing that will see him grilled on what he knew about it by a silk.

The much criticised executive spent the last days of his short-lived director generalship preparing intensively for his appearance, which is expected to last several hours, and comes as the Pollard inquiry moves into its third week of evidence, having seen most of the senior BBC executives touched by the Savile film that never aired.

It is likely to be an exacting experience for a man who clearly struggled when he had to give evidence before MPs on on the culture media and sport select committee last month, and who performed poorly when interviewed by John Humphrys on the Today programme on the morning of what turned out to be the day he resigned….

However, he is likely to come under greater pressure over his handling of the Newsnight affair in the couple of months after the Savile allegations were first aired by ITV, and in particular will be questioned on why he relied for so long on the account of events provided by Newsnight’s editor Peter Rippon, an account that had to be corrected at least three times. For instance, Rippon wrongly said that the police were aware of all Newsnight’s unbroadcast material, when in fact one of the abuse victims filmed by the programme had never gone to the police….
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/22/jimmy-savile-scandal-george-entwistle-evidence

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