15:50 12 November 2012
The Director of news at the BBC Helen Boaden, and her deputy Stephen Mitchell, have “stepped aside” Mondaymorning as internal investigations take place.
The news comes after a Newsnight inquiry at the start of November led to a conservative party member being linked with alleged sex claims. Allegations have been made relating to child abuse in North Wales in the 1980s.
The BBC has said in a report that Ms. Boaden and Mr. Mitchell are not linked to an investigation concerning Lord McAlpine. But the pair are thought to have been in their positions when Newsnight investigated the shelved Jimmy Savile case which relates to sex abuse claims.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “Helen Boaden has decided that she is not in a position to undertake this responsibility until the Pollard review (into the shelved Newsnight probe over Savile) has concluded.”
The stepping aside of the two figures comes after George Entwistle, the Director General at the BBC, left the company on Saturday after nearly two months in his position. Based on reports, this was due to Newsnight’s investigation resulting in Lord McAlpine, the Tory treasurer, being accused of child abuse.
Tim Davie will take Mr. Entwistle’s place to act as Director General. It seems that some individuals have been pushing for the Chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, to leave. It is understood that this is due to a supposed severance package having been agreed where Mr. Entwistle received a staggering £450,000. This revelation came about this weekend.
Recently Newsnight’s Editor Peter Rippon “stepped aside” over the shelved case on Jimmy Savile.
Late DJ Savile is linked to child abuse allegations that took place over a period of four decades. Other individuals have been probed in regards to sex claims, including Gary Glitter and Freddie Starr.
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