Head of BBC Flagship News Show Steps Aside Amid Probe Into Dropped Report on Abuse Scandal

BBC Logo Black White - H 2011

BBC Logo Black White - H 2011

"Newsnight" editor Peter Rippon leaves his post temporarily as the BBC calls into question one of his blog posts and probes its handling of allegations against late former "Top of the Pops" host Jimmy Savile.

LONDON - The sexual abuse allegations against late former BBC host Jimmy Savile continue to make waves at the British public broadcaster.

The BBC said Monday that Peter Rippon, editor of its flagship news show Newsnight, is temporarily stepping aside amid an internal probe into a decision by the show to drop a planned report on the accusations against the former host of Top of the Pops.

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," the broadcaster said.

The BBC also issued some corrections to a Rippon blog post about the issue. "On the basis of material now available, it is apparent from information supplied by the Newsnight editor and program team, that the explanation by the editor in his blog of his decision to drop the program’s investigation is inaccurate or incomplete in some respects," it said.

For example, his blog post had said that Newsnight had no evidence against the BBC. "No allegation was made to the program that BBC staff were aware of Mr. Savile's alleged activities, but there were some allegations of abusive conduct on BBC premises," one of the corrections said.

"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," the public broadcaster conclude.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai