It has just been announced that Helen Boaden the BBC's director of news and her deputy Steve Mitchell have 'stepped aside'. The BBC said it was not commenting yet, but there will be an announcement within hours. This follows the shock departure on Saturday of the beleaguered BBC Director-General George Entwistle after allowing Newsnight to implicate Tory peer Lord McAlpine in a child abuse scandal as part of a reopened enquiry into a high profile paedophile ring at a number of children's homes in Wales in the 1970s.
Entwistle, Boaden and Mitchell were involved with investigating, then deciding to pull, a planned programme probe into the late BBC star Jimmy Savile, who is accused of being a serial child molester during his long tenure with the public broadcaster. ITV then went on to broadcast their own expose of the presenter, which featured victims describing their abuse at his hands. And since then, police are following up nearly 400 lines of enquiry into Savile's abuse at the BBC and associations with his charity work.
The Newsnight report accused Lord McAlpine of being involved in a sex abuse scandal by victim Steve Messham as part of a wider paedophile ring investigation into systematic attacks at children's homes in Wales in the 70s. Mr Messham was shown a photo from the 1990s that led to his accusation. However, Mr Messham found out on Friday that it was mistaken identity. Other victims have also come forward to describe their abuse at the children's homes saying that as yet unamed high profile politicans, and other individuals, were part of the paedophile ring. So it is hoped that these BBC departures and public apologies don't railroad the on going investigation into abuse at the childrens home and the Savile investigation.
This situation is on going.
Written and presented by Ann Salter.