BBC stands by report into axed Savile investigation

A 1981 image of Jimmy Savile
A 1981 image of Jimmy Savile
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THE BBC has stood by the conclusions of a report into the dropped Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile after questions were raised about its validity.

Its governing body had asked former news executive Nick Pollard for an explanation about a recording, which was published online, in which he discusses his failure to include some evidence in his report into the Savile scandal.

In the phone recording he talks about why he did not include a claim by the BBC’s former director of news Helen Boaden that she had informed then-director-general Mark Thompson that a proposed Newsnight report was looking into sex abuse allegations against Savile.

But Mr Pollard has said he stands by the conclusions of the report and was last night backed by the corporation’s trust.

Mr Pollard led a review into the sequence of events surrounding Newsnight’s shelved report into the Leeds-born celebrity’s activities which triggered a crisis leading to the departure of a later director-general, George Entwistle, after only 54 days in the post.

Mr Thompson has said he was not aware of sex abuse allegations and has denied he was informed about them.

In a statement, the BBC Trust said: “Having listened to the recording, the trust decided it contained points that, while not necessarily inconsistent with the conclusions expressed in the report, did require an explanation from Nick Pollard and duly requested this.

“Today four trustees, on behalf of the trust, considered his account. They noted that Mr Pollard continues to stand by the report’s conclusions and were satisfied that the conclusions of the report are robust.”