BBC Editor Steps Aside in Abuse Scandal

LONDON — In a dramatic widening of a scandal scarring its reputation for probity and integrity, the British Broadcasting Corporation announced on Monday that the editor of a flagship news show was “stepped abiding” after giving an “inaccurate or incomplete” account of his reasons for abandoning an investigation into a high-profile television personality accused of sexual abuse possibly involving at least 200 teenage girls.

The editor, Peter Rippon, head of the often hard-hitting “Newsnight” program, was the first and most senior BBC news executive to face public censure in the scandal. The BBC, Britain’s public broadcaster which is financed by compulsory license fees from viewers, said the move involving Mr. Rippon would remain in place while an inquiry is held into the affair.The announcement came only hours before a BBC investigative program, Panorama, planned to broadcast its own inquiry into his decision to drop an investigation into the behavior of Sir Jimmy Savile, a prominent disc jockey and showman known also for his philanthropy who died last year aged 84.

With his hallmark long cigars and collar-length peroxide blonde hair, Mr. Savile was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and was regarded by some as a national treasure until the scandal broke this month with accusations that he abused teenage girls in hospitals, children’s homes and on BBC premises. The police said Friday that more than 200 “potential victims” had come forward, more than triple the number of suspected cases just days earlier.

In a statement on Monday, the BB...

 

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