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BBC inquiry into Jimmy Savile scandal ‘to stay secret’

Published: November 30, 2012
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Source: Telegraph

Much of the evidence compiled by a BBC inquiry into the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal could be kept secret from licence-fee payers even though they have already paid several hundred thousand pounds for it.

Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, faced questions from MPs on the Savile scandal yesterday.

Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, faced questions from MPs on the Savile scandal yesterday.

Thousands of pages of emails, interview transcripts and submissions obtained for the Pollard inquiry will not be made public, according to The Times, despite the BBC promising to be transparent over its findings.

The inquiry, which is being led by former head of Sky News Nick Pollard, has already cost £200,000 of licence-fee payers money.

It is thought Mr Pollard will attach an appendix to his report but it will only contain pieces of evidence he considers crucial to his overall findings.

Although around 20 interviews have been conducted with witnesses, including former directors-general Mark Thompson and George Entwistle, head of BBC News Helen Boaden and her deputy, Steve Mitchell, these will not be included in the report. No more than 10 lever-arch files of documents will be included, according to a source close to the inquiry.

The investigation will also be much more limited than previously thought. The BBC will not focus in detail on the 10-month period after the Newsnight investigation was axed, when a number of senior executives failed to intervene despite being warned the corporation’s reputation could be at risk.

It is believed the focus of Mr Pollard’s inquiries will instead be the decision by Peter Rippon, editor of Newsnight, to cancel the investigation and on a series of apparently false statements he made in a blog as he tried to justify his decision.

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