BBC Chief Quits in Child Sex Abuse Row
George Entwistle admits show should never have aired
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 10, 2012 3:57 PM CST
BBC Director General George Entwistle leaves Portcullis House in London after giving evidence to the Parliament Select Committee Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012.    (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

(Newser) – George Entwistle, the director general of the BBC, resigned today over a TV program the network had aired that wrongly implicated a British politician in a child sex-abuse scandal. In a brief statement outside BBC headquarters, Entwistle said he decided to do the "honorable thing" and step down after just eight weeks in the job. "When appointed to the role .. I was confident the trustees had chosen the best candidate for the post, and the right person to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead. However the wholly exceptional events of the past few weeks have led me to conclude that the BBC should appoint a new leader," he said.

The BBC didn't name the alleged abuser, but online rumors focused on Alistair McAlpine, a Conservative Party member of the House of Lords. Earlier today, Entwistle had said the BBC should not have aired the piece and admitted it further damaged trust in a broadcaster already reeling from the fallout over its decision not to air similar allegations against one of its late star hosts. Entwistle's remarks and resignation came a day after the BBC apologized for its Nov. 2 "Newsnight" TV show on alleged sex abuse in Wales in the 1970s and 1980s. During the program, victim Steve Messham claimed he had been abused by a senior Conservative Party figure. Entwistle assumed the mantle as head of the BBC just two months ago.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
namvet
Nov 11, 2012 5:39 AM CST
While child sex abuse is present in all corners of the world, in Britain it takes on an almost Dickensian hue. Always seems to be a "them vs. us" attitude. The "them" being the upper crust who feel they can do no wrong, and the "us" who make up the "working" class.
guvner
Nov 10, 2012 8:32 PM CST
Another reason to have quit is for the BBC's over the top bias and antiSemitism.
DonF
Nov 10, 2012 7:08 PM CST
When it comes to alleged child abuse you're damned if you do & damned if you don't!