George Entwistle has resigned as director general of the BBC, the UK’s public service broadcaster.
He stepped down on Saturday over a news report which incorrectly implicated a former senior Tory politician in allegations of child abuse.
In a statement on Saturday Entwistle said:
“In light of the fact that the director general is also editor-in-chief and ultimately responsible for all content, and in light of the unacceptable journalistic standards of the Newsnight film broadcast on Friday the 2nd of November, I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down from the post of director general.”
The Newsnight report had been investigating claims of child abuse at care homes in Wales in the 1980s. It mistakenly implied that former senior Tory Lord McAlpine had been involved. He said the claims were false and defamatory.
The BBC is also under scrutiny after a documentary claimed Jimmy Savile, one its most famous presenters in the 70s and 80s who is now dead, was a prolific sex offender. Police say he could have abused up to 300 victims and an investigation is underway.
George Entwistle was only appointed to the post of director general two months ago. The UK Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, said his decision was regrettable but right.
Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said Entwistle’s departure was a terrible mistake.