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The Director General of the BBC – “the right and honourable course of action”

November 10th 2012

North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has this (Saturday) evening described as “the only right and honourable decision” following the resignation of the Corporation`s Director General, George Entwistle.
The former BBC Producer and Director who, in the wake of the Savile revelations, had indicated his belief the both the DG and the Chairman of the Trust would have to consider their positions, said this evening:
“Events have conspired against George Entwistle. The withdrawal of the Newsnight investigation into matters relating to Savile was clearly of very great concern but the broadcasting of another Newsnight  “expose”, ill-researched and causing great damage, was the final straw.  That said, and while  it is plainly the case that the Editor-in-Chief cannot be aware of every piece of journalism that takes place under the roof of Broadcasting House,  the buck has to stop with the operational chief, the man at the top.  There do, though, remain very many questions that still need to be asked and others more directly responsible for some of the errors for which George Entwistle has carried the can will also have to be held to account.
I remain of the view that the seeds of the Savile decision were sown under the watch of the previous Director General, Mark Thompson, and I would hope and expect that Mr. Thompson will now also be called before the Select Committee to answer for his part in this sorry chapter in the history of the BBC.
“Auntie” has shown again this evening, through her coverage of the Festival of Remembrance from the Albert Hall, that she is still capable of providing a benchmark for professional broadcasting worldwide but it is clear that a root-and-branch reappraisal of the whole BBC empire and remit is going to have to be undertaken in order that the corporation`s efforts are not diluted through too many outlets and  to restore the confidence in the core news and current affairs  journalism and coverage that has, in recent weeks, suffered a series of body blows.”

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