Top BBC news execs ‘step aside’
Helen Boaden, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, and her deputy, Stephen Mitchell, have handed over their responsibilities to others for the time being “to address the lack of clarity around the editorial chain of command,” the corporation said.
“Consideration is now being given to the extent to which individuals should be asked to account further for their actions and if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken,” the statement said.
The BBC, meanwhile, faced criticism for agreeing to a 450,000 pounds ($715,000) payoff — a year’s salary — for George Entwistle, who resigned as director-general on Saturday after a BBC news program bungled reports that powerful Britons sexually abused children.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said Monday the payoff for Entwistle, who led the BBC for just 54 days, was “hard to justify.”
“Clearly, it is hard to justify a sizeable payoff of that sort,” Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman Steve Field told reporters, but added it was for the BBC to justify the decision.
However, the prime minister gave his support to Chris Patten, the embattled chairman of the BBC Trust, the corporation’s governing body. “The important thing is for Chris Patten to lead the BBC out of its present difficulties,”Field told reporters. The multi-faceted crisis stems from allegations that the late Jimmy Savile, a BBC entertainment
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