All the key dates in the Savile scandal
25 November 2011
Peter Rippon congratulates Newsnight journalists who confirm police had investigated allegations of child sex abuse by Jimmy Savile in 2007. “Excellent, we can then pull together the TX plan,” he emails.
Journalists prepare script with interviews and statements.
Rippon emails producer Meirion Jones that he is having second thoughts, insisting that it needs to establish whether “the CPS did drop the case for the reasons the women say”. His email contains the infamous phrase “just the women”.
Rippon continues to pour cold water on the story, telling Jones in an email: “I think we should stop working on the other elements… because we don’t really have a strong enough story without it. I’ll pull editing now”.
BBC director of news Helen Boaden has a “10-second” exchange with George Entwistle, then director of Vision, at the Women in Film and Television Awards. She tells him about the Newsnight investigation and warns him of the potential impact on planned tributes to Savile.
Jones emails Rippon to warn BBC would be accused of cover-up if story dropped, and it could cause “substantial damage to BBC reputation”.
Rippon squashes investigation for good after CPS reveals it did not prosecute Savile because of a lack of evidence.
28 September 2012
News organisations run Savile allegations story from ITV doc preview.
Rippon writes BBC blog with inaccurate assertions, including that all women interviewed had already talked to police.
ITV screens its Savile doc.
Entwistle reveals he was aware of the Newsnight investigation but not aware of the details.
Culture secretary Maria Miller tells Commons BBC had “inappropriately” pulled investigation.
British police launch criminal investigation into Savile.
BBC corrects Rippon’s blog and reveals he will step aside during internal review.
Entwistle tells select committee decision not to proceed with the investigation was taken by Rippon, whose blog was “a matter of regret and embarrassment”.