The Daily Telegraph has learnt that a series of emails sent by the BBC reporter Liz MacKean to an unnamed friend were blocked from featuring in a Panorama investigation into the BBC’s treatment of the scandal, which was broadcast last night ...
One of the emails sent by Ms MacKean that did feature on Panorama made clear that Peter Rippon, the Newsnight editor, felt his superiors were not happy with his programme’s investigation of Savile.
That email, dated Nov 30, was sent on the same day Mr Rippon was starting to doubt whether the investigation should be broadcast. It said: “PR [Peter Rippon] says if the bosses aren’t happy ... [he] can’t go to the wall on this one.”
The Daily Telegraph has learnt that Ms MacKean sent three other emails expressing further concerns about management interference to the same person. All were censored by Panorama’s lawyers.
The lawyers are understood to have blocked publication of the emails because of concerns about the potential for legal action over the content of the messages. Ms MacKean declined to comment.So were BBC lawyers afraid that BBC executives would sue the BBC? That makes the Today programme discussing Panorama's investigation of Newsnight look almost straightforward.
Later. The Daily Mail has the story too:
It also emerged last night that the BBC ‘censored’ a series of emails that indicated senior executives were involved in the decision to axe a Newsnight investigation into Savile.
The emails were due to be included in last night’s Panorama programme but were pulled at the insistence of corporation lawyers.