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Page last updated at 08:57 GMT, Saturday, 13 October 2012 09:57 UK

BBC 'acted sensibly' over Savile claims

A former chairman of the BBC's board of governors has said that he believes it was "absolutely impossible" that a Newsnight film on alleged child abuse by Sir Jimmy Savile was pulled because of intervention "from on high".

Sir Christopher Bland told Today presenter Justin Webb that "the idea that somebody higher up the organisation said 'pull it' just doesn't work". He was speaking after the BBC's director general George Entwistle announced the corportation would be undertaking two inquiries into the affair.

Sir Christopher said that the investigation into whether there were failings in the BBC's management of the investigation "may give Newsnight a completely clear bill of health, or the other extreme would be that yes the conspiracy theorists are correct and there was intervention".

"More likely though is that is they will say the decision were taken in good faith but in the light of hindsight it isn't the same decision you would make today."

And he denies the corporation was slow to act: "I think they've acted perfectly sensibly and in a perfectly timely manner. Two weeks isn't a long time, the allegations at the beginning started to trickle out and then there became a flood, there was an issue about deciding to hold an inquiry until the police gave George Entwistle the all clear."

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