The former BBC governor, Baroness Neville-Jones, has said she believed that BBC bosses were guilty not of a cover-up over the Jimmy Savile scandal but, "just as damaging", of not taking the issue sufficiently seriously.
"I don't actually think it was that (a cover-up). I think it was something just as damaging in a sense, which is that it wasn't regarded as important," she told Today presenter Sarah Montague.
"I'm not trying to suggest that this is not damaging or that it is commendable, absolutely not," she explained. But she added: "I don't believe the cover-up thesis. You cover up something that you regard as really damaging, very significant, very important.
And she said she believed the BBC dropped the story for editorial reasons: "I do not think it was given that degree of credit or importance. I just don't think it rated that much. And I don't think, therefore, it was though necessary to have a 'great big cover-up'."
The Director-General of the BBC, George Entwistle, will be questioned by MPs this morning over the Jimmy Savile scandal. It is thought members of the Culture Select Committee will ask Mr Entwistle why a Newsnight investigation into the allegations was dropped. Last night, Panorama screened its own investigation into Savile's behaviour and Newsnight's decision to axe its film.
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