THERE was no need for Gavyn Davies to resign as Chairman of the BBC's Board of Governors or for Greg Dyke to quit as Director General. This is the surprising view held by Lord Hutton if reports in The Guardian of what he has told a senior MP are to be believed. According to this MP,who is said to be close to the Iraq controversy, Lord Hutton is concerned that the BBC over-reacted to his findings which he had not intended to be a blanket criticism of its entire editorial system. Again, according to this MP, Lord Hutton believes that more attention should have been paid to a crucial passage in his report in which he referred to the very unusual and specific circumstances relating to Mr Gilligan's broadcasts. He thinks that these words should have been enough to make clear that he was not making a general criticism of the BBC's editorial standards. THIS will be cold comfort for those members of the BBC's editorial staff currently caught in the backwash of the Gilligan affair and also for those who believe that the acting Director General, Mark Byford, and the acting Chairman, Lord Ryder, are over-anxious to impose a neutered news regime until the Government's decisions on the renewal of the BBC's Charter are known. In the immediate aftermath of Mr Dyke's resignation, Mr Byford gave an interview in which he said that the BBC should not take the initiative in unearthing news but leave others to do that. Lord Hutton's surprised reaction to the way in which his report was received confirms the impression that he was an innocent abroad in an unfamiliar world.
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