THE BBC's news chief and her deputy have been temporarily replaced while the broadcaster deals with the fallout from coverage of a child abusescandal that forced its director general to resign, the broadcaster said yesterday.
Helen Boaden, the BBC's director of news and current affairs, and her deputy, Stephen Mitchell, have handed over their responsibilities to others for the time being "to address the lack of clarity around the editorial chain of command," the corporation said.
"Consideration is now being given to the extent to which individuals should be asked to account further for their actions and if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken," it said.
The BBC, meanwhile, faced criticism for agreeing to a 450,000 pound (US$715,000) payoff - a year's salary - for George Entwistle, who resigned as director general on Saturday after a BBC news program bungled reports that powerful Britons sexually abused children.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman yesterday criticized the payoff for Entwistle, who led the BBC for just 54 days.
"Clearly, it is hard to justify a sizeable payoff of that sort," spokesman Steve Field said.
However, the prime minister gave his support to Chris Patten, the embattled chairman of the BBC Trust, the corporation's governing body.
"The important thing is for Chris Patten to lead the BBC out of its present difficulties," Field said.