World

Ex-politician wrongly accused of child abuse decries BBC

A former British politician who was wrongly implicated in child sexual abuse on a program produced by the BBC said Thursday, in his first public interview since the segment aired, that the allegation was ‘‘complete rubbish’’ and that the broadcaster should have called him to check it out.

The politician, Lord Alistair McAlpine, a treasurer of the Conservative Party in the Thatcher era, was not identified by name in the report on the ‘‘Newsnight’’ program on Nov. 2, but the broadcast provoked a slew of accusations.

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The subsequent disclosure that McAlpine had been wrongfully implicated compounded a deepening crisis at the BBC with roots in an earlier decision by ‘‘Newsnight’’ to cancel a segment investigating Jimmy Savile, a longtime BBC television host now said by police to have sexually abused as many as 300 young people.

The BBC has acknowledged that McAlpine was not contacted by ‘‘Newsnight’’ to comment on the allegation. His accuser has since withdrawn his accusation and apologized.

New York Times

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