Alan Yentob resigns from BBC post because of Kids Company 'distraction'

Alan Yentob
Alan Yentob

Alan Yentob, chair of the defunct charity Kids Company, has resigned from his job with the BBC because the media coverage of his role with the charity has become a "serious distraction".

Yentob has faced questions about his conduct during the BBC’s coverage of the charity’s closure, which reportedly included asking the editor of the current affairs programme Newsnight to delay a report about the charity and sitting in on a BBC radio interview with Camila Batmanghelidjh, the charity’s founder and former chief executive.

Announcing that he would step down as the BBC’s creative director at the end of this year, Yentob said in a statement that the speculation "about Kids Company and the media coverage revolving around my role is proving a serious distraction".

Yentob made his decision even though his boss, Tony Hall, declared that BBC News had concluded it had not been influenced by Yentob.

Hall, director-general of the BBC, said in a statement today: "For the record, BBC News considered whether Alan Yentob had influenced the BBC’s journalism on the reporting of Kids Company. They concluded that he did not. Despite that, I understand his reasons for stepping down as creative director.

"He has been thinking about this carefully for some time and we have discussed it privately on a number of occasions."

Yentob will remain chair of BBC Films and will continue to make programmes for the corporation. 

Further information about the circumstances leading up to the closure of the charity is likely to emerge over the coming weeks and months. Some is likely to come from the Charity Commission’s continuing inquiry into the administration, governance and financial management of Kids Company, and from the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s examination of the charity’s relationship with successive governments.

Yentob’s resignation comes two months after he and Batmanghelidjh appeared in front of MPs on the PACAC and four months after Kids Company closed.

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