BBC director general to meet MPs over Savile next week

 

Harriet Harman: "What has deepened the revulsion is that this happened at the BBC"

BBC director general George Entwistle has offered to appear before MPs next week over the Sir Jimmy Savile scandal.

Mr Entwistle's decision to bring forward his appearance surfaced as MPs criticised the BBC.

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman said the Savile abuse claims "cast a stain" on the corporation, but Culture Secretary Maria Miller dismissed calls for an independent inquiry.

Police believe Savile may have sexually abused 60 people since 1959.

Mr Entwistle had been due to appear in front of MPs later this year, but he offered to bring it forward to 23 October, said culture committee chairman John Whittingdale.

Mr Whittingdale said he was "sure" MPs would take Mr Entwistle up on his offer.

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman told MPs that Savile's "exalted" status within the corporation allowed him to act with impunity.

She said: "Everyone has been sickened by the vile abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Savile. It's impossible to overstate the suffering he caused to those he abused.

"What has deepened the revulsion is that this happened at the BBC, an institution so loved and trusted it is known as Auntie. This has cast a stain on the BBC."

Mrs Miller told the Commons she was satisfied the corporation was taking the allegations "very seriously," saying the BBC had launched three reviews.

"The first will look particularly at the allegations with regard to the item on Savile which was inappropriately pulled from Newsnight," she said.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport later clarified that Ms Miller had misread her statement and meant the inquiry would look into allegations the Savile investigation was inappropriately pulled.

Mrs Miller added that the BBC's second review - undertaken when the police advised it was appropriate to do so - would focus on Savile himself.

"And although the BBC's child protection policy was overhauled in 2002, the review will also focus on whether its policy is fit for purpose and what lessons can be learnt. That will be assisted by an independent expert," she added

Revulsion

A third review would look at wider allegations of sexual harassment at the corporation, Mrs Miller said.

"These are undoubtedly very serious matters that have wide-ranging implications for a number of public institutions, not just the BBC. It is now crucial we understand what went wrong and how it can be put right."

A man has claimed in The Sun newspaper that he was assaulted by Savile as a nine-year-old boy scout

Mrs Miller was speaking in response to a question from Tory MP Rob Wilson, who said he had a "number of major concerns that the investigations announced by the BBC will not be sufficiently independent, transparent and robust to give the public confidence."

Mrs Miller said there was no need for a wider inquiry while the police investigation was going on. It was crucial detectives were allowed to continue their investigation "unfettered" by other inquiries, she said.

Meanwhile, Savile's youngest-known victim has spoken, a man who said he was abused after he appeared on his TV show Jim'll Fix It aged nine.

Kevin Cook told the BBC: "He led me off, we went down some corridors, through some doors, we went off to a really dingy dressing room.

"He took me in there and again asked me if I wanted my badge, which I said yes, and that's where it took place. He sat me down in a chair, he stood in front of me, and that's where he assaulted me."

In other developments on Monday:

  • A former chairman of the branch of the Prison Officers Association at Broadmoor Special Hospital, Frank Mone, said Savile would not have been left alone with patients there. It follows a claim from a former patient that Savile sexually assaulted him in the early 1970s
  • Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has denied claims he groped two women in BBC studios

Scotland Yard, which is co-ordinating the investigation, said it was following up 340 lines of inquiry on Savile and was in contact with 14 other police forces.

Police said the allegations spanned six decades, with reports up to and including 2006.

Savile, who presented Top of The Pops and Jim'll Fix It in the 1970s and 80s, died in October 2011, aged 84.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 169.

    William Shakespeare 'The evil that men do lives after them- the good is oft interred with their bones" Nothings changed has it. I'm not defending the man but he did help an awful lot of people...are theose he helped supposed to feel guilty now because the money he raised is somehow tainted as well. The venom on htis column is amazing...or saddening

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 168.

    Every abuser has to be revealed for what they are.

    This episode is relevant in this regard, yes Saville is dead but his victims are still alive and living with what was done to them.

    Please do not belittle their plight in any way, yes it was a long time ago, yes they were silent until after his death.....but what they have to say still must be heard and more importantly .......believed.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 167.

    Why is everyone bashing the BBC? saville was the man who abused everyone. saville was a celebrity. you only have to look at any paper to see how celebrities are put on pedastals, it has nothing to do with the BBC. It has nothing to do with Stoke Manderville Hospital either, or any other place he worked. saville was the evil man, not anyone else.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 166.

    Once again the truth of what went on will mean the real victims will find that the compensation bandwagon will shove their experience into the long grass. If the perpetrator is no longer with us , then it is desperately wrong that the taxpayer should be made to pick up the bill for the BBC's lack of action at the time. Any lawsuits should be against the executives concerned.

  • rate this
    -22

    Comment number 165.

    A huge blow to the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, imagine being the parents of children abused by its employees, knowing that through the obscene licence fee they helped pay the wages of the abusers.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 164.

    Leveson 2 : Revenge of the Hackfather.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 163.

    cannot see any truth in any of the allegations against Savile, its just a farcical witch hunt - started by sad individauls who wanted there 5 minutes of fame.

    They can come out with any old garbage knowing that a defence barister is not going to tear them to shreds. I do hope that the police prosecute them for time wasting .

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 162.

    am not sure who Harriet Harman is with her statement in parliment. she seems to have found Jimmy Saville giulty without, how can this stupid woman say such crass remarks and be allowed to get away with it.. this woman should resign her post as an MP with immediate effect.
    so much for british justice of innocent until proven guilty, especially when the accuseed cannot answer for themselves RIP JIM

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 161.

    Tacit consent is the problem. Atrocious things occur because people are afraid to put their heads above the parapet to expose the world's wrongdoer. Who'd want what Assange has! Few have the courage Kipling writes of in If - "the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'" Look at the Sky Sports presenters and their treatment of a female colleague, bullying in newspapers and so on ad infinitum

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 160.

    Earlier comments 90&126 marked down ? why .Is it because I'm trying to have a different perspective from the vitriolic and vigilante mentality that is so apparent. Abuse is vile. If it happened those aware of it had as great a responsibility to those being abused as he had in his position of trust.They can't stand back like Caesar and just wash their hands of it...silence is a form of consent

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 159.

    I think you'll find Savile's status at BBC was "exalted" not "exulted."

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 158.

    122. anncbd
    Why single out the BBC when this man committed his alleged crimes in plenty of other places not just BBC premises and his actions were without a doubt tolerated because of the culture of the time, I have no doubt they were widespread in the media at the time, no wonder the tabloids kept quiet. You have to wonder how many skeletons are rattling across the newspaper and TV industries.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 157.

    Why are there no editor's picks on this blog?

  • rate this
    +18

    Comment number 156.

    Perhaps if some of the papers that are lambasting the BBC now had spent less time grubbing through the rubbish and hacking the phones of celebs in order to generate salacious stories and drooling over the forthcoming 16th Birthdays of various young starlets and had actually engaged in some proper journalistic investigation then perhaps a lot of heartache might have been avoided.
    Hypocrites

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 155.

    We do not need investigations to tell us what went wrong. Savile was a big con artist and we were all conned.The damage is already done. The blame game only compounds the damage. The lessons to be learnt are minimal (other than the free press being more on the ball) as the next con artist will pop up in quite different circumstances. Time to scale back the hysteria and take it on the chin.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 154.

    It would be very interesting to know just how much those hypocrites in the media knew about this vile man and yet did nothing.

    The gutter press must have had something on him - from recent revelations it can hardly be otherwise - and failed to act.

    If so then they are all accessories after the fact and should share the guilt too for all the victims he went on to violate

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 153.

    Looking forward to the full, live coverage of this committee on the BBC news channel.....
    Would love to be in that editorial meeting!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 152.

    Was/is it true that he had his own set of keys at Broadmoor?
    If so WHY???
    If employees of the hospitals new something was amiss???
    Why the hell was he allowed to be their...
    If it is true?

    There are more than Savile guilty...
    There has to be a major cover up...

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 151.

    125. milvusvestal
    Beyond hearsay and circumstantial evidence, there is absolutely nothing to produce in a court.
    ///////
    Not yet.

  • rate this
    -11

    Comment number 150.

    Yes, good to see the good left wing paranoia in its full flow.
    Savilles alleged abuse was Murdoch, The Mail, Thatchers, etc fault really. The goody goody lefties at the BBC would never cover up abuse would they?
    Enquiry into the BBC to see what is going on.

 

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