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


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

    Comment number 209.

    When all is said and done,the one clear fact we can all count on
    Jimmy Saville (Superstar & Mega Donor) did not create himself.
    But the one other thing we can all be certain about...
    The "Media & Showbiz" will accept no responsibilty.
    Tha accolades and the Knighthood,nothing whatsoever do with them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    The BBC is an organisation, full of investigative journalists.The Catholic Church, for its crimes, is run by Bishops who on the whole are kind old men.I can now understand why they had so much trouble coping with sneaky, clever paedophiles who had infiltrated the Church.I don't understand the BBC,however, who were the Catholic Churches main critic whilst at the same time ignoring all the rumours.

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    Outrage in The Mail, as expected, the same paper that regularly prints salacious pictures of under 16 girls with 'teaser' comments.

    Yes shame on you BBC for not stooping to the 'mass media' level.

    You should have witch hunts on gossip and usurp the police.

    Shame on you BBC(for not going for the lowest common denominator), you excellent organisation you!

  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    They selfishly thought because they are evilly selfish people that the permissive society and its ensuing promiscuity gave them the divine right to go out and abuse at will. There are plenty still alive who are living with guilty consciences. Justice is about to bite them on the ankles hopefully.Justice for those who suffered because others could have prevented this but chose not to.

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    At the moment there are two big issues facing the press, Leveson and changes to the libel laws. I can hear the chorus of "we would have reported it earlier but we were afraid of being sued so don't make it easier to sue" and "if you make it harder for us then we won't be able to investigate this type of public interest story in the future" that will come down the track in a few month's time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    Jimmy Savile used to give large donations to charity, do lots of good work with the Church, talk constantly about his mother & be a solid working class Labour supporter. It is shocking in death these allegations are levelled against him.
    There is a need for victims of crime to report an offence as soon as possible, I dont condone his actions in the slightest but we have to look out for each other

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    Harriet Harman: "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."

    No enquiry necessary - guilty already (both Savile and the BBC!)

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.

    No smoke without fire!!
    Its emerged so many people over the years had heard "rumours".
    Then why on earth didn't these individuals speak out at the time.
    Esther Rantzen in particular, founder of Childline said everyone was culpable. Shame on you Esther, you should of been the first to say something.. I'm appalled, that their wasn't anyone including potential victims didn't speak out!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 201.

    I can't help speculating that all along the Corporate Nazi's had Jimmy Savile as blackmail against the BBC in order to get them to promote stuff like the Co2 Climate Scam, drop and hide old science programmes like Tommorow's World, why not re run the original Magnus Magnussen's The Vikings and show the full truth about Greenland !

  • rate this

    Comment number 200.

    Why are MP's even getting involved while there is an ongoing police investigation, oh yes to take the public's attention away from their own scandals, illegal activities etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    What makes me doubt some of the victims is the time after the event before speaking out. Regarding the "Broadmoor Victim", I work for HMP, and no non-uniformed visitors get left alone with prisoners, kept in view at all times is SOP. So the idea of Saville getting let loose on the female prisoners as his harem is impossible, compensation in the future could be their motivation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    Well one aspect is for sure, given that the news is constantly on the front page of the tabloids, they are making money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    Newsnight piece on Savile was irresponsibly pulled. How does Maria Miller know that. BBC Newsnight state that a large aspect of the piece was the alleged non-investigation of the alllegations. When the editor discovered that the police had investigated and a file had been sent to the CPS, the piece was pulled. Isn't that his job as editor, to decide what news appears on the show?

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    the good he definitely did for many outweighs the harm he is alleged to have done to a few.

    he is not here to fight his corner - and many of his accusers will just be after a bit of his fortune - or the moment of fame

    let the man rest in peace. ang god bless him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    This is becoming a witch/wizard hunt that will benefit no-one!

    BBC/other media should stop reporting on this until there is at least some evidence to support the allegations. Media hasbeens who did nothing to support all these alleged victims by voicing concerns and current politicians just want media inches or coverage - sickening!.

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    15 Minutes ago
    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.
    It speaks volumes that the family did not even try to defend him.
    Just remove his headstone and have smashed for landfill...
    mmm What did they know?

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    Day 1 of the Saville story. it was front page on all the main papers internet sites, on the BBC it was a small link half way down the page.

    Day 2, the story gets bigger, there was nothing on the BBC front page.

    No hypocrisy please BBC, you tried to bury this story, just one of many issues/stories the BBC refuse to talk about.

    WE PAY YOU and heads must roll!

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    I might have known that tedious harriet harperson would stick her nose in it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    While the claims against Savile and the BBC should be investigated, it was nice to see man hating Harman having her usual rant against

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    This shameful matter is showing all the sign of turning into a compensation feeding frensy with more and more women coming forward. The emphasis should be on identifying, investigating, naming and prosecuting individuals who failed in their duty of care to children or covered up or colluded in abuse. Compensation will not provide closure...only justice and punishment of the guilty can do that


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