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.


More on This Story

Jimmy Savile and the NHS


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  • rate this

    Comment number 229.

    The question is asked as to why none of the victims came forward earlier.

    Fair point, but easy to answer. Those who are abused generally do not speak up. Through fear, shame, misplaced loyalty and (as we can see here) fear of not being believed. Once Saville died, and it came allegations appeared, a lot of victims would have got the courage.

    Full enquiry now! BBC included.

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    1st rule of safeguarding: Take every case seriously. Establish the facts and find the truth.

    I couldn't agree with you doesn't matter how many victims come forward, they should be individually investigated, & treated seriously. Anyone lying won't stand up to the professional grilling & questioning from police, counsellers, or psychiatrists. The truth needs out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 227.

    182. ProfPhoenix

    Hopefully light will be shown on the mysterious workings of the BBC.
    Do you think they'll be clearer than the mysterious workings of Papa Hunt and the Judge Bothering Mrs Blurt in relation to their Lord and Master @ Pay per view land?

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    Now the police have opened an investigation, surely the victims should be reporting allegations to the police rather than the press.

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.

    @171. Gaz the Manc "Labour demand an inquiry into phone hacking slagging off all the media THEN they demand an inquiry into why the BBC did not tell us about Saville. Free speech for the press only when it suits"
    - Phone/computer hacking is a criminal offence which News International tried to cover up. Are you really saying Press should be above law just in case it helps to expose child abusers?

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    Good to see the freshly repositioned, rightly-centered Labour Party nailing their colours to the mast by jumping on the Bash the BBC Bandwagon.

    I can't imagine any private sector media outlet being so forthcoming and introspective.

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    Whilst i agree, that if the claims are proven, against him, He deserves all the vitriol that is aimed against him, My problem with all this is why has it taken a year after his death, for all this to start.If this had been while the man was still alive, he could defend himself, as could Jonathan king and Gary glitter, who were both found guilty by a jury of their peers, he doesn't have that chance

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    Last week Jane Moore of The Sun tried to some how excuse and justify her organisations Phone hacking antics on the back of this scandal.

    I wrote to her to tell her what I thought of this, it would be good if others could do the same.

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    What it is alleged Savile did is terrible I do recall what life in the 70's was like. As a teenage boy in a part time job working in a factory that was 80% female not a day went by when I was not groped by women sometimes several at at once. You can guess where they would put my hand and much more was on offer if I wanted. You just had to live with it the more fuss you made the more it happened

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.

    It will be interesting to see how many others in public life, both media and politics, get caught up in this. So many seem to have come out of the woodwork saying they 'knew' or 'suspected'. A proper look at their conduct would be a good idea - we might find some living examples of child abusers to deal with before they escape to the grave.

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    All agree that Saville got away with it because of his celebrity status thus underlining the dangers that society has created for itself. However using this to have a go at the BBC does nothing to soften the anquish of the victims and merely shows up the likes of Harman for what they are which is mouth pieces with no actions.
    There are now so many enquiries that the real purpose will be lost.

  • rate this

    Comment number 218.

    It is hard to believe that a man who gave so much to charity, and wanted to' fix it' for children, has maliciously abused the very kind of children he dedicated much of his life to. Perhaps he was naive in not realising the psychological damage this caused?With so many witnesses, did he knowingly risk his reputation for short lived 'gratification'? He was eccentric, and eccentrics do not conform.

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    Perhaps one thing we can all learn from this is to become more aware of the sociopath personality. A larger-than-life-loveable-rogue image attracts trust and support, yet it should be a warning sign. Not all "personalities" are sociopaths and not all sociopaths are criminals but it is all too easy for the other 90% of honest, trusting folks to be taken in.

  • rate this

    Comment number 216.

    looks like everyone & her mum is jumping on this band wagon. How on earth is it possible for 300+ people kept this quiet for so long ?

    I think some people are spreading some rubbish themselves to get some fame themselves

  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    re Broadmoor keys. He had access to a flat at the hospital. As Chair of the hospital's board, he would have to attend meetings and other events. He lived in London, Yorkshire and Scotland. Use of the flat was for overnight stays when he could not easily return home when events finished late. I doubt he had keys to the wards

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    Sigh - not a popular view but true nonetheless. Several tory privateers were playing that angle for all it's worth in the media - the victims were an irrelevance.

    Many of us criticise "PC" human rights and interference from ECHR but it's worth reflecting on how the pre 'nanny state' culture discouraged victims from coming forward in the "good old days".

  • rate this

    Comment number 213.

    stop highlighting his name ,,just remove all trace of him and let him fade into nothing,
    I am sure the victims and most of the public don't want a scandal they would get greater satisfaction if the name Jimmy Savile with hands that travel was wiped from existence ..
    bleach him from all our lives

  • rate this

    Comment number 212.

    #148.Archie Gemmill_s left foot
    I wonder how the Thatchers will remember all those New Year's Eves at Chequers now
    Senility will no doubt soften the memory - literally!

  • rate this

    Comment number 211.

    Those who said nothing for fear of jobs, cash in hand or just turned a blind eye are no better than the Newspaper men, Politicians and Tory Party diehards who did the same with Hilsborough. dare they call Saville.
    that is for the abused, the innocent and decent human beings.

  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    It is good to see that the police budgets have now been relaxed. Given that that the 2 primary considerations of the police are a likelihood of conviction and preventing further offences I would suggest that the first is impossible and the second already achieved.

    There must be children out there in danger now that need help, not chasing claims only made now when libel law no longer applies


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