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
    +5

    Comment number 369.

    They should take financial compensation totally out of the equation to eliminate anyone who may not be completely genuine.I've never understood why anyone thinks that talking about money is appropriate in these sort of situations.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 368.

    353. AuntieLeft
    Oh I wouldn’t call you that, your name gives away your agenda. However I would suggest other stations may have their own skeletons rattling around. This story is going to get bigger and I bet it spreads beyond the BBC,

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 367.

    If one single accusation is true then Jimmy should have been arrested and jailed. Complaints were made over the decades but dismissed and the very creepy and sly way he went about his actions made it harder to prove. It seems he left very little actual physical evidence, he didnt rape the boys, the stories seem to suggest that full sex was rare with masturbation the MO. very creepy guy imho

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 366.

    Click on the lowest rated will you. Theres quite a few been marked down who actually seem to be fair minded comments. Herd mentality at it's best where reason is destroyed in the mass of hysterical outbursts and villification...holier than thou at it's best and also meanness at it's best. Somebody...anybody... has to be blamed and guilty....just pleased lynching isn't fahionable any more

  • Comment number 365.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 364.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 363.

    I feel that saville was clearly doing all that chariety work as insurance against accusation. A young kid versus Saint Jim. No contest. You don't want to be responsible for ending all that charity work do you. Emotional blackmail, No this is about the culture that allowed it to happen. The collusion and cover ups that must have taken place. It all needs to be exposed so it doesn't happen again.

  • Comment number 362.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 361.

    341. In that case, who do you then qualify the BBC series 'Reputations' than ran for a few years that did precisely that, sought to uncover the people behind the 'myth' - and all of them had one thing in common, they were all dead and therefore not able to defend themselves either.

    The BBC can dish it but not take it, as witnessed in HIGNFY pro BBC rant last week.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 360.

    There is something trashy about those who seek to use these claims for political points/bash the BBC. Savil was a public man, many people knew him, chose to socialise with him & ride this coat tails. The BBC was only a small part of his life & all politicians would have shaken his hand with glee. He would have sparked rumours even without any guilt so maybe we should be slower to dish the blame.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 359.

    "why wasn't anything said when he was alive" - I think it's quite clear that victims, colleagues and professionals did speak up but were either disbelieved or ignored or threatened.
    "what's the point doing anything about it now" - well, let's imagine it had happened to your daughter....giving her a little understanding and peace, albeit a long time overdue, is surely worth it?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 358.

    Does not matter who we put on a pedestal, we always end up disappointed

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 357.

    The BBC have acted just like the Catholic Church in they way that they have covered up child abuse.

    I fail to see how they can now objectively report on the Catholic Church scandal as they are guilty of the same thing.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 356.

    Further to my last post it was also alleged on the same programme that Savilles reputation at stoke Mandeville was well know, if the nurses knew, then the doctors knew and so did senior management, why did nobody come forward from there. Yes the BBC management of the time have questions to answer, but they are hardly the only ones.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 355.

    "How's about that then"!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 354.

    These are still just "allegations" and of course, sadly, a dead man will never be able to give his side of the story! 60 people now say they were abused, numerous others claim to be witnesses ....... and they're only now coming out of the woodwork after all these years!! Call me cynical but is the prospect of a massive compensation payout from the BBC playing any part in this at all???

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 353.

    Call me cynical but some how I think the full force of the BBC spinning machine will be put on this and the truth will swept under the carpet. Similar to the Church of Rome's abuse scandals.
    Soon be Saint Jimmy again.
    Hope ITV and Sky dont let go of the Tigers tail because I think this is a big one.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 352.

    I've not heard anything in the press about the reasons Savile behaved like this - he must have endured a difficult and abusive childhood. That doesn't condone what he has done but I believe he was part of a much larger "ring" of paedophiles, therefore he could not be arrested for fear that he would expose all of the others.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 351.

    282. Jonathan Halling
    Savile preyed on helpless children, young women and god knows who else, all whilst working for the BBC.

    Where is the proof that any of this actually happened, these are all RUMOURS of things that happened between 30 to 50 years ago. Come on people get a grip on life. There should be NO compensation claims as they are too old and NO proof against anyone.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 350.

    What I don't understand is , where were the Newspapers when all this was going on? It seems that Murdoch's lot and others were phone hacking their way through the UK's celebriities at will , to get stories. However, they didn't bother with Saville , even though he was at the centre of numerous allegations and inquiries ??

 

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