Jimmy Savile scandal: Labour seeks independent inquiry

Jimmy Savile Police believe Savile may have sexually abused 60 people dating back to 1959

Labour is calling for an independent inquiry into claims of child sex abuse by ex-BBC presenter Sir Jimmy Savile.

Police believe Savile may have sexually abused 60 people since 1959 and the BBC has ordered two reviews.

But Labour leader Ed Miliband told ITV an independent inquiry into "the BBC, parts of the NHS and Broadmoor" was needed to "do right by the victims".

No 10 said the priority was the police investigation. However, it did not rule out a wider inquiry in the future.

It is the first time Labour has called for an independent inquiry into the abuse allegations against Savile, who died in October 2011.

'Major concerns'

A raft of allegations regarding the former BBC DJ and presenter's conduct came to light in the wake of an ITV investigation, which was broadcast on 3 October.

Scotland Yard, which is co-ordinating the investigation into Savile's alleged offences, has said it is following up 340 lines of inquiry.

The BBC has been criticised for not calling Savile's behaviour into question and flagging up any abuse allegations during his long career at the corporation, during which he presented several television shows including Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It.

Ed Miliband Ed Miliband said the abuse was "absolutely horrific" and would "scar [the victims] for life".

Abuse is also alleged to have taken place at high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor and at Stoke Mandeville hospital and Leeds General Infirmary, where Savile volunteered.

The Department of Health has said it will investigate its own conduct in appointing Savile to lead a "taskforce" overseeing the management of Broadmoor in 1988.

Meanwhile, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust said it would help police if asked to do so.

The BBC has launched two separate internal investigations into the Savile affair. The first will look at why a BBC Newsnight investigation into abuse claims was not brought to air.

The second will look into the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked at the corporation, and afterwards.

Start Quote

In order to do right by the victims, I don't think the BBC can lead their own inquiry”

End Quote Ed Miliband Labour leader

On Monday Tory MP Rob Wilson told the Commons 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".

But Culture Secretary Maria Miller told MPs she was "confident" BBC chiefs were taking the claims "very seriously" and warned that an outside inquiry could hamper police investigations.

"Everybody would agree that it is really important that those individuals who have been victims know that that investigation can go on unfettered and that that should be our priority at this stage," she said.

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 added.

'Absolutely horrific'

However, speaking to ITV's The Agenda, Mr Miliband said internal investigations were not enough. He said: "In order to do right by the victims, I don't think the BBC can lead their own inquiry.

"We need a broad look at all the public institutions involved - the BBC, parts of the NHS and Broadmoor. This has got to be independent."

Mr Miliband said he believed the sexual abuse was a "pattern of activity which spanned a number of institutions".

He said he felt there were now enough allegations that it was now clear this was "not some isolated set of incidents".

The Labour leader added that the abuse was "absolutely horrific" and would "scar [the victims] for life".

"I think for them, the BBC - good institution though it is - I don't think they can lead their own inquiry," he said.

Meanwhile, BBC director general George Entwistle has offered to appear before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee over the scandal.

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


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  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    Watched Have I Got News For You the other day and was shocked to see Ian Hislop say "was he a national treasure ? I always thought he was a bit urgh ! " Well the truth is we did ! because every media organisation in england told us he was ! NOT just the BBC read this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1329332/Jimmy-Savile-Prince-Charles-saucy-French-maids.html if you can without vomiting !

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    What is the point of this witch-hunt?

    A dead man is in no position to defend himself against these allegations, and even if they could be 'proven' - hard to do when you only have one side of the story - he's not around to be punished.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    Ed Milliband drumming the base drum of the bandwagon again? Does this man know how much it costs for enquiries even though we have a police force that is more than capable? This just shows his inept knowledge on the financial crises the country as a whole is facing, cos if he actually does he will understand the meaning of efficiency. DC may not be popular but he is a better PM than Ed will

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Check out Bill Maloney.

    Why, if what he is saying is wrong, has he not been arrested ?

    Saville, tip of the iceberg ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    Ed "Jump on the bandwagen" Milliband!

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    Quick Ed - hurry up - there goes a Milibandwagon - jump on!

    Pathetic - this has nothing whatsoever to do the victims - this is good old Ed getting his face on the news again.
    Someone commented last night he would be after a public enquiry if the Misses lost the front door key.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    I was told of Savile's activities in the early '70's by a journalist from Leeds.
    I asked how he could get away with it.
    'He's very clever, very rich and has very expensive lawyers,'

    It still goes on now.
    It's into THAT that we need an inquiry.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    There are two things that annoy me with this;

    1) We elect and pay well politicians to undertake this work, to set and review policy, to undertake reviews when things go wrong, but all we get from the Ed's is requests for independant (expensive) enquiries.

    2) The blatant political point scoring has no bounds, it doesn't matter how serious the event they will try and score points from it!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    I hope this doesn't turn into another Belgium.

  • Comment number 63.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    43...BM Scotter....That's why Labour should be in power how many more of these people will be found out, so many people could have been groomed through this so called british celeb and friends.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    This is not about vendettas against the BBC, to say so makes a mockery of victims of abuse.

    It goes far beyond the BBC, it is very clear many people knew Saville was abusing children and did nothing.

    I just fear those who are now able to tell of the abuse are the tip of the iceberg. I am sure children are out there who will never be able to tell, as Saville targeted THE most vulnerable...

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    So why, in this time of austerity, is Labour demanding we waste money on a pointless inquiry! Because Jimmy is dead we will not know his side of the story and even if he is guilty there is nothing we can do about it now.
    Miliband should concentrate on things that REALLY matter to the public, not this media fueled sideshow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.


    Do these types of enquiries ever really expose the truth? Is that what Leveson and Hillsborough really did?

    Or do these enquiries just use clever footwork to get to what is seen at the time as the most politically and socially convenient conclusion?

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    It's amazing this guy, who doesn't have an original thought in his body, thinks he's fit to pass on advice on most subjects.
    Just another career politician,from a very privileged background who has never had a real job in his life,pretending that he is the champion of the masses.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    I don't care about the party politics of this .... just to find out why in our society we are so afraid of celebrities and other 'important' people that they can get away with anything. And another nail in the coffin of the so-called Honours System?

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    There needs to be no fingers in the pie from either the BBC or politicians in order to get to the truth. I like many people are why no-one did anything constructive to find out what was going on. Now we have a situation where Savile is dead and can't answere his accusers. If it is proved that the BBC and other did know what was going where do we go from here. The 'Sir' must be removed at least

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    Tut, tut, politicians never learn do they ?! They just can't help themselves when they see what they think is a risk free band wagon. It reminds me of advertising spam !

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Is there anything , anything at all , which Milliband, Balls and crew does not find an acceptable or decent vehicle for political point scoring and opportunity for self advancement?

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Is that all Ed Milliband knows how to do? Demand an inquiry?
    It seems that anything that makes headlines and Ed demands an inquiry about it.


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