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 272.

    #259 & 269

    Never a truer word spoken

  • rate this

    Comment number 271.

    Is there ANYTHING that Ed Miliband isn't calling for an enquiry on?

    Seems that Labour did nothing about anything whilst in power but now expect everything to be done about everything now they are in opposition.

  • rate this

    Comment number 270.

    This is a police issue. What's the point in wasting public funds on this, just because the criminal in question was a celebrity. it will cost hundreds of thousands, and the guy is dead anyway. Talk about bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted...

  • rate this

    Comment number 269.

    This is going to be yet another politicaly interfered with fiasco which will cost the public purse millions.
    There should be one and only one inquiry, that done by the police.

  • rate this

    Comment number 268.

    253. alamatters - " there speaks someone with no understanding of or compassion for the trauma of abuse".

    An incorrect value judgement.

    Wasting millions on inept inquiries when people are starving causes me trauma

  • rate this

    Comment number 267.

    Yet another example of shameless opportunism by Miliband.

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    180 outhousemouse
    I'm a nurse, and I have to have regular CRB checks. When they were first introduced they cost £11, and you only needed 1. Now they are regularly undertaken, and they cost £44, and are about as much use as an inflatable dartboard.
    You tell me what they're actually for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    @237 laughing devil
    Ian Hislop was totally accurate on "Have I got news for you" last night. The ones who said "I knew this was going on" were actually the ones who had only heard the rumours. These are not admissable in court. There was at that time no hard evidence against Savile, as none of the abused had come forward. However, the rumours should have been investigated to uncover hard evidence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 264.

    The worst kept secret ever.
    I remember discussing this in 1960-something. The targeting of schoolgirls, who had bunked off school to attend the recording of Top of the Pops. Various names were mentioned.
    We don’t need an inquiry! Everything that has been alleged is illegal. The question to be asked is why there are so few whistle-blowers; however you could ask that of society in general.

  • rate this

    Comment number 263.

    This Will belongs to be buried it's a waste of tax payers money....simple

  • rate this

    Comment number 262.

    It is important that there is a wholly inparcial, independent inquiry to look into these issues. As a victim of historical abuse and having been misrepresented on a BBC Frontline programme in 2003 it is paramount that a full Public Inquiry takes place. It took the BBC as an organisation 4 years to look at my complaints and only after the intervention of my MP and Mike Jempson of Mediawise

  • rate this

    Comment number 261.

    I'm quite astonished by the rapid response of the police, the BBC and the politicians in this case.
    I had been sexually abused by a teacher at my school for a number of years from the age of 12/13. At 45 I finally decided to report this to the police as the teacher is very much alive and working with kids. Unfortunately, the police have very little time to work on it as they are under staffed!

  • rate this

    Comment number 260.

    Exhumation!...reanimation!....prosecution!.....och! If only we had Frankenstein to help us out today....

  • rate this

    Comment number 259.

    Gosh! Labour demands it. Well that seals it doesn't it. I mean, stop the press the great ones have spoken! This belongs with the CPS and a Jury; not with politicians, not with the mob and not with the media.

  • rate this

    Comment number 258.

    The one good that has come out of the Jimmy Savile revelations is that I can now spell his name correctly. For decades I have written his name as JIMMY SAVILLE. "Saville" with two Ls"

  • rate this

    Comment number 257.

    Does every potential crime need an independent review, really?

  • rate this

    Comment number 256.

    I remember watching him on Top of The Pops as a child and the occassion when he had his arm round the waist of the youngest Nolan sister and was pulling her towards him. She was obviously uncomfortable.

    I remember, even as a child, finding it cringeworthy.

    I suppose people must have viewed him as an "over tactile uncle" figure but otherwise innocent. How wrong we were.

  • rate this

    Comment number 255.

    The point has already been made - perhaps we should be waiting to see what the police investigations turn up first before deciding on the need for a public inquiry. Thing is, we know what the limitations of police investigations are, especially when dealing with someone as well connected as Savile was with royalty, prime ministers and the media.

  • rate this

    Comment number 254.


    Id be very careful pontificating if I were you. You're living in an enormous glass house and the stones that are labelled "Dunblane","Cullen enquiry" and "Operation Ore", which your party not only swept under the carpet, but also stuck a 100 year D notice on, could be devastating to your double glazing if you start seeing them flying towards you. Tread carefully.

  • rate this

    Comment number 253.

    228.Andrew "So easy to suggest the blame lies at the BBC, NHS and Police" - that's what an enquiry would investigate & decide. The Police did NOT act on reports made to them.
    "Do the alleged victims want a public enquiry? I am sure if they wanted the attention they would have mentioned it when Savile was alive" - there speaks someone with no understanding of or compassion for the trauma of abuse.


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