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 532.

    The most visited man to a goverment parliamentary building ie: Chequers, when under PM Maggie Thatcher was Jimmy Savile. Says it all really doesn't it! Print that BBC go on I double dare you.

  • Comment number 531.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 530.

    481. vesselanaw

    "The excuse that Savile was too old or too ill for the police to take action" wasn't genuine. It was the main basis of Newsnight's investigation, but the letter from Surrey police was proved to be a fake. That is apparently why Newsnight didn't run the story, not because of any conspiracy, however much you'd have liked it to be.

  • Comment number 529.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 528.

    499 It will be simple to separate these out, they will be the ones seeking financial compensation - the real victims won't, they will simply want to be believed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 527.

    It will be good ol' Brucie's turn next.

    I wonder how many "The Price Is Right" contestants, sour that they lost, will come crawling out of the woodwork?

    Quite a few I should imagine.

    Or maybe it will be Noel, his poor crinkley bottom will be besmirched by our beloved journos.

    I wish Jim would fix it so that the bbc are forced to tell he truth, for once.

  • rate this

    Comment number 526.

    502.Sidney Trasker - "......Milliband making this comment shows how desperate he is....."

    Yes, he is - desperate to see as many vile abusers as possible be stopped before they can harm so many children.

    The real shocker here is that the Coailiton scrapped IPSA's Vetting & Barring Scheme when they took office - the scheme that would have stopped future Ian Huntleys.....

  • Comment number 525.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 524.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 523.

    If he were alive we coudl punish him, if it could happen today we should do something about it but I suspect it would not happen in toady's environment.

    So Red Ed wants to waste more taxpayers money on this? Haven't Labour squandered enough of our taxes already, He is pathetic

  • rate this

    Comment number 522.

    @ 474. McGill

    Hardly anyone here is against an inquiry into what went wrong and what we can do to prevent it from happening again

    What we are against is politicians like Milliband taking an opportunity to get his name in the headlines while this story is at its most intense

    Let the police do their job first before the politicians try to get their pound of flesh by acting as moral guardians.

  • rate this

    Comment number 521.

    It's abundantly clear that you are forced to pay £146.50 with no conjecture or you will be at HMP the last Scottish newsreader I saw on the BBC was Robert Dougal which just about says it all for a British Broadcasting corporation! PS Sky is rolling round the aisle but I've still got to pay you to get that!

  • rate this

    Comment number 520.

    Little can be achieved by having an inquiry. We already know that he was a nasty man who liked post-pubescent young girls and WITH HINDSIGHT the police, the NHS, the BBC and the Press if not politicians should have addressed the matter more seriously.
    As someone has said, this is what happens when you put a person or institution on a pedestal whether it's Savile or the RC church in Eire.

  • rate this

    Comment number 519.

    Many comments remarking people should have come forward/why did no one come forward earlier.
    I was in a position where I knew there was abuse going on within church. I reported it, went straight to the top. What was done? Absolutely nothing, apart from shielding the abuser involved. Disgraceful what large organisations do to hush things up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 518.

    Jimmy said "Good mornin' Love" to me in the foyer of the BBC building, quick, let's sue him for harassment.

    It will be Bruce Forsyth next!

  • rate this

    Comment number 517.

    Thoughts should be for the victoms first and foremost - if Milliband believed this he'd be working behind the scenes toward this end

    Instead he shows the naked and derisory ambition of a second rate politician who can think of nothing constructive to contribute

  • rate this

    Comment number 516.

    What a country we have become, when people appear to be defending this mans actions with comments such as,

    Is he to check their birth certificates, maybe they were all over 16, why didn't come they forward until now..

    My view is this sick man knew exactly what he was doing & the ages & conditions of his victims.

    Some tried to come forward which is a hard thing to do & were ignored.

  • rate this

    Comment number 515.

    To all those who oppose wider enquiries: who is worse, those who didn't act on rumpours about Savile, or the still living rockers and roadies who slept with all the groupies they found without checking their ages?
    How can a few narrow enquiries deal with that injustice?

  • rate this

    Comment number 514.

    Furious Blueberry@483: I'm sure you couldn't begin to imagine yourself as a 15-year-old girl, but - trust me - victims of abuse don't think rationally; therefore 'preventing' others from suffering the same treatment doesn't automatically occur to them. For their own protection they can suppress the memory of abuse over many years. However, there is evidence that some did complain, but got nowhere!

  • rate this

    Comment number 513.

    I think the results of the BBC and Police enquiries and future safeguards should be published before any consideration is made on an independant review. There are far too many enquiries these days at the drop of a hat. Goes to show you though, Mr Milliband is giving you an insight into what he would be doing if in government, immediate and costly use of tax payers / loaned money.


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