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.


More on This Story

Jimmy Savile scandal

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 512.

    483. Furious Blueberry
    Some of these people coming forward claiming they were abused by Jimmy Savile should look at themselves and ask why they didnt make something more of it at the time. They could have prevented the same thing happening to other people decades later.

    I suggest you look into child sexual abuse. Most never speak up. Then you might not make such crass remarks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 511.

    The shocking thing about all this is what it means for the BBC as an institution. Think of it. A major institution had pedophiles, rapists and sexual abusers operating within, using the credibility of the BBC organisation to get access to their victims. It just cannot be trusted as it perhaps once was.

  • rate this

    Comment number 510.

    @ 483.Furious Blueberry
    Some of these people coming forward claiming they were abused by Jimmy Savile should look at themselves and ask why they didnt make something more of it at the time."

    Society at that time did not want to listen to the victims. They were silenced by everyone they turned to. Reputations came before child protection.

  • Comment number 509.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 508.

    Do we need one? Everyone's acting like he's guilty already.

    But yes wrongdoings need to be investigated - by The Police as that's their job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 507.

    "I have massive sympathy for the victims, but the Labour Party jumping on the bandwagon for publicity is sickening."

    Oh right, this view is currently the most top rated. So much for the BBC being lefty commies and trying to put the boot into the tories eh?

  • rate this

    Comment number 506.

    I think groping was clearly par for the course on BBC radio. But for the rest of the detail, I think I'd rather leave it to the police. I think there will be little need for yet another 'inquiry' call once they have reported their findings, which I hope will be fair and not influenced by media coverage. I shall also watch the Schettino trial (another subject of media show trial) with interest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 505.

    Recently, a close friend of mine went to her local GP to seek counselling for a rape she had suffered some thirty years ago. The GP, in not so many words, told her she should have gotten over it by now. I won't go into said GP's culture and his source of inspiration for these comments, however, what exactly is so special about "Jimmy's victims" for them to be given Gold Carpet Treatment?

  • rate this

    Comment number 504.

    464 The answer is simple, in that they are no different to the rest of the population, if most people had foresight we wouldn't end up voting the idiots into office in the first place.

  • Comment number 503.

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

  • Comment number 502.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 501.

    Breaking news: Labour agree vehemently with what the majority thinks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 500.

    Labour leader Red Ed calls for an independant enquiry. Is he saying that the Met police force are not independant?

  • rate this

    Comment number 499.

    how exactly are the opportunistic gold diggers going to be filtered out? im assuming compensation will come out of our license fee's? I want to make sure theyre real victims.

    he only had so much free time between shows and charity work, how many hundreds are claiming he had a go at them now? i dont think there was enough time in the day!

  • rate this

    Comment number 498.


    All we have heard about in the news since the olympics is Henry of Wales bottomless, Cathrine of Cambridge topless, and James Saville of Leeds, with his tounge down girls throats
    Personally it is getting on my wick . The news is obsessed with peodiphiles. Judy Finigan complained about a male collegue pulling his pants down in the 70s.This was the age of the streaker.


  • Comment number 497.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 496.

    @ 343.HELEN_of_TROY
    Instead of an expensive enquiry, raking over the coals of a dead fire, put the money and the effort into councelling victims and into ensuring that the BBC, hospitals, etc. can never be betrayed in that way by anyone ever again."

    Yes, but what about those still alive who were complicit with Savile's predation? I beleive these people should face justice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 495.

    "Labour is calling for an independent inquiry"
    Well they would wouldn't they.Its another millieband-wagon to jump on and another way to line pockets of yet more lawyers.
    Let the police finish their investigation first then allow the other organisations involved deal with matters whether thats the BBC,NHS or whoever.The victims don't want this used as a political football.Its too serious for that

  • rate this

    Comment number 494.

    467.The Captain of Fun - "...this is classic labour. "Let's spend a fortune" moving deckchairs on the Titanic rather than dealing with the real issues......"

    Lies, lies, lies.....after the enquiry into the Soham murders Lab introduced IPSA/the Vetting & Barring scheme. Just as it was about to go live the Coalition cam into power & one of their first acts was to scrap it.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 493.

    Typical of this egregious Labour leader - jump on every passing bandwagon. Any enquiry should ONLY take place if and when the police have finished theirs and determined that the allegations were indeed true. Loathsome side of low politics.


Page 2 of 27


More UK stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.