Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Comedian gave speech while hosting Labour fundraiser after his friend was arrested as part of investigation but never charged
Stephen Fry has reportedly criticised the historic sex abuse investigation Operation Yewtree, after a friend of his was arrested as part of the probe but never charged.
Speaking at a Labour fundraising gala last week, the actor and comedian delivered an impassioned speech about the “essential values the [party] stands for”, including that “people are innocent until proven guilty”.
There had previously been doubts over whether Fry would attend the event at the Roundhouse in London at all, following a dispute over the party’s treatment of the 65-year-old DJ Paul Gambaccini.
Gambaccini was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree in October, released on bail and has not been charged. But the avalanche of publicity surrounding the arrest apparently saw the long-term Labour supporter refused an invite for a previous fundraising event.
In his address as host on Wednesday, Fry reportedly complained that “fewer than half” of the people held under the ongoing police investigation had been found guilty.
Gambaccini has denied all the allegations made against him And according to one guest quoted in the Mail on Sunday, Fry pointed out the Labour supporter and former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer in the audience before embarking on a “rant” calling for tougher laws to discourage people from inventing false claims.
The reaction from guests at the dinner, where tables of nine cost up to £15,000, was reportedly one of “deadly silence” – including from the Labour leader, Ed Miliband.
And a spokesperson for Mr Miliband later made clear to the newspaper that Fry did not speak for the room as a whole. He said: “Ed Miliband fully supports the work of Operation Yewtree and has made clear all along that our thoughts should be with the victims.”
Enjoying listening to this man at the Labour Party fundraising dinner here at the RoundHouse in Camden. pic.twitter.com/zzrCNHLmkQ— Jim Murphy (@jimmurphymp) July 9, 2014
He nonetheless thanked the 56-year-old comedian for hosting the “hugely successful event”.
A source close to Mr Starmer was quoted by the Mail as saying Fry “went off on one”, and said there were already laws in place to deter “faked accusations” of sexual abuse.
A representative for Fry was not immediately available for comment when approached by The Independent.
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 3 Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 How the NHS is being dismantled in 10 easy steps
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Moody neurotics are more likely to be creative geniuses, study says
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...
£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...
£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...
£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...