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 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 New Tricks: Dennis Waterman to leave the show after a decade of crime-solving
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Ice Bucket Challenge: US firefighter Tony Grider dies after participating in charity craze near power lines
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...