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.
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of batsman Phil Hughes
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...
£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...
VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...