Independent Jimmy Savile investigation ruled out
Monday 15 October 2012
Culture Secretary Maria Miller today dismissed calls for an independent inquiry into the Jimmy Savile scandal but took a swipe at the BBC for failing to broadcast its own television investigation into allegations against the presenter.
The Cabinet Minister told MPs the corporation had acted "inappropriately" when it pulled a Newsnight film into sex abuse claims against the late DJ and broadcaster but said she was "now confident" BBC chiefs were taking the claims "very seriously".
Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman said there was widespread "revulsion" that the allegations of systemic assaults took place at the beloved "aunty", the affectionate nickname for the institution, and claimed the the star's "exalted" status allowed him to act with impunity.
Ms Miller said the allegations had "wide-ranging implications for a number of public institutions" but rejected calls for an outside inquiry to restore the public's faith, warning it could hamper police investigations.
"In terms of a wider inquiry, we have a police investigation on-going at the moment," she said. "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 added: "The BBC has launched three separate investigations, as the House will be aware. The first will look particularly at the allegations with regard to the item on Savile which was inappropriately pulled from Newsnight."
Ms Harman said: "What has deepened the revulsion is that this happened at the BBC, an institution so loved and trusted it is known as aunty.
"This has cast a stain on the BBC."
Commons culture committee chairman John Whittingdale said the Director-General George Entwistle had offered to appear before the committee next week and said he was "sure" MPs would take him up on the offer.
Leeds North East Fabian Hamilton said his constituents, who turned out in their thousands to pay tribute to the present when he died, felt "betrayed and angry".
Police believe the DJ and television presenter's alleged catalogue of child sex abuse could have spanned six decades and included around 60 victims.
Mr Entwistle announced last Friday that two inquiries would be launched into the abuse claims. One will look into whether there were any failings over the handling of the abandoned Newsnight piece. A second independent inquiry will look into the "culture and practices of the BBC during the years Jimmy Savile worked here", Mr Entwistle said.
Conservative MP Rob Wilson, who secured the urgent question in the Commons, said the BBC had been "slow to react" to the scandal and accused its Trust of acting as a "cheerleader and defender".
"I have a number of major concerns that the inquiries by the BBC will not be sufficiently independent, transparent and robust to give the public confidence," he said.
Any hint of a cover-up by the BBC of its own role in this dreadful affair will cause huge damage to public and audience trust."
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Yorkshire man to win £10,000 off a £1 bet placed six years ago if Dan Jarvis becomes Labour Party leader
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 4 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 5 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...