Savile inquiry to investigate doctors
Information on three doctors who worked at hospitals where Jimmy Savile had links has been passed to police amid claims they were involved in a network of child abusers connected with the disgraced presenter.
The Guardian said the trio were alleged to have abused young people in their care and were identified by victims who came forward in the last two weeks.
Police are examining individuals who might have had access to vulnerable children, some of whom were associated with Savile, the newspaper said.
The former DJ, who died last year aged 84, had a bedroom at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, an office and living quarters at Broadmoor and widespread access to Leeds general infirmary.
Since the allegations about Savile emerged the children’s charity the NSPCC said it has received 161 calls relating to him, which have been passed to police.
A decision not to prosecute Savile over abuse allegations in 2009 will come under the spotlight again after the British prime minister said DPP Keir Starmer would review legal papers from the case.
Surrey police submitted a file to the British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) containing references to four potential offences, including an allegation of indecent assault on a young girl at a children’s home, but it was dropped due to a lack of evidence.
David Cameron told MPs it was essential that lessons were learned from the scandal of Savile’s decades of sexual abuse.
As the number of allegations against Savile has snowballed, Mr Starmer asked the chief Crown prosecutor for the South East, Roger Coe-Salazar, to look at the files again.
He concluded the correct decision was taken, although the files will again be reviewed “out of an abundance of caution”.
The scandal has plunged the BBC into crisis, and yesterday MP Sir Roger Gale, a former BBC journalist, suggested that bosses George Entwistle and Lord Patten may have to “fall on their swords” over the corporation’s handling of the situation.
Their case will not be helped by allegations in The Sun that two more BBC employees are suspected of sex crimes on the same scale as Savile, and that information on them has been passed to the police.
The newspaper said the BBC would not disclose if the pair were still at the corporation.
It emerged on Tuesday that the BBC is investigating nine allegations of “sexual harassment, assault or inappropriate conduct” among current staff and contributors.
Mr Entwistle, who took over as director general last month, was roundly criticised for his appearance before the British Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Tuesday, when he was told to “get a grip” on his organisation.
Committee chairman John Whittingdale said Mr Entwistle “left questions unanswered” and described some of his answers as “surprising”.
Mr Entwistle told MPs that the “broader cultural problem” at the BBC allowed Savile’s alleged behaviour to take place and conceded the corporation was slow to react to the emerging crisis.
He also expressed regret that Newsnight did not press ahead with the investigation last year that included interviews with some of the star’s victims.
The programme’s editor Peter Rippon has stepped aside after a Panorama inquiry prompted the BBC to say his explanation of why the show dropped its investigation was “inaccurate or incomplete”.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said Mr Entwistle’s evidence to the select committee and the BBC’s handling of the wider scandal raised “very real concerns” about public trust.
Former BBC director general Mark Thompson also faces questions over whether he is the right person to take charge of the New York Times newspaper in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
In an interview with the Guardian newspaper Mr Thompson, who is due to become the paper’s chief executive on November 12th, said it was “totally reasonable for institutions like the New York Times and the BBC to be free to examine everything, including subjects of corporate interest in the institution itself”.
The New York Times’ editor had written that the newspaper must consider if Mr Thompson is right for the job, the Guardian said, a move the former director general said was “completely correct”.
He also told the Guardian that it was the BBC’s head of news, Helen Boaden, who told him there was nothing about Newsnight’s investigation into Savile that should concern him.