09/10/2012 04:06 BST | Updated 09/10/2012 10:10 BST

Jimmy Savile's Knighthood Could Be Removed, David Cameron Suggests

David Cameron has hinted that Jimmy Savile could lose his knighthood after allegations of sexual abuse against the late TV presenter.

"We have something called the Forfeiture Committee, it's not chaired or sat on by me, but it is responsible at looking at honours and the removal of honours and obviously they have to do their job too," the prime minister told ITV news.

"These stories are deeply troubling. If these things did happen, everyone has to take their responsibilities," Cameron said.

On Sunday David Cameron called for the BBC and police to fully investigate claims that Jimmy Savile raped or molested at least 40 women.

Around 40 women have come forward with allegations against Savile

The Sun has launched a campaign to strip the former children's entertainer of his honour in the wake of th claims.

Last week, in a further indication of the tarnishing of Savile's reputation, trustees of charities set up by the late TV star are considering dropping his name amid fears that the sexual abuse allegations could taint the organisations indefinitely.

The committee, which stripped disgraced former RBS head Fred Goodwin of his knighthood, is chaired by civil servants.

It comes after the chairman of the BBC Trust said allegations of sexual abuse Savile could not be excused as behaviour from a time when "attitudes were different", and gave his backing to inquiries by police and the corporation.

Lord Patten told a business dinner in Cardiff on Monday night it was " no excuse to say 'that was then' in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and attitudes were different then".

Two police forces investigated allegations against the entertainer in the past but no action was taken

He told the Cardiff Business Club: "It's no excuse to say, 'I'm sure the same thing used to happen with pop groups and others at the time'. Those things may be true but they don't provide an excuse."

BBC director-general George Entwistle yesterday apologised to victims of Savile's alleged sex abuse and pledged the corporation would hold its own inquiry following a police probe.

Savile, the late radio and TV presenter, has been accused by a growing number of women of sexual abuse over a number of years.

Last week the BBC said it would work with police in examining the claims and on Friday Mr Entwistle wrote to staff urging them to come forward with information.

Entwistle said any BBC inquiry would take place after police had conducted their investigations.

"When the police have finished everything they have to do, and when they give me an assurance that there is no danger of us in any way compromising or contaminating an investigation, I will take it further and ensure that any outstanding questions are answered properly," he said.

Any BBC probe, he added, would examine the "broad question of what was going and whether anybody around Jimmy Savile knew what was going on".

A number of former colleagues have told how they were aware of rumours about the former Top Of The Pops presenter.

Unease about the claims has led to a number of memorials to the star being removed. Yesterday it was announced an inscription on the wall at Leeds Civic Hall in recognition of his charity work will be taken down.

An ITV documentary screened last week claimed Gary Glitter sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in Jimmy Savile's dressing room as the Savile groped another girl, aged 14.

Karin Ward waived her right to anonymity to talk of abuse suffered by herself and another girl from Duncroft school in Surrey.

She added: “Jimmy Savile had a girl on his lap and his hand up her skirt and inside her underwear. She came from Duncroft and was 14.

"The girl Gary Glitter was having sex with also came from Duncroft. I think she might have been not quite 14.”

“I didn’t see it completely but that’s what was going on and nobody batted an eyelid. I also told them I was horribly, horribly humiliated.

Gary Glitter, a convicted paedophile, has reportedly denied the claims.