Jimmy Savile Allegations To Be Subject Of Two Independent Reviews By BBC

Director General George Entwistle has announced the BBC will hold two independent reviews into the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse allegations.

The first internal inquiry, headed up by an independent expert, will focus on whether there was any mismanagement over the decision to drop a Newsnight documentary about the late TV presenter abusing children.

Mr Entwistle said continuing speculation over editorial decisions made by the Newsnight team were "damaging to the BBC and this is a cloud of suspicion that cannot be allowed to continue."

There are to be two investigations connected with the Jimmy Savile allegations

The director-general said he was not aware of what aspect of Savile's life was being investigated by Newsnight when a decision was taken not to broadcast the film.

Newsnight editor Peter Rippon will remain in his role pending the investigation as Mr Entwistle said he has "full confidence" in the broadcaster.

Savile raised millions for charity, especially for Stoke Mandeville Hospital

The other review, lead by an independent expert into child protection, will examine the culture and practices of the BBC whilst Jimmy Savile worked at the corporation and afterwards.

"It will also examine whether the BBC's child protection, whistle-blowing and bullying and harassment policies and practices are now fit for purpose.

"I remain confident that our existing policies are working well today," he added.

Mr Entwistle also reiterated an apology to victims of the late TV presenter

"I offer a profound apology and heartfelt apology to victims of Jimmy Savile," he said.

"I have made clear my revulsion at the thought that these have been carried out by someone employed at the BBC and on BBC premises."

"Our audience's trust in us is paramount," he added.

Allegations of abuse against the former DJ date back to the 1960s

Since ITV screened a documentary in which five women alleged they had been abused, new claims about Savile's predatory behaviour have emerged on a daily basis.

Scotland Yard is now pursuing 340 lines of inquiry in the Savile abuse case involving 40 potential victims, the force revealed today.

So far 12 allegations of sexual offences have been officially recorded but this number is increasing, Scotland Yard said.

Metropolitan Police detectives are in contact with 14 other forces as the number of allegations against the former DJ continues to rise.

An announcement will be made next week on how the BBC will deal with allegations of sexual harassment, Mr Entwistle said.

"Jimmy Savile's victims have faced years of pain. We owe it to them and to our audiences to understand how this could have happened and to make sure that everything we do makes sure that nothing like this could ever happen again," he said.

"I'm a former editor of Newsnight and one of the absolute priorities in investigating something that might touch upon the BBC is the independence of the news division from elsewhere in the organisation.

"The thing that was uppermost in my mind was an absolute determination to ensure that nobody should construe anything I had to say or think about this as a matter of any pressure."

The scandal has seen the BBC come under fire with allegations that the corporation was aware and failed to take action

David Nicolson, who worked as a director on the children's programme, claimed to have caught Savile having sex with a girl in his dressing room, but said he was laughed away when he voiced his concerns.

He told The Sun: "It was a bog standard changing room in the basement. They both quickly pulled up their pants. The girl could have been 16, maybe 15. But she was just one of many - he always had one in the room."

When he reported the incident, he said he was told: "'That's Jimmy'. I was revolted by his behaviour. They just shrugged it off, saying 'Yeah, yeah - that's the way it goes'."

Mr Nicolson added: "Everyone knew what was going on. That includes senior BBC people - chiefs at the highest levels."

It was also claimed today that Savile was banned from visiting a council-run children's home after he molested a 12-year-old girl.

A woman, who did not want to be identified, said he was told to leave the care home in his home city of Leeds after staff found him in a bedroom with the girl in the 1970s.

She told BBC Radio Leeds the girl was indecently touched by the former DJ but that a social worker advised her not to report it to the police.

The witness said that the woman in charge of the home, who seemed "uncomfortable" with Savile visiting, "ran upstairs and found him" when she realised he had taken the girl into a bedroom.

She said: "You could hear it - there were raised voices from the staff room and then she just ran upstairs.

"A social worker came down and basically he came back the next day and said it would be his word against Jimmy Savile and it would be unfair to put a girl through the procedure of a police investigation that probably will end in nothing and ruin a man's career."

Leeds Safeguarding Children Board said it had not received any complaints about Savile but encouraged anyone with concerns to report them.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he thought the Savile case was "the dark side" of Britain's celebrity culture.

"I have been thinking about this a lot because I just cannot understand how this remained hidden for so long," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"There must have been just so many people who knew what was going on in hospitals, the BBC, maybe in the police.

"I just keep asking myself why did this remain buried for so long. The only explanation I can come up with is what we are seeing is the dark side of the culture of celebrity, and actually in this case it wasn't a culture of celebrity it was the cult of celebrity.

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