UK & World News
BBC Looks Into Dropped Savile Documentary
The BBC is under increasing pressure as it emerges it will scrutinise a last-minute decision to drop a film about the Jimmy Savile sex abuse claims.
Ken MacQuarrie, a corporation veteran, has been asked to speak to BBC journalists who want to know why the Newsnight documentary was dropped days before broadcast.
Several Newsnight journalists wrote to BBC director-general George Entwistle to ask why the film was not aired, a BBC spokesman has confirmed.
Mr MacQuarrie, who has overall responsibility for BBC Scotland, will report to Mr Entwistle and information will be shared with the BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten.
One question is likely to be whether the programme was dropped because it interfered with a BBC tribute programme to the entertainer who had died recently.
The BBC is under pressure after an avalanche of allegations that the corporation was aware of the sex abuse claims but did nothing about them.
Grant Shapps, chairman of the Conservative Party, told BBC's Question Time that it "seems unimaginable" that people at the BBC were unaware.
He said: "What happened now appears to be outrageous.
"It's particularly disturbing that a programme paying tribute, a three-parter, went out just last Christmas after it was already known at senior levels within the BBC that something was wrong, enough to have had a serious Newsnight programme made about it and enough to raise serious concerns.
"I do think there are definitely questions that do need answering."
Mr Shapps backed calls for Savile to be stripped of his knighthood, saying "it can't be right" that he remains a Sir in name following the allegations.
He said: "I would be in favour of the Forfeiture Committee taking a close look at this because it can't be right that somebody apparently keeps the Sir in front of their name when this is the reality of their life."
Fresh claims of sexual abuse have been made against the late TV presenter, following allegations that he preyed on children during hospital visits.
Several police forces have received complaints and referred them to Scotland Yard, which is leading the investigation.
Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Tayside are the latest forces to say allegations have been made.
A woman told Greater Manchester Police of a sexual relationship she had with Savile from the age of 15.
A second said she was groped by him in Salford when she was under 16.
Another woman told Tayside Police she was targeted in the Liverpool area and another in Scarborough in the 1980s.
Two more women complained to Lancashire Police about incidents when one was 14, in the 1960s, and the other 15, in the 1980s.
Claims have also emerged that Savile groped young patients at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, where he worked as a volunteer fundraiser.
One woman alleged that she saw him molest a brain-damaged hospital patient at Leeds General Hospital.
Nurses at Stoke Mandeville are understood to have dreaded Savile's visits because of his behaviour.
They apparently told children to stay in bed and pretend to be asleep when he came round.
However a friend who worked with him to raise funds at the hospital said she did not see him do anything "inappropriate".
Sylvia Nicol told Daybreak: "I am very sad, I don't like it, it takes away 40 years of very happy, very good memories.
"Knowledge of all the good Jimmy did, because from the time he came to Stoke Mandeville I only saw him do good."
June Thornton, a patient at Leeds General Infirmary in 1972, said she saw Savile abuse someone she thought was a brain-damaged girl.
Ms Thornton said that when she told a nurse about the abuse, she was ignored.
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Stoke Mandeville, and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said they were helping police with their investigations.
It was also claimed that Savile was banned from visiting a council-run children's home after he molested a 12-year-old girl.
Police believe Savile may have abused as many as 25 victims over a period of 40 years.
They have so far formally recorded a number of criminal allegations, including rape and indecent assault.
The raft of allegations against Savile has been branded a "cesspit" by BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten.
He has pledged to hold an independent inquiry as swiftly as possible after the police investigation.
A spokesman for The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust said it can only legally use funds for specific charitable purposes, and not for compensation payments.
It is currently considering the "very large number" of requests for funding, including those received from charities working with victims of sex abuse.
Savile, a keen runner, has now been removed from the Great North Run's hall of fame.
David Hart, communications director at race organisers Nova International, said: "We decided to remove his name and image from our Hall of Fame website.
"We took the measure out of respect of public opinion surrounding Mr Savile. We are waiting for the conclusion of the police investigation before taking any further action.
"One option in the future could be to have his Hall of Fame award rescinded entirely."
Savile was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.