UK & World News
Jimmy Savile: Cameron Hints Over Knighthood
The committee which looks at rescinding honours may want to consider Sir Jimmy Savile's knighthood following sexual abuse allegations against him, the Prime Minister has told Sky News.
When asked about the growing number of accusations against the late TV and radio presenter, who was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 1990, David Cameron said: "I think every institution has to ask themselves all the right questions.
"The BBC clearly has important questions to ask. We have in Britain something called the forfeiture committee - I don't sit on it, or chair it, or direct it - but it's the committee that looks at whether honours should be rescinded and I'm sure that they will obviously want to do their jobs as others have to do theirs."
The Jim'll Fix It Star, who died aged 84 a year ago, also received an OBE in 1971 for services to charity and broadcasting.
But the Cabinet Office said Savile no longer had a knighthood to revoke, as individuals cease to be a member of the order when they die.
"It's a living order and then you cease to be a member when you die," a spokesman said. "There isn't an honour to revoke."
However, a campaign by The Sun newspaper is calling for a change in the law so that honours can be revoked posthumously by the forfeiture committee.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the BBC Trust has said allegations of sexual abuse by Sir Jimmy over a number of years while he worked for the broadcaster cannot be excused as behaviour from a time when "attitudes were different".
Lord Patten has also given his full backing to inquiries by police and the corporation.
Speaking at a business dinner in Cardiff, the BBC chairman said it was "no excuse to say 'that was then' in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and attitudes were different then".
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."
His comments came after BBC director general George Entwistle apologised to the alleged victims and pledged that the corporation would hold its own inquiry following a police probe.
Lord Patten echoed Mr Entwistle's announcement and outlined how the BBC would act.
He said: "There will be a full police inquiry and we will encourage people to co-operate with it, and when that is completed, we will then look at the issues which still remain to be resolved in a way which will have to command credibility in the wider community."
Mr Entwistle, who started in his new role last month, spoke of deep regret about the ordeals of the women involved in the "awful allegations", and said there would be a "comprehensive examination" of what went on.
Last week the BBC said it would work with police in examining the claims and Mr Entwistle wrote to staff urging them to come forward with information.
A growing number of women have come forward to claim they were either abused - many of them underage - or that they saw others who were victims.
A number of former colleagues have also 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, including an inscription on the wall at Leeds Civic Hall in recognition of his charity work and a street sign in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.