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Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Thursday, 4 October 2012 10:28 UK

'Not credible' that BBC managers influenced Savile TV investigation

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The accusations of five women who say they were indecently assaulted by Sir Jimmy Savile when they were schoolgirls were broadcast in an ITV documentary last night. One made an accusation of rape.

They claimed that they were assaulted on many occasions, including in the star's dressing room at the BBC. It was claimed that at least one BBC executive had been aware of similar claims in the 1970s, when Jimmy Savile was one of the big stars of television, and a famous money-raiser for charity.

The BBC has issued a statement saying it was "horrified" by the allegations in the documentary and would cooperate with any investigation. The BBC's director of editorial policy and standards, David Jordan, told Today presenter James Naughtie that it was unlikely that Newsnight was trying to protect BBC management.

"You and I have worked at the BBC for long enough to know that the suggestion that the BBC management in one part of the BBC was reluctant to allow an investigation by a news programme to go ahead, frankly, would only spur that investigation on and make people more determined to do it and I see that you recognise the syndrome.

And he added: "I don't think it's credible, in the BBC context, to suggest that senior managers in one division could influence the conduct of an investigation of that sort."

Mr Jordan also said it was very important that the allegations are made public and properly investigated by the proper authorities.


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