BBC: new child sex abuse allegations emerge against staff other than Savile
Twenty BBC employees have faced 36 allegations of sexually abusing children and teenage victims since the Jimmy Savile scandal rocked the corporation last year.
The complaints about an unknown number of victims under the age of 18 have come to light in the six months since October, according to a Freedom of Information request to the BBC.
The corporation said it was “horrified” by the allegations made against the 20, who have worked for the BBC in some capacity over the past five decades.
The complaints were among a total of 152 recent and historic allegations of sexual abuse against 81 BBC employees and freelancers, including 48 about Savile. Each of the complaints, involving adults and children, have been made to the BBC since October.
Half of the accused are current members of BBC staff or contributors, the FoI request revealed, and cases against five are being examined by the police. Of these, three have been suspended pending the outcome of the police investigations.
It is not known whether the claims relate to any on-screen stars other than Savile.
The FoI request, which has been seen by one newspaper, found that allegations about 25 current staff or freelance contributors had been reported to police, with no further action taken in 20 cases.
The Tory MP Rob Wilson accused the BBC of “turning a blind eye to sexual abuse and allowing powerful bullies to prosper” and urged Tony Hall, the new director general, to treat them with “the greatest seriousness and rigour”.
He added: “For years the BBC’s management allowed a culture to develop of turning a blind eye to sexual abuse and allowing powerful bullies to prosper. The internal culture of the BBC was rotten and it remains to be seen whether it still is.
“It is appalling though that an organisation could have been managed in this way. The BBC’s new leadership needs to quickly demonstrate that the Corporation has changed decisively in how it deals with such disturbing allegations and the culture it springs from.”
Some of the allegations are expected to be passed to the Dame Janet Smith review, the judge-led inquiry into the culture and practices of the BBC in the Savile era.
The 152 allegations are understood to be separate to the 37 cases of alleged sexual harassment at the BBC uncovered by Dinah Rose QC in her review, published on 2 May, that examined the past six years.
The BBC said in a statement: “The BBC has been appalled by the allegations of harassment and abuse that have emerged since the Savile scandal broke.
“We have launched a series of reviews that aim to understand if there are any issues with the current culture of the BBC or the historic culture and practices from as far back as 1965 to see what lessons can be learned to prevent this happening again.
“As part of these reviews the BBC is conducting extensive searches of its records and has asked BBC staff and contributors past and present to share any information that might be useful. Their contributions are vital and we are grateful for them.”