Today’s report into abuse by Jimmy Savile has been branded an “expensive whitewash” by a lawyer representing Savile’ victims.
Released at 10am today, Dame Janet Smith’s report found “no evidence” that senior BBC staff knew about abuse by Jimmy Savile.
The report follows a three-year inquiry which also concluded that Savile’s abuse took place over a 47-year period and involved victims as young as eight.
Specialist abuse lawyer Liz Dux, who represents 168 of Savile’s victims, said it’s “implausible” that these rumours “did not reach the upper echelons of the BBC”, especially as the inquiry heard evidence from 117 witnesses who said they’d heard rumours about Savile.
Ms Dux said: “What’s apparent is that the senior managers only had to scratch at the very surface and a lot of Savile’s offending would have been revealed.”
Dame Janet’s review cost £6.5 million, something which Ms Dux says victims will feel is “nothing more than an expensive whitewash”.
“Despite millions having been spent on the inquiry my clients will feel let down that the truth has still not been unearthed.”
“All the victims have ever wanted from this report is truth and accountability.”
Ms Dux also felt that senior BBC staff should have been compelled to give evidence at the inquiry, and that a failure to do so gives an impression that that “the whole picture of who knew what has not been revealed”.
The BBC Trust has today apologised, saying that "the BBC turned a blind eye, where it should have shone a light", and promised that lessons will be learned.
Ms Dux expressed a concern that the “culture of fear and oppression” that might have prevented staff at the BBC from speaking out could still exist today.