Savile scandal reaches BBC Scotland as bosses admit some staff face sex-abuse claims

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  By a Newsnet reporter
 
BBC Scotland chiefs have been urged to provide more details after it emerged staff north of the border have been accused of sex-abuse.
 
The calls follow a Freedom of Information request which forced bosses at Pacific Quay to admit a list of 81 people employed by the corporation, who are facing sex allegations, included staff at BBC Scotland.

According to the Daily Record, despite admitting some of their staff were indeed amongst those accused of sex abuse, bosses at the BBC’s Glasgow based HQ refused to provide details of the offences or the number of individuals involved.

The BBC also refused to confirm whether any of those accused were still employed by the broadcaster.

Speaking to the Record, BBC Scotland’s Head of Public Policy & Corporate Affairs Ian Small said: “I can confirm that the BBC holds this information.

“However, we are withholding the exact very small number of individuals under section 40(2) (personal information) of the Act, due to the risk of individuals becoming identifiable from such information.

“The individuals concerned would not expect their personal data about allegations of such a nature to be disclosed to a third party.

“To do so would be unfair; therefore, disclosure would breach the First Data Protection Principle (fair and lawful processing)”.

The reluctance of the BBC to provide information has led to at least one politician to criticise the decision.

SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “There has been a lot of public concern following the revelations at the BBC and the best way to restore confidence in the organisation is through taking an open and transparent approach on this matter.”

The man whose Freedom of Information request led to the BBC Scotland admission, joined Mr Wishart in urging transparency.

Speaking to the Daily record, he said: “I’m disappointed that BBC Scotland refused to reveal the full extent of the allegations, the outcome of them, and whether or not that those the allegations were made against continue to be in employment at Pacific Quay.

“For the organisation to move forward I believe there has to be full transparency and such serious allegations cannot and should not be continually swept under the carpet.

“I submitted the request as I wanted clarity as to whether BBC Scotland was in any way embroiled in the scandal that has engulfed the organisation.

“Sadly it has but I am shocked they are keeping secret the extent and severity of these allegations.

“Evidence I’ve seen so far suggests they haven’t learned the lessons from the Savile case.”

Last October Conservative MP Rob Wilson claimed an independent investigation was needed into the culture at the BBC which he suggested was corrupt and was incapable of admitting mistakes.

The Savile sex scandal led to Operation Yewtree, which investigated hundreds of allegations of sex abuse.  Following investigations, several former BBC personalities were arrested and one high profile TV and radio personality – Stuart Hall – was jailed after admitting sexually assaulting underage girls.

It emerged Hall had been provided with a private room by the BBC in which to ‘entertain’ females.

Yesterday, the scandal led to another former BBC personality being arrested and charged with sex offences.  Dave Lee Travis, a former Radio One DJ and Top of the Pops presenter is facing a string of sex allegations from nine different women, one who was 15 at the time of the alleged offence, spanning thirty years.

Speaking yesterday, Travis said he was innocent and was looking forward to clearing his name.

Speaking yesterday, he said: “To say the least I’m very disappointed that the police and CPS have decided to bring charges.

“These allegations are not true and I think the only other thing I can add to that statement is I’m very much looking forward to actually clearing my name on this. I can’t say any more than that.”