Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Patten rejects separate Hall probe

Lord Patten shrugged off criticism from ex-BBC director general Greg Dyke, who described the chairman of the BBC Trust as a 'lame duck'

There will not be a second inquiry into how disgraced TV star Stuart Hall was able to abuse his victims while working at the BBC, the chairman of the corporation's trust said.

Lord Patten said that instead, a review into the Jimmy Savile scandal by Dame Janet Smith would also investigate how Hall - who has admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls during the 1960s, 70s and 80s - gained access to his victims.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, the chairman of the BBC Trust said the corporation was also likely to face compensation claims from the victims of Hall.

He said: "I think to set up a new inquiry, when there is already one which is extremely well-resourced operating, would probably delay arriving at the truth. If we need to do more, we will. At the end of the day, what we have to do is to provide answers which will satisfy people that we have been prepared to deal with our own dirty washing."

Asked by guest presenter Jeremy Vine whether the BBC would be liable to pay compensation to the victims, Lord Patten added: "I imagine so, but that will be a matter for the lawyers and conceivably the courts.

"I think it would be incredible to be able to do that (estimate the cost of compensation) now because first of all what needs to happen is that we need to be able to get a grip on what happened and of course, in the meantime, co-operate with the police.

"It's a different case from the Savile case because the main person who is alleged to have committed these crimes - who has committed these crimes, he has owned up to some of them - is actually alive."

Lord Patten also shrugged off criticism from former BBC director general Greg Dyke, who described the chairman of the BBC Trust as a "lame duck".

Lord Patten added: "If Greg Dyke was doing an interview on flower arranging he would find a way to turn it into an attack on me. It's worth remembering that he presided over the BBC at the last big crisis and as a result we have the present system of governance of the BBC, which has completely changed because of the Greg Dyke business."

Hall, who now faces jail, was described as an "opportunistic predator" after he appeared at Preston Crown Court on Thursday. Recorder of Preston Judge Anthony Russell QC granted him bail on condition of residence at his home address and no unsupervised contact with children.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz