Documents reveal Savile's relationship with government

Margaret Thatcher pictured with Jimmy Savile outside No 10 Downing Street in 1988.
Margaret Thatcher pictured with Jimmy Savile outside No 10 Downing Street in 1988. Photo: DAVID JONES/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Newly released records show Jimmy Savile's relationship with the Government as he tried to enlist support for his work to renovate Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The previously unseen documents reveal Savile's regular communications with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Number 10, as well as a lunch meeting with the Conservative leader at Chequers in 1981.

Savile made successful attempts to secure a £500,000 government contribution for his charitable work at the hospital, which is located only three miles away from the Prime Minister's official country residence.

The documents include two letters from the Prime Minister directly addressed to Savile between February 5th 1980 and January 8th 1982, and one handwritten response from the then star DJ, which declared his "love" for the Conservative leader.

Savile asked the Government about charitable tax relief in 1980 and how long it would take to qualify for potential deductions.

A note for the Primer Minister regarding Savile's enquiry for tax relief on charitable convenants (dated February 22nd 1980).
A note for the Primer Minister regarding Savile's enquiry for tax relief on charitable convenants (dated February 22nd 1980). Credit: National Archives

The Prime Minister writes to Jimmy Savile:

The Prime Minister sends a letter to Savile on February 25th 1980 following their meeting.
The Prime Minister sends a letter to Savile on February 25th 1980 following their meeting. Credit: National Archives
The Prime Minister writes to Savile for a second time on 14th April 1980.
The Prime Minister writes to Savile for a second time on 14th April 1980. Credit: National Archives

In Savile's letter to Thatcher the star spoke of the reaction of his "girl patients" and "paralyzed lads" to his lunch date with her.

An undated letter from Savile thanks Thatcher for inviting him to lunch to discuss charitable fundraising.
An undated letter from Savile thanks Thatcher for inviting him to lunch to discuss charitable fundraising. Credit: National Archives

A government official asked the Prime Minister to clarify whether she had "made any promises to Savile when he visited (Chequers)", for instance, "Did you tell him that you would appear on Jim'll Fix it?" to which Mrs Thatcher wrote: "No".

The Prime Minister is asked about her lunch meeting with Savile in 1981.
The Prime Minister is asked about her lunch meeting with Savile in 1981. Credit: National Archives
The former Prime Minister comments that she would not appear on 'Jim'll Fix It' (file photo dated March 9th 1981).
The former Prime Minister comments that she would not appear on 'Jim'll Fix It' (file photo dated March 9th 1981). Credit: National Archives

Cabinet Minister Norman Fowler agreed to make funds available for Savile's charitable work in 1981.

Cabinet Minister Norman Fowler agrees to make funds available for Savile's work on 30th December 1981.
Cabinet Minister Norman Fowler agrees to make funds available for Savile's work on 30th December 1981. Credit: National Archives

Savile was expected to write to Thatcher to invite her to visit the Stoke Mandeville building for a ceremonial handover of £500,000 government funds.

Savile asks if the then Prime Minister would like to take part in a ceremonial handover.
Savile asks if the then Prime Minister would like to take part in a ceremonial handover. Credit: National Archives