The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has asked the Holy See to investigate the Papal Knighthood awarded to Jimmy Savile and whether it can be posthumously removed.
The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, wrote last week to the Holy See asking the competent office to investigate whether the Papal Honour awarded to Jimmy Savile for his charitable works could be posthumously removed and its effects nullified, recognising the deep distress of all those who have suffered abuse and the disquiet at Mr Savile’s name remaining on Papal Honours lists.
– A spokesman for the Archbishop of Westminster
While the outcome of the current police investigation is awaited, the allegations of abuse are deeply shocking and our thoughts go first to all those who have been abused. The Church invites all those who have suffered abuse to come forward to the appropriate authorities.
Jimmy Savile's nephew has told the Yorkshire Post that his family's "hearts go out" to the alleged victims of the late TV presenter.
Speaking on behalf of Savile's family, Roger Foster said they were in turmoil over the allegations of sexual abuse made against Savile.
"Where will it all end? Who knows? The repercussions of this scandal are enormous," Mr Foster said.
“We, as his closest family, have to endure further revelations on a daily basis. Our feelings are in turmoil as we await the next turn of events,” he continued.
Mr Foster said of Savile's alleged victims, “We can understand their reluctance to say anything earlier and can appreciate the courage it has taken to speak out now".
“Our hearts go out to them and we offer them our sympathy and understanding in their anguish,” he added.
Jimmy Savile could become the first person to be stripped of a Papal knighthood posthumously after the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales asked the Vatican to investigate removing the honour, The Telegraph has reported.
The newspaper reports the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, has written to Rome asking whether Savile’s Papal knighthood can be annulled in recognition of his victims’ “deep distress”.
Dozens of big name stars from the 1960s and 70s have contacted PR guru Max Clifford "frightened to death" they will become implicated in the widening Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal, he claimed on London's LBC radio.
I am hoping that the real predators are the ones we are going to find out about - the Glitters of this world, the Saviles of this world, not people that were randy young pop stars in the 1960s, 70s and 80s even, that had women throwing themselves at them everywhere they went, because that is a whole different area and a whole different situation.
Seven alleged victims of Jimmy Savile made complaints to four separate police forces while the disgraced television presenter was alive.
ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner reports:
A spokeswoman for Freddie Starr also said he would be prepared to talk to officers investigating claims of abuse by Jimmy Savile. The comedian has strongly denied allegations linking him to abuse.
Freddie is prepared to be interviewed by the police, but his lawyer has been in touch with the person that is heading the investigation and they have no intention of questioning him.
A Scotland Yard spokesman declined to comment.
Freddie Starr said that he has "always said from the word go" he is prepared to be interviewed by the police over abuse allegations linked to the Jimmy Savile inquiry.
Speaking outside his home, where he appeared with a young girl, Starr added: "I've always said I want to be interviewed...I've got sick of it am I'm just going to go down there."
The comedian has strongly denied allegations linking him to abuse.
Seven alleged victims of Jimmy Savile made complaints to four separate police forces - Surrey, London and Sussex - while the television presenter was alive.
- Scotland Yard said a retired officer had told them that he had investigated Savile in the 1980s while based in west London but did not have the evidence to proceed.
- An allegation, of inappropriate touching dating back to the 1970s, was made by a woman in 2003. The victim did not want to take action.
- Surrey Police submitted a file to the CPS containing references to four potential offences, including an allegation of indecent assault on a young girl at a children's home. Prosecutors decided there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.
- An allegation emerged in 2008 when Jersey police received a claim that an indecent assault occurred at children's home Haut de la Garenne in the 1970s. Again it was decided that there was insufficient evidence to proceed.
An ITV spokesman responded to a report that management had dismissed a Yorkshire Television newsreader's claim that he saw Jimmy Savile grope a young girl:
We would urge Mr Hardwick to contact us with details relating to the serious allegation he makes.
We take any allegations of criminal activity within ITV / YTV, or to the knowledge of ITV / YTV, very seriously and would immediately contact the police in such cases, and follow up with our own inquiries.