Margaret Thatcher 'fought' to knight Savile

Margaret Thatcher with Jimmy Saville outside No 10 Downing Street. Credit: PA Archive

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher made repeated attempts to get Jimmy Savile knighted - despite pleas from her concerned aides - it has been reported.

Previously unseen Cabinet Office documents from Lady Thatcher's premiership obtained by The Sun newspaper admit to advisers' "worries" about Savile being made a "Sir" against a backdrop of "unfortunate revelations" about his private life.

The television star was knighted for his services to charity in 1990.

One adviser's letter to the PM, published in The Sun today, stated: "Mr Savile is a strange and complex man."

It adds: "Fears have been expressed that Mr Savile might not be able to refrain from exploiting a knighthood in a way which brought the honours system into disrepute."