University considers cutting ties with Savile

Television - Programmes - Jim'll Fix It - Leeds


The University is discussing removing the honorary doctorate it awarded to disgraced television star Jimmy Savile.

The development comes after a month of speculation over whether Sir Jimmy  abused children during his career at the BBC.

Leeds-born Savile, who died last October aged 84, was awarded an honorary doctorate of law in 1986.
A spokeswoman for the University said: “At the time of [Savile’s] nomination and when the award was conferred, no concerns had been raised with the University about his behaviour and we were not aware of any allegations against him.
“In the light of this new information, the matter will be discussed when the honorary degree committee next meets [later this month].”
Savile has since been formally accused of rape and six counts of indecent assault. Police have also stated they are looking into 120 lines of inquiry relating to Savile’s other alleged victims.
The University’s attempt to distance itself from the shamed TV star comes after it was reported by Leeds Student that, over the final five years of his life, Savile donated over £400,000 pounds in total to the University.
In 2008, Savile pledged £300,000 to LURE – a research enterprise fund that will continue to receive money from Savile until 2013. Neither the University nor LURE have made a comment to this paper about the matter.
The Metropolitan Police is continuing to investigate Savile. Though there is not yet any conclusion to the case, the force has stated that “it is clear from what women are telling us that Savile was a predatory sex offender.”
The BBC has also begun an inquiry into the claims that he sexually abused underage boys and girls while filming for the BBC during the 1970s.
The corporation has faced significant scrutiny over failing to broadcast a programme which included victims testimony of Savile’s crimes, with many arguing it was part of an elaborate institutional cover up.
Words: Phil Mann
Image: PA

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