Thursday, 4 October 2012

Updated - Hendon MP Matthew Offord claims he knew about Jimmy Savile for years

In an extraordinary twitter today, the MP  for Hendon claims that he knew about Jimmy Savile and the allegations of paedophilia for years. He says

Matthew Offord@HendonMP
For nine years I worked at the BBC and the rumours about Jimmy Saville were well known amongst staff, particularly the HIGNFY transcript.

On has to ask the question why he chose to do nothing about it? Turning a blind eye because everyone else is, surely is not an acceptable excuse for an MP?

************** Updated 18:07 ****************************
Mr Offord has been talking to the local press and made some quite appalling and disturbing statements. He told the Press Group

"There would have been nothing more to do. It was 30 years ago. In a lot of these cases we all pray that the behaviour is relegated to the past.  He had been a been off mainstream TV for many years and had become a peripheral elderly figure.”

In other words, the fact that he was knocking on a bit,. it was a long time ago and he isn't on telly any more so we can forget about it. This is truly appalling attitude. What deterent is there in an attitude like this. As a Roman Catholic, I am pleased that elderly priests who abused children are being brought to book. Why on earth should Mr Offord take the view that a celebrity should be treated differently because he isn't on telly any more.

He told the Times Group

“There is no way I would have gone to the police or my line manager and reported that I’d heard rumours and it was so long after it was supposed to have happened that it was no longer on the news agenda."

Am I alone in finding Mr Offords attitude repulsive. Sexual abuse of minors cannot be tolerated for any reason. Mr Savile had a unique position of power. It seems Mr Offord felt his career was more important than justice for the victims of abuse.

I am truly sickened.

I tweeted a message to Mike Freer MP, who clearly understands that this is an issue and that actiuon should have been taken. Whilst I may disagree with Mr Freer on political ideology, he does at least seem to know right from wrong.

Here is our twitter exchange

Rog T@Barneteye
just out of interest, do you think that staff who are aware of sexual abuse by celebrities should've turned a blind eye at BBC?


Vicki Morris aka Citizen Barnet said...

Yes, everyone who knew this 'open secret' is crawling out of the woodwork now.

It really makes you despair of humanity, that we are so herdlike that no one got out of their comfort zone and pursued this matter openly or with the authorities.

I'm genuinely ashamed at our cravenness in the face of 'celebrity'.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

In the U.S. any person who is aware that a criminal offence has taken place, but “receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment” can be charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Whilst there does appear to be circumstantial evidence to suggest there was a case to answer, the fact remains that the suspect is now dead and unable to defend the allegations. It is more than a thousand years since Pope Formosus was posthumously put on trial and convicted. Revisionist trials have no place in a modern democracy, however repulsive the alleged crimes may have been.

Morris Hickey said...

Quite right DCMD. Posthumous trial and finding of guilt smacks of some of the more totalitarian regimes of the world. Riding the bandwagon of "knowledge of the guilt" leans heavily in that direction.

Dave-ros said...

I agree, it's an astonishing coincidence that so many people "knew" about this and did nothing back in the day.

Poor Jimmy, even if it turns out it's all malicious lies, the tabloid readers in this country will just assume he "got away with it" because there's "no smoke without fire", and every man (not woman) is innocent until speculated guilty of paedophilia... where's the Paedo-Finder General when you need him?

Jaybird said...

This is a ridiculous piece of puff which ought to be ignored.

Offord has admitted to listening to sleazy gossip, which puts him in a pretty low light, but it is difficult to go to the police with gossip.

He also believed that the HIGNFY transcript was real, when it quite clearly was not.

I don't blame him for not going to the police without any evidence. I do think that to use the current flurry of news stories to raise his own profile and indulge in a bit of BBC bashing is pretty low.

Rog T said...


You cannot seriously dismiss his comments as a "piece of puff". We expecta degree of good judgement from an MP.

Mrs Angry said...

Offord is a fool and yet again shows very poor judgement in making such comments.

There were indeed always rumours about Savile and another DJ, also now deceased, even when I was still at school. Such behaviour then was not investigated as it should have been, of course. The fact that this is only now being discussed is tragic, scandalous if true, and something that was ignored in the face of strong evidence.

The fact that he is dead is neither here nor there in terms of justice for victims. In such cases it is very often the case that the truth only emerges years afterwards, and we owe it to the victims to listen, and consider their evidence.