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Hendon MP Matthew Offord: 'Jimmy Savile was protected by BBC'
Hendon MP Matthew Offord believes Jimmy Savile got away with abusing underage girls because he was an untouchable BBC “Bafta bully”.
Matthew Offord worked with the corporation in early 2004 and wrote on Twitter yesterday that rumours of the famous presenter’s sexual exploits were “well known” among staff.
An ITV documentary broadcast last night alleged that the veteran broadcaster sexually abused a number of underage girls throughout his career.
Speaking to the Times Series today, Conservative politician Mr Offord said he believed the Jim’ll Fix It host was protected by the broadcaster.
He said: “I personally believe the allegations were and are true. By the time I was working at the BBC it was so far in the past, it was off the news agenda. Sometimes with certain people the BBC would dampen down stories about them.
“There were people known as ‘Bafta bullies’ at the corporation who got away with bad behaviour if they were good at what they did – Jimmy Savile was one of them.”
Mr Offord revealed that, as a boy, he wrote to Jim’ll Fix It asking for a training session with the English or Welsh rugby teams.
The 43-year-old later worked as a senior analyst at the BBC for nine years and says the rumours were openly discussed among staff.
He said: “It was something that was talked about. I had conversations with my colleagues about it. I was reasonably new to the BBC but it was common knowledge.
“One woman I spoke to said I was ruining the memories of her childhood and it’s true - we all wrote to him. It makes you think now you’re glad he didn’t pick you.”
Former Barnet Council member Mr Offord said he felt no obligation to report the rumours to police as it was so long after the alleged incidents.
He said: “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.
“I wasn’t surprised when the news broke. I had heard a lot of the rumours before and when he died I had expected them to come out then.
“It will be interesting to see what the BBC does as there is a feeling they have closed rank on the issue up until now.”
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