Now Savile police arrest PR guru Max Clifford

Max Clifford, and below, Stuart Hall
Max Clifford, and below, Stuart Hall
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PR guru Max Clifford has been arrested by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

The publicist was held at his Surrey home at 7.40am on suspicion of sexual offences and taken to a central London police station for questioning, a source confirmed.

Stuart Hall after he was made an OBE last March

Stuart Hall after he was made an OBE last March

He was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into allegations of sex abuse surrounding Savile and others.

Scotland Yard is leading the national probe into claims made against the disgraced TV presenter and figures in the entertainment industry.

Clifford is the fifth suspect to be arrested - and sixth person to be questioned - in connection with the Yewtree operation which has already cost around £2 million and involves a team of 30 officers.

A Met spokesman said: “The individual (held today) falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed ‘Others’.

“We are not prepared to discuss further.”

Last month Clifford publicly questioned where the police inquiry might lead and said a lot of old stars were worried about being dragged into the investigation because they had appeared on Top Of The Pops or Jim’ll Fix It and had merely posed for photographs with girls and Savile.

“It is a situation which could easily turn into a witch hunt, a lot of big stars are frightened,” he told ITV’s Daybreak.

“Where is it going to end?

“I hope they (the police) concentrate on finding people like Jimmy Savile who were manipulating girls.”

His arrest follows the questioning by detectives last week of a man in his 80s from Berkshire, as part of the investigation that does not directly relate to Savile.

Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis and a man in his 70s, reported to be former television producer Wilfred De’Ath, have been arrested and bailed as part of the probe.

Last month Scotland Yard said it was dealing with about 450 potential victims, the vast majority of whom claimed they had fallen prey to Savile.

Officers are looking at three strands within their inquiry: claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others.

Today’s arrest comes a day after veteran BBC sports broadcaster Stuart Hall was charged with indecently assaulting three young girls. Lancashire Police said his arrest was not linked to Operation Yewtree.

The 82-year-old former It’s A Knockout presenter is accused of offences against alleged victims aged from eight to 17 between 1974 and 1984.

Prosecutors authorised police to charge him on three counts of indecent assault last night following his arrest at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, yesterday morning.

He was released without charge on an allegation of rape and a further allegation of indecent assault.

Hall has been bailed to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court on January 7.

The BBC said Hall would not be working at the corporation while police continue their investigation into the allegations.

Police arrived at his home at about 8am yesterday and stayed until about 2pm.

A spokeswoman said: “We take all allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously. We would encourage people with any information about sexual abuse or who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward and report their concerns, confident in the knowledge it will be investigated appropriately and with sensitivity.”

Hall has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was this year awarded the OBE. His eccentric and erudite football match summaries have made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

He rose to fame on It’s A Knockout between 1972 and 1982 before going on to host A Question of Sport and Going, Going, Gone.

A BBC spokesman said: “In light of the very serious nature of these charges Stuart Hall will not be working at the BBC while the police continue with their enquiries.”

Meanwhile, a former barrister brought in to oversee investigations into allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile on NHS premises has released details on how victims or witnesses can contact the investigation team.

Kate Lampard, who was appointed by the Department of Health to keep a check on investigations concerning three premises, also published terms of reference for the inquiries.

Savile, who died last year aged 84, had a bedroom at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, an office and living quarters at Broadmoor, and widespread access to Leeds General Infirmary.

Ms Lampard said: “It is important that victims of this abuse can be certain these investigations discover exactly what happened and what went wrong.”

The investigations are expected to be completed in the second half of next year.