Emily Thornberry MP, Labour’s Shadow Attorney General, commenting on the Director of Public Prosecution’s decision today to review the CPS handling of the Savile case, said:
"I welcome the DPP’s decision to review the CPS’s handling of the cases referred to it in 2009 about Jimmy Savile. It is deeply disappointing that the CPS was presented with evidence of a clear pattern of sexual assaults by Savile and decided not to act. It reportedly reached that decision within one month of receiving a file on the matter from Surrey Police.
"I wrote to Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) on the 23rd October calling for the decision-making in that case to be externally reviewed. Although today’s announcement represents progress, it is still my view that any review should be independent of the CPS in order to command public confidence. Ideally, the Savile case requires a single over-arching inquiry into institutional failings across the board. In the absence of that, HMCPSI would be well placed to scrutinise the role of the CPS.
"The DPP has also acknowledged historic failings by the CPS in cases of child-grooming generally over the decades. He has said that CPS lawyers have too often approached cases such as the Rochdale sex-grooming gang with flawed assumptions about the reliability of vulnerable victims. We welcome the DPP’s commitment to overhauling the CPS response to these cases. However, we need to know whether the CPS will revisit any of the flawed decisions it has made."<div>