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“He verbally agreed to the tactic of sending a legal letter to the paper, but was not involved in its drafting,” Williams told Purvis.
Critics of Thompson’s role in the Savile scandal found this unconvincing.
Rob Wilson, a Conservative Party lawmaker who has challenged Thompson’s explanation, said the former BBC chief had not yet given a “definitive” account of his knowledge about the Savile allegations.
“Now it appears legal threats were issued using his name against a newspaper over claims that he hadn’t bothered to read, let alone investigate, but which turned out to be true,” Wilson said.
The Metropolitan Police, meanwhile, arrested a man in his 60s on Thursday in connection with the wide-ranging Savile investigation. A police statement said some 450 alleged victims have now come forward.
Associated Press writers Paisley Dodds, Jill Lawless and Cassandra Vinograd contributed to this report.
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