Conservatives have given their backing to a senior councillor accused of giving his paedophile friend Jimmy Savile “unrestricted access” to secure areas of a hospital he was managing.
Welwyn Hatfield Council deputy leader Alan Franey, who ran Broadmoor Hospital during years of sickening abuse by Savile, survived a vote of no confidence last night thanks to support from Conservative colleagues.
An official NHS inquiry into abuse at Broadmoor found that Franey was appointed as the general manager of the secure hospital at the insistence of Savile, who was his friend and running partner. The report reveals details of the quasi-management role afforded the celebrity paedophile — dubbed “the godfather” by Franey — as well as allegations that Franey’s authority at the hospital was compromised by widespread rumours about his personal conduct.
Despite the damning verdict, Franey not only continues as deputy council leader but also oversees policing in Hertfordshire as a member of the county’s police and crime panel. Franey has strongly denied any wrongdoing, including a claim from another health executive that Franey stated Savile had “a liking for young girls, the younger the better”.
The case also threatens embarrassment to the local MP — Tory chairman Grant Shapps — who used the Savile case as a pretext to threaten the BBC’s license fee but has been silent regarding developments on his own doorstep.
Scrapbook is currently investigating rumours of an investigation by the NHS’ fraud unit into a suggested “irregular payment” made to a former Broadmoor employee threatening to make embarrassing revelations about the hospital.