DCSIMG

Jimmy Savile’s letter to Thatcher spoke of ‘my girl patients’

The hand-written note the late DJ sent to Margaret Thatcher after their lunch together in 1980. Picture: PA

The hand-written note the late DJ sent to Margaret Thatcher after their lunch together in 1980. Picture: PA

  • by ELLEN BRANAGH
 

JIMMY Savile declared his “love” for Margaret Thatcher in a hand-written letter after being invited to lunch with her, newly released records show.

But the DJ claimed to have waited a week before writing to the prime minister to avoid appearing “too effusive”.

In what will now appear to be chilling references, Savile refers in the letter to the excitement of his “girl patients” and “paralyzed [sic] lads” at Stoke Mandeville Hospital following his lunch with Mrs Thatcher in 1980.

The letter is among a series of previously secret files released to the National Archives and show the former Top of the Pops presenter’s communications with the PM as he tried to enlist support for his work to renovate the hospital.

Savile, awarded a knighthood in 1990 for charitable services, received widespread praise for his work with the hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

But it has since emerged to be one of a series of places where he preyed on vulnerable people, abusing them over decades.

An ITV documentary aired on 4 October this year prompted hundreds of people across the country to come forward about the abuse they say they suffered.

Before the revelations, the late DJ was hailed by many as a hero for his seemingly tireless charitable work.

In his letter to Mrs Thatcher, the star spoke of the reaction of his “girl patients” and “paralyzed lads” to his lunch date with her.

Hand-written on “Jim’s ‘Daily Dozen’ paper”, it bears the address Flat 84, 22 Park Crescent, W1.

It reads: “Dear Prime Minister. I waited a week before writing to thank you for my lunch invitation because I had such a superb time I didn’t want to be too effusive.

“My girl patients pretended to be madly jealous + wanted to know what you wore + what you ate.

“All the paralyzed lads called me ‘Sir James’ all week. They all love you. Me too!!”

It is signed: “Jimmy Savile OBE xxx.”

Other documents reveal Savile’s regular communications with Mrs Thatcher and Downing Street, including his request for a contribution to Stoke Mandeville. In one, the prime minister is asked by one of her staff to confirm that she did not promise Savile she would appear on Jim’ll Fix It.

In the message dated 9 March, 1981, after the DJ attended lunch with Mrs Thatcher at Chequers, personal secretary Caroline Stephens wrote: “Can you kindly let me know if you made any promises to Jimmy Savile when he lunched with you yesterday, for instance.

“(i) Did you offer him any money for Stoke Mandeville?

“(ii) Did you tell him that you would appear on Jim’ll Fix It?.”

The first question is annotated by hand by Mrs Thatcher, saying: “Will tell you in detail. MT”, while next to the second is a simple “No”.

The file also reveals a discussion on Savile’s suggestions about tax deductions for charitable donations.

In a letter in February 1980, No10 private secretary Mike Pattison wrote to Martin Hall at the Treasury saying that while at Downing Street for an NSPCC presentation ceremony, Savile asked Mrs Thatcher about deductions.

The PM suggested that the seven-year covenant system could be a “disincentive” and that three years might be more reasonable, the letter said.

It emerged there were already plans to shorten the period to four years in the impending Finance Bill, and Mrs Thatcher informed Savile after the change was announced in the Budget.

The following year there were discussions about Savile’s suggestion of a government contribution to Stoke Mandeville. In January 1981, Mr Pattison told health minister Dr Gerard Vaughan’s private secretary that Savile met Thatcher with the hospital’s plans and suggested a “government grant” as a goodwill gesture.

“The Prime Minister said was he thinking of a million pounds and Mr Savile replied that they would be grateful for any sum and that there was absolutely no hurry at all,” he wrote.

The matter is debated in further letters as where the money should come from is discussed.In December 1981 it was decided the government would give £500,000 to the Stoke Mande-ville Appeal.

 
 
 

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