Jimmy Savile arrests begin… starting with Gary Glitter

Gary Glitter became the first person to be arrested in the investigation over Jimmy Savile this morning, as the row continued to dominate the headlines.

The development comes as questions are raised about former BBC director-general Mark Thompson and the BBC Trust moved to limit the damage to the corporation.

Glitter, 68, was arrested at 07:15 GMT in London today, and was led away dressed in a hat, a coat, black gloves and a scarf.

The Metropolitan police refused to say what led to Glitter's arrest, except too say it was for allegations of sexual offences.

"The individual falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed 'Savile and other'," a Met spokesperson said.

Glitter is reported to have left the police station sometime this afternoon.

There are allegations Savile was part of a sex ring in the BBC and several rumours abound about other high-profile entertainment figures – some of whom still performing today – who may also have been engaged in the sexual abuse of children.

The Met are currently following up 400 separate lines of inquiry concerning around 300 potential victims.

Meanwhile the BBC tried to get on the front foot over the scandal, as BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten adopted a more robust response to allegations of a cover up in the BBC.

"The filth piles up," Patten wrote in the Mail.

"Can it really be the case that no one knew what he was doing? Did some turn a blind eye to criminality?" he asked.

"Even those of us who were not there at the time are inheritors of the shame.

"The BBC must tell the truth and face up to the truth about itself, however terrible. So no grandstanding, no covering our backs. My primary task with my fellow trustees is to sort this out, as fast as we can, once and for all."

The BBC Trust has come in for considerable criticism for acting as both a cheerleader and a watchdog over the BBC. Patten's comments suggest it intends to take a more critical role in the row in a bid to defend itself from criticism and as an effort to limit the damage to the BBC brand.

Thompson, who left recently as director-general of the BBC and is about to take over at the New York Times, was dragged into the scandal today when the Sunday Times claimed his office was told of the Savile allegations on two occasions. He denies the report.

The Sunday telegraph reported that senior government figures are "extremely concerned" at the way Thompson's successor, George Entwislte, has handled the affair.