Paul Gambaccini: I was used as human ‘fly paper’

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Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini has backed a 28-day limit on the use of police bail after telling MPs he was the victim of a “witch-hunt”.

The gay BBC TV and radio presenter was arrested through Operation Yewtree on suspicion of historical sexual abuse and placed on bail for a year before the case against him was dropped in October.

He told a Commons committee on Tuesday that lost earnings and legal fees had cost him more than £200,000.

“I faced the full weight of the state, with unlimited financial resources for 12 months for no reason,” Gambaccini said. “It was a completely fictitious case – a science fiction case and I don’t have a time machine. If Operation Yewtree was a football team they would be relegated because they have lost two thirds of their matches.”

Asked if he felt there had been a “concerted attempt” to link him with other unconnected cases, in the hope that publicity would prompt other alleged victims to come forward, Gambaccini said: “Oh, of course.

“You are exposed, in the first place, so that other people will accuse you … You can see the pattern in all the cases. You are exposed in the press. Stephen Fry called it the ‘flypaper’ tactic, where they put up a human being as a piece of flypaper and see what gets attracted to it.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) denied there was a “witch-hunt”.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced in December that she was consulting on a 28-day bail limit in all but exceptional cases.

Gambaccini, a long-time supporter of LGBT causes, returned to his presenting duties in November.