Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 3 September 2015

Miliband demands new Savile probe

Published 15/10/2012

There will not be a public inquiry into the Jimmy Savile scandal
There will not be a public inquiry into the Jimmy Savile scandal

Labour has called for the Government to set up an independent inquiry into the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal to "do right by the victims".

Culture Secretary Maria Miller earlier dismissed demands for an independent inquiry, saying she was "confident" BBC chiefs were taking the claims "very seriously".

But Labour leader Ed Miliband said the BBC's internal investigations were not enough.

Speaking to ITV1's The Agenda, he said: "These are horrific allegations. In order to do right by the victims I don't think the BBC can lead their own inquiry.

"We need a broad look at all the public institutions involved - the BBC, parts of the NHS and Broadmoor. This has got to be independent."

Labour wants an independent inquiry to have the power to demand documentation and witnesses. It should look into Savile's activities at the BBC, Stoke Mandeville hospital and Broadmoor, the party said.

Ms Miller told the Commons that the allegations had "wide-ranging implications for a number of public institutions" but rejected calls for an outside inquiry to restore the public's faith, warning it could hamper police investigations.

Commons culture committee chairman John Whittingdale said BBC director-general George Entwistle had offered to appear before the committee next week and said he was "sure" MPs would take him up on the offer.

Police believe the DJ and television presenter's alleged catalogue of child sex abuse could have spanned six decades and included around 60 victims.

Mr Entwistle announced last Friday that two inquiries would be launched into the abuse claims. One will look into whether there were any failings over the handling of the abandoned Newsnight piece. A second independent inquiry will look into the "culture and practices of the BBC during the years Jimmy Savile worked here", Mr Entwistle said.

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