PM urged to establish Savile probe

Labour want a public inquiry into the alleged abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Savile, who was linked to several public institutions

Labour want a public inquiry into the alleged abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Savile, who was linked to several public institutions

First published in National News © by

David Cameron is facing Labour demands to set up an independent inquiry into the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said a broad inquiry into Savile's activities at the BBC, Stoke Mandeville hospital and Broadmoor was essential to "do right by the victims".

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

Speaking to ITV1's The Agenda, Mr Miliband 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.

"I think we now have enough set of allegations and further allegations to know this is not some isolated set of incidents," Mr Miliband said.

"This seems to be a pattern of activity which spanned a number of institutions. As I say, I just think about the victims in this. This is absolutely horrific and will scar people for life. And I think for them, the BBC - good institution though it is - I don't think they can lead their own inquiry."

Ms Miller told the Commons on Monday 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.

She added: "The BBC has launched three separate investigations, as the House will be aware. The first will look particularly at the allegations with regard to the item on Savile which was inappropriately pulled from Newsnight." Ms Miller later denied she was prejudging a BBC inquiry with the use of the word "inappropriately".

BBC director-general George Entwistle is expected to be questioned by MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee next week. Police believe the DJ and television presenter's alleged catalogue of sex abuse could have spanned six decades and included around 60 victims.

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