Public inquiry urged over Savile case

David Cameron could order a public inquiry into the Jimmy Savile scandal once the BBC and police investigations are concluded, Downing Street has indicated.

Number 10 insisted it was still an option after Labour led calls for the government to set up an independent inquiry into the sex abuse allegations.

A spokesman said: “Nothing has been ruled out, but our view is it would be premature to prejudge the outcome of the two BBC inquiries and the police investigation.”

The comments came after Maria Miller, the culture secretary, appeared to rule out an independent inquiry as she expressed confidence that BBC chiefs were taking the claims “very seriously”.

The developments came as more accusations were made against the late children’s television presenter.

He is accused of organising all-girl discos at the psychiatric hospital Broadmoor in which he was the “therapeutic entertainment” — allowing him access to the young girls away from the staff.

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood has received 2,000 calls offering information since details of Savile’s decades preying on youngsters began to emerge.

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine branded Savile “one of the most serious predatory paedophiles in criminal history”.

Police believe the BBC host was a serial offender who may have abused 60 victims, with accusations spanning six decades up to 2006. The accusations have surfaced since his death last year at the age of 84.

The head of the BBC is to answer questions before a parliamentary committee about the allegations.

The scandal involving Savile, a household name to millions, has piled pressure on the state-funded broadcaster and raised questions about Britain’s celebrity culture.

Some of his alleged victims say they were targeted on BBC premises at the height of Savile’s fame in the 1970s and 1980s and said there was a culture of sexual abuse and secrecy there. Their accusations have been dismissed by bosses.

The chairman of parliament’s media committee said he would be calling BBC director-general George Entwistle to answer questions next week.

The BBC has launched its own investigations, alongside a police inquiry, into the allegations, which might have involved other celebrities, and over the decision to shelve a documentary by Newsnight into Savile’s alleged sex crimes, leading to accusations of a cover-up.

Earlier this week, Labour urged the BBC to ensure nothing similar could happen again.

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