Oct 15 2012
Culture Secretary Maria Miller is to be pressed to say if the Government plans to launch an independent inquiry into the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Conservative MP Rob Wilson secured an urgent question, which forces a Government minister to appear in the Commons, to ask if the cabinet minister believes the BBC has done enough to deal with the ever-growing slew of allegations against the late television presenter.
He will also call for answers about why the corporation dropped a major Newsnight investigation into Savile and went ahead with a tribute programme after his death. It will be the first opportunity for MPs to question the Government about its response to the scandal since it broke.
Police believe the DJ and television presenter's alleged catalogue of child sex abuse could have spanned six decades and included around 60 victims.
BBC Director-General George 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.
Mr Wilson, MP for Reading East, is expected to raise concerns about how the BBC has dealt with the scandal, particularly the credibility and accuracy of some of the statements it has made. He will also push for details about who will run the corporation's "independent" inquiry as well as what powers it will have to question former employees of the BBC.
Earlier, Sir Michael Lyons, who was chairman of the BBC Trust from 2007 to 2011, said there was a question to be answered over Newsnight's piece on Savile.
"We do need to be clear there was no inappropriate influence there," he added. "You know that in any news programme you sometimes put together stories which for one reason or another don't make it to air.
"If this is more than that and there is any suggestion that, for the sake of an entertainment programme, the BBC failed to investigate allegations which clearly related to its own history then that is a serious matter and I think (current BBC Trust chairman) Chris Patten has made it quite clear the trust takes it seriously and will pursue it to the end."