St Albans MP Anne Main calls for Leveson to probe Jimmy Savile controversy

MP Anne Main has called for the Leveson Inquiry to be extended to investigate the BBC’s “handling and reporting” of child sex abuse allegations against the late Sir Jimmy Savile.

The St Albans Tory MP has written to Lord Justice Leveson appealing for him to look into the “culture, practice and ethics” of the BBC as part of his inquiry into press standards.

It follows concerns about why the BBC chose to drop a Newsnight investigation about alleged child abuse by the entertainer last year.

The corporation announced last week they would launch two internal independent inquiries but Mrs Main believes the BBC should be scrutinised by a public inquiry.

In her letter to Lord Justice Leveson she said: “You will have no doubt seen the allegations about the “culture, practice and ethics” of the BBC, its corporate governance, staff, and coverage of allegations made of Jimmy Savile in recent days.

“These are very serious allegations – and indeed, at the very least, of the same gravity levelled at some newspaper groups of which your inquiry has heard extensive and lengthy evidence.

“Given that your inquiry’s remit also covers the UK’s broadcasters I have concerns that the public would find it incomprehensible that such serious allegations have only been looked at internally by the BBC.”

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Mrs Main also reiterated calls for the BBC to be looked into during a parliamentary debate on Monday, and has written to the Prime Minister expressing support for a “firm line” to be taken over the Savile scandal.