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Independent Savile probe ruled out
Culture Secretary Maria Miller has dismissed calls for an independent inquiry into the Jimmy Savile scandal, but took a swipe at the BBC for failing to broadcast its own television investigation into allegations against the presenter.
The Cabinet Minister told MPs the corporation had acted "inappropriately" when it pulled a Newsnight film into sex abuse claims against the late DJ and broadcaster but said she was "now confident" BBC chiefs were taking the claims "very seriously".
Ms Miller said 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.
"In terms of a wider inquiry, we have a police investigation on-going at the moment," she said. "Everybody would agree that it is really important that those individuals who have been victims know that that investigation can go on unfettered and that that should be our priority at this stage."
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."
Police believe the DJ and television presenter's alleged catalogue of child sex abuse could have spanned six decades and included around 60 victims.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport rejected suggestions Ms Miller had prejudged the outcome of the BBC inquiry.
"The Secretary of State has not prejudged the outcome of the BBC's investigation into the pulling of a Newsnight item on Savile," a spokesman said.
"As the Secretary of State made clear in the House, it is for the BBC, not ministers, to investigate these allegations."