A SENIOR political figure has threatened to sue the BBC after claims that one of its flagship news programmes planned to out him as a paedophile.
The BBC yesterday refused to comment about a Newsnight investigation into the man, which is currently with the corporation's lawyers.
However Iain Overton, editor of the London-base Bureau of Investigation, claimed yesterday morning: "We've got a Newsnight out tonight about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile".
Michael Crick, a former Newsnight presenter and now a political correspondent with Channel 4 News, later said: "[A] 'senior political figure' due to be accused tonight by BBC of being paedophile denies allegations and tells me he'll issue a libel writ agains the BBC."
Details of the investigation, which is due to be broadcast tonight, emerged after the corporation was accused of covering up allegations that Jimmy Savile abused children.
Last year, Newsnight was due to broadcast a programme detailing some of the allegations against Savile but pulled the programme shortly before a tribute show to the presenter was broadcast.
Peter Rippon, the Newsnight Editor, stepped aside last month shortly before being publically critised by George Entwistle, the Director General of the BBC.
Mr Entwistle said he had made "inaccurate or incomplete statements" about the Savile scandal.
Tom Watson, the Labour MP, told the Commons last month that there was "clear intelligence" linking a former aide at Number 10 to a notorious group of sex offenders. He said the aide was linked to the conviction of Peter Righton, a child pornography smuggler who was convicted in the early 1990s.
He said: "The evidence used to convict paedophile Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring.
"One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former prime minister who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.
"The leads were not followed up, but if the file still exists I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10."
On Thursday Freddie Starr, the comedian, was arrested by detectives from the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse investigation team. Mr Starr, 69, was questioned about a claim he tried to molest a 14-year-old girl in Savile's BBC dresssing room in the 1970s. He has strenuously denied the allegation.
Steven Swinford and Sam Marsden Telegraph.co.uk