Tory MP writes to BBC Trust over Newsnight allegations

Conservative MP Rob Wilson wrote to the BBC Trust and Ofcom about the Newsnight broadcast Credit: Conservative Party

Conservative MP Rob Wilson has written to the chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, asking him to explain what steps it had taken to establish the true identity of the man who abused Mr Messham. He wrote:

"What steps did the BBC take to verify the accuracy of Mr Messham's allegations against the man variously described as a 'leading Conservative from the time', 'leading Conservative politician from the Thatcher years', or 'senior Tory politician', and to check concerns about mistaken identity?"

He also wrote to the regulator Ofcom asking if it believed there were grounds for investigating whether the BBC had given the man concerned an "appropriate and timely opportunity to respond" before the allegations were broadcast by Newsnight. He wrote:

"If the BBC did not do this, would Ofcom consider this a breach of section 7 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code?"