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May 'to outline wide-ranging child abuse inquiry'

Theresa May is to outline plans for a "wide-ranging" inquiry, led by an expert panel, into historic child sex abuse claims, the BBC understands.

The BBC's Nick Robinson said the inquiry would look at claims covering the government, the NHS and the BBC.

The inquiry would be held in public but evidence would not be given under oath.

The home secretary will also tell MPs about a separate review of whether her department failed to act on claims of a paedophile ring in the 1980s.

Mrs May's statement to MPs is expected at 15:30 BST.

The home secretary is also also set to announce a review into public bodies and their duty of care towards children.

Chancellor George Osborne told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the investigation would go "as far as it needs to go".

"People can be absolutely clear, these are very, very serious matters, we take them very seriously, we want to get to the truth and nothing but the truth, and we will do it in an independent and authoritative way."

Labour has been calling for a full public inquiry into the various child sex abuse claims from the past. Shadow home Secretary Yvette Cooper told BBC Radio 5Live she would have to wait and see the full details of the inquiry being planned.

However, she welcomed reports that it would be wide-ranging and cover all the various allegations - as long as a police investigations into specific claims continued.

"Whether it's in the NHS about Savile, whether it's the BBC, whether it's in the Home Office, we need to make sure that all the lessons are learned so that we can have a strong enough child protection system for the future."

For the full story and related articles, please see the BBC News website.

[Text copyright 2014 BBC News]