Labour faces embarrassment over its calls for a wide-ranging inquiry into Jimmy Savile as senior party figures have previously called for the relaxation of child sex laws.
Harriet Harman, the Opposition deputy leader, said the allegations that the late TV and radio presenter abused dozens of young boys and girls had “cast a stain” on the BBC and other trusted institutions.
But at the time Savile was at the height of his fame, Miss Harman was calling for the relaxation of the law on child pornography.
She was a leading light in the pressure group now known as Liberty, which advocated the lowering of the age of consent to 14.
The organisation, then run by the Health Secretary under Tony Blair, Patricia Hewitt, even counted among its affiliates a number of extreme pro-paedophilia groups whose leaders were later jailed.
It means that any independent public inquiry into the culture that allowed Savile to abuse children for so long with impunity, could end up looking into the radical left-wing demands for the liberalisation of child sex laws that were made in the 1970s.
Read more: The Telegraph