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Historical child sex abuse – review into allegations of Home Office cover-up

Home Secretary Teresa May has addressed the House of Commons regarding a planned review of historical child sex abuse claims within Westminster. A separate and wide-ranging investigation will also take place, to be led by an independent panel of child protection experts.

Organised child sex abuse at Westminster – ‘key events’ review

In 1982, former Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens announced his intention to expose eight government figures linked to organised paedophilia. In 1983, Mr Dickens began to provide information to the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan. However, the Home Office did not take any subsequent action.

In 2013, the Home Office commissioned a review of the information provided by Mr Dickens. Mark Sedwill, Senior Civil Servant in charge of the investigation, reported that 114 files were missing – Teresa May commented that: “These are presumed destroyed, missing, or not found”.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said:

“We need to know what happened when these allegations were first
raised even decades ago, when you will know that former cabinet
ministers have said there may have been a cover-up.”

Following calls to investigate what happened to the missing files from Labour MP Simon Danczuk, Teresa May announced on July 7th 2014 that Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), will lead a review of how police and prosecutors handled reports of child sex abuse at Westminster.

Lord Brittan denies that he failed to act appropriately on the information provided to him by Mr Dickens:

“It has been alleged that when I was home secretary I failed to deal
adequately with the bundle of papers containing allegations
of serious sexual impropriety that I received
from the late Geoff Dickens MP.

“This… is completely without foundation – as evidence
from the Home Office’s own report supports.”

Mr Wanless’ report is expected within ten weeks.

Child sex abuse within government ranks – long term investigations

A separate and long-term investigation into reports of historical organised paedophilia within the government will run alongside Mr Wanless’ review. The separate investigation is to be led by an independent panel, and is not expected to reach a conclusion before the upcoming general election.

Mrs May has stated that the panel inquiry will be converted into a public inquiry if the initial findings of the investigation suggest this to be in the public’s interest. Prime Minister David Cameron has echoed Mrs May’s intent, commenting that these investigations will “leave no stone unturned”.

Advice and support from Hampson Hughes Solicitors

If you have any information regarding historical child sex abuse within Westminster, and you would like expert guidance and valuable support going forward, call Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Sources:
BBC
Guardian

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