Westminster child sex scandal: Finally, Home Office launches inquiry into alleged abuse possibly dating back decades05/07/2014 22:35
The row over an alleged Westminster child sex ring took a new turn last night after the Government admitted that more than 100 secret files on paedophile cases have gone missing.
And four new cases of alleged child abuse, possibly dating back decades, are to be investigated by police.
The development came as the Home Office was forced to order a full-scale legal inquiry into claims of an Establishment cover-up of a powerful network of child sex abusers linked to Parliament and Downing Street.
A top lawyer is to investigate the Government’s handling of a dossier alleging high-level paedophile activity, which was first passed to Tory Home Secretary Leon Brittan by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983 – but subsequently lost.
Mark Sedwill, the Home Office permanent secretary, told David Cameron yesterday that the new investigation will examine whether the findings of a review of the so called ‘Dickens dossier’ conducted last year ‘remain sound’.
The earlier review failed to find the dossier and said its contents had been broken up, with relevant information passed to the police and the rest destroyed.
As public fears of a cover-up grow, Mr Cameron has been forced to order a fresh hunt for the missing dossier. The Prime Minister said: ‘It’s right that these investigations are made. We mustn’t do anything that could prejudice or prevent proper action by the police.’
For the first time, Mr Sedwill also revealed there had been previous attempts to find the dossier – and how huge numbers of Home Office files have either vanished or been destroyed.
He said a massive review of 746,000 Home Office files covering 1979 to 1999 had identified ‘573 relevant files which had been retained.’
However, shockingly, Mr Sedwill said in a letter to Labour MP Keith Vaz: ‘The extensive analysis of the central database identified 114 potentially relevant files had been destroyed, missing or not found.’
‘The investigation identified 13 items of alleged child abuse, nine of which were known or reported to the police including four involving Home Office staff. The remaining four, which had not been previously disclosed, have now been passed to the police.’