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Questions remain over Westminster sexual abuse claims

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced an inquiry into the claims. Credit: PA Wire

Sometimes, the 1960s, 70s and 80s seem not like a different world, but a different planet.

The very fact that there was a legal organisation called the Paedophile Information Exchange is in itself impossible to credit. What did anyone think it was for?

We have had terrible story after terrible story about what went on in the church, many schools and even the BBC.

Now there are dark allegations of paedophiles operating at the heart of power here in Westminster. They sound horrific.

One has to be careful not to get carried away with rumour. So far, much of what is discussed doesn't seem to me to stretch much beyond that. But there are plenty of questions to answer.

The Home Secretary just told the Commons that, yes, they had lost 114 potentially relevant files, but they had no reason to suppose they had been removed or destroyed 'inappropriately.' But if they don't know where they are or what happened to them, how can they be so sure they were not destroyed or taken away 'inappropriately?'

Still, the Home Secretary moved swiftly today to kill off any suggestion that she wasn't prepared to get to the heart of this.

There will be no judge-led inquiry, but the investigation is going to be headed by the Chief Executive of the NSPCC, which should do much to restore some confidence to the process.

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