1. ITV Report

Two inquiries launched amid Westminster abuse claims

Home Secretary Theresa May announced today there will be two inquiries into alleged child sex abuse in Westminster during the 1980s. Photo: PA

Home Secretary Theresa May announced today there will be two inquiries into alleged child sex abuse in Westminster during the 1980s.

So why do we need two and what do they aim to find out?

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced there will be an inquiry into historic child abuse claims in Parliament. Credit: PA

Inquiry One

  • Headed by NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanlass
  • Will investigate claims a paedophile ring was operating among MPs in the 1970s and 1980s and where evidence potentially backing it up has gone
  • In 1983 a 40-page dossier was handed to the Home Office by the late MP Geoffrey Dickens
  • It was given to then Home Secretary Lord Brittan but no further action was taken
  • The dossier is said to contain the names of eight public figures, including MPs
  • 114 files which could detail evidence of child abuse are now 'destroyed or missing'
  • The government is accused of 'covering up' the allegations for up to 35 years
  • Initial findings are expected to be published within 10 weeks

ITV's Political Editor Tom Bradby reports:

Inquiry Two

  • Billed as a 'Hillsborough-style' inquiry it will be more wide-ranging
  • A panel of experts will investigate whether all institutions have taken seriously their 'duty of care to protect children'
  • The BBC, NHS, political parties and Church could be probed
  • The panel can take evidence in public as long as it does not interfere with any criminal investigations
  • Their work will begin as soon as possible
  • If necessary it will be upgraded to a full-scale inquiry

ITV's Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

While Ms May has called the alleged crimes "disgusting" and said where failures are found "we will expose it and we will learn from it."

We have to look at every area where it is possible that people have been guilty of abuse and we need to learn lessons to ensure that the systems we have in place are able to identify that and deal with it appropriately

– Home Secretary Theresa May

Prime Minister David Cameron said it was vital to pursue the guilty and vowed 'no stone would be left unturned.'

Campaigning MP Simon Danczuk, who brought up the missing dossier in Parliament last week challenging Lord Brittan to 'share his knowledge' on it, fuelled the inquiries.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has investigated claims the late politician Cyril Smith abused young boys. Credit: PA

I am pleased the Government has shifted its position significantly in the last few days.

This is the right thing to do and I welcome the fact that the Home Secretary has recognised the public mood and acted accordingly.

Of course, the devil will be in the detail.

– MP for Rochdale Simon Danczuk

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