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Petition for national inquiry has over 77,000 signatures

An online petition calling for a national inquiry into historic sex abuse allegations in Parliament has gathered over 77,000 signatures.

The petition, launched by Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East in the West Midlands, said if an inquiry does go ahead it must be equipped with the necessary powers to properly delve into the allegations.

He added: "Having talked to a number of survivors and retired child protection specialists I know one thing: if this new inquiry is not given the power to obtain all documents it wants to see, then it won't get anywhere."

"No stone unturned" in abuse probe

Prime Minister David Cameron has said there will be "no stone unturned" by an independent inquiry into how public institutions handled allegations of child abuse, declaring it was "vital" to find out the truth of what happened and to learn lessons.

Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to announce a broad independent inquiry later today as she makes a statement to MPs about claims of organised child abuse at Westminster in the 1980s.

Conservative peer Lord Brittan has welcomed the probe, but insisted that claims he failed to deal adequately as home secretary with a dossier of information handed to him by campaigning MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983 were "completely without foundation".

Fine for wifi on Manchester rail routes

Manchester Piccadilly. Credit: PA

Rail routes through Manchester could benefit from "super-fast" wifi to enable passengers to work during their journey.

The government plans to invest in new on-board internet technology funded by a £70 million fine to be levelled on Network Rail for delays to services, it was widely reported today.

The Manchester to London services are among those expected to benefit.

A spokesman for Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the Sunday Telegraph: "We all know how frustrating it is to have our internet constantly disrupted on trains.

"At the moment it happens too often. Passengers expect and deserve better and with these plans, that is what they’ll get."


Rochdale MP says new probe is a "damage limitation exercise" and calls for a public inquiry into abuse allegations

"The Prime Minister knows that there is a growing sense of public anger about allegations of historic abuse involving senior politicians and his statement today represents little more than a damage limitation exercise.

"It doesn't go far enough.

"The public has lost confidence in these kind of official reviews, which usually result in a whitewash.

"The only way to get to the bottom of this is a thorough public inquiry."

– Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale

New investigation into "Dickens dossier"

Former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, has been accused of abusing children. Credit: PA

David Cameron has ordered the most senior official at the Home Office to conduct a fresh investigation into what happened to a missing dossier of alleged paedophile activity at Westminster in the 1980s.

It comes after the Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk called for an investigation into the dossier when he addressed the Home Affairs select committee at Westminster earlier this week.

The Prime Minister said he understood the concerns that had been raised about the missing file which was handed to the then home secretary Leon (now Lord) Brittan by the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens, when he was MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth.

The Prime Minister said: "It's right that these investigations are made. We mustn't do anything, of course, that could prejudice or prevent proper action by the police.

"If anyone has information about criminal wrong-doing they should, of course, give it to the police."

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