Report into missing child sex abuse files to be released

The Home Office is expected to come under fire today when a key report into its handling of child sex abuse allegations is published.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, was brought in to investigate in July after an internal review found the department had "lost or destroyed" 114 files between 1979 and 1999.

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  1. National

Labour MP: 'I am worried Wanless was set up to fail'

NSPCC chief Peter Wanless may have "been set up to fail" because he has only had six weeks to investigate what happened to crucial documents in an alleged child sex abuse scandal which have been "lost or destroyed".

Simon Danczuk told Good Morning Britain: "I've talked to experts who carry out these types of reviews using digital technology who say you would need about six months to go through 20 years of documents."

Report into child abuse claims - statement from Home Office this morning

Home Sec Theresa May Credit: PA

A report into how police handled sex abuse claims in the 1980's is expected to reveal it's failed to find the missing documents that prompted the inquiry

The report centres on concerns the authorities did not act on information passed to them by the then Littleborough and Saddleworth MP Geoffrey Dickens about a possible paedophile ring in Westminster.

The Home Office had previously said the so-called Dickens dossier had been destroyed. A statement is expected from the Home Office at 9.30 this morning

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  1. Daniel Hewitt, Granada Reports

Exclusive: Geoffrey Dickens feared his child abuse investigation would "die with him"

It's emerged that a North West MP who was trying to expose an alleged paedophile ring at the heart of the British Establishment feared his campaign would die with him.

Geoffrey Dickens, who was MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth until his death in 1995, was seriously ill when he confided to a friend that he had compiled a dossier naming several high profile suspects.

Our Political Reporter Daniel Hewitt has the story:

Rochdale council suspends abuse independent review

In order not to interfere with any potential police investigation we have agreed to temporarily suspend our independent review.

The council is determined to complete a thorough and transparent examination of the events when it is possible to do so.

In the meantime we await to hear how GMP's wider investigation will proceed.

We also welcome the announcement by the Home Secretary Theresa May of an independent inquiry to look into historic cases of child sexual abuse.

– Linda Fisher, Acting Chief Executive Rochdale Borough Council

Breakthrough for campaigners calling for abuse investigation

The Home Secretary Theresa May has ordered a comprehensive review into the handling of allegations of child sex abuse involving senior politicians at Westminster in the 1980s.

It follows a campaign by the Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk. He's welcomed news of an "overarching inquiry" into how public bodies have dealt with abuse claims over the years.

Alison Mackenzie has the story:

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PM on abuse dossier inquiry: We want answers quickly

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that he wants answers as "quickly as possible" over historic claims of child abuse by politicians at Westminster, but refused to confirm whether this would happen before the general election in May 2015.

The Prime Minister has taken a 'close personal and detailed interest' in the claims relating to historic allegations of sex abuse. Credit: PA

"We want to make sure that answers are achieved as quickly as possible," Mr Cameron's spokesman said. "Clearly it needs to be a process that commands confidence and credibility as well."

The Prime Minister was said to have taken a "close personal and detailed interest" in the claims being made over the weekend and has held "extensive discussions" with his team.

  1. National

'Heinous' sex abusers should be brought to justice

Home Office minister Norman Baker has said that the Government has made it clear it wants those responsible for "heinous" historical child sex abuse brought to justice.

Mr Baker said: "We do take these matters extremely seriously and all ministers have made it very plain that we expect the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and others to take all necessary (steps) to bring those responsible for heinous crimes to justice."

He added: "The fact that these matters are getting extra coverage these days, and the fact that the Government has made it very clear that we take these matters seriously, is encouraging people to come forward, including with historical allegations, and that is exactly right.

"We expect the police and Crown Prosecution Service to investigate them properly."

  1. National

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."

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