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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

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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:

Abuse probe at Rochdale's Knowl View "suspended" as police investigation widens

Knowl View School in Rochdale.

Greater Manchester Police has asked Rochdale Council to suspend its QC-led investigation into alleged abuse at Knowl View School.

The force said a "wider investigation" is required and it's now considering how inquiries should be taken forward.

GMP's Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy, said: “Greater Manchester Police have been carrying out an assessment into how allegations of child abuse over several decades involving Knowl View care home in Rochdale have been handled.

“That assessment has now reached the stage where we believe a wider investigation is required.

"Due to the range of local and national bodies involved in the decisions made in the past, the force is now considering how the investigation should be taken forward.

“With this in mind Rochdale Council at the request of GMP has agreed to ask Neil Garnham QC to suspend his independent review until this matter is clarified and he has agreed to do so.”

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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."

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'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."

"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".

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Police 'must go where evidence leads in abuse inquiry'

David Cameron said it is vital police investigating historical child sex abuse allegations can go "wherever the evidence leads" to "pursue the guilty".

Mr Cameron said he was "absolutely determined" to "leave no stone unturned" to find out the truth.

"Three things need to happen: robust inquiries that get to the truth, police investigations that pursue the guilty and find out what has happened, and proper lessons learnt so we make sure these things cannot happen again. That's what will happen under my government," the Prime Minister said.

Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to announce a review into claims of historic child abuse in the Commons later today.

Read: May's announcement over abuse inquiry to be more 'significant' than first thought

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