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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:

Report: A new appeal over cover up of abuse at Knowl View

Police say it's time to help them track down anyone who conspired to cover up allegations of sexual abuse at a boys' school in Rochdale.

A number of boys who attended Knowl View School say they were abused by the former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith and others between the 1960s and the 1990s.

Greater Manchester Police have announced a hotline - 0161 856 0310 - for people to call with information.

One man has told us how he spoke out nearly 20-years before the school was closed and was ignored. He says countless lives were destroyed.

Our correspondent, Matt O'Donoghue reports:

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Rochdale Council 'welcomes' new investigation into potential cover-up of Cyril Smith abuse

Linda Fisher, Acting Chief Executive, Rochdale Borough Council:

“The historic activities at Knowl View and any subsequent accusations of wrong doing must be fully examined and Rochdale Borough Council very much welcomes the investigation by GMP police.

“We will continue to co-operate fully with the force’s inquiries making all information available.

“This is a positive step on the road to resolution and we are pleased the Force has acted swiftly to launch a criminal investigation.

“The people of Rochdale, the Council and most importantly the victims, need to have confidence in the process and faith that the truth will be discovered and any necessary actions taken.

“Our own independent review, being carried out by Neil Garnham QC, will recommence when this is deemed appropriate and in agreement with GMP.”

  1. Daniel Hewitt - Political Reporter

Police to investigate whether authorities in Rochdale covered-up abuse at Knowl View

Knowl View school closed in 1994 Credit: ITV Granada

Greater Manchester Police is to launch a new investigation into whether reports of abuse by Cyril Smith and others were covered-up by the authorities in Rochdale.

The independent inquiry will be separate from the investigation underway into alleged abuse at Knowl View school. The investigation announced today will focus on how reports of child abuse by were handled by local authorities, namely Rochdale Council and local Police forces.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett from GMP, said: “Following the publication of MP Simon Danczuk's book 'Smile for the Camera’, GMP conducted an assessment of the allegations contained within that book. As a result of the assessment, GMP decided that a criminal investigation was required.

“This also followed consultation with Rochdale Council and the QC conducting the independent inquiry on their behalf. The council asked Neil Garnham QC to suspend his independent review and he has agreed to do so.

“The GMP investigation will now seek to identify whether any offences have been committed in the way that previous reports of abuse were handled or allegedly covered up.

“The main concerns relate to the response to child abuse over several decades connected to Knowl View School in Rochdale.

“We have consulted with the Home Office in relation to the national inquiry that has been announced into how organisations responded to child abuse, but as these matters relate to criminal allegations in the GMP area, the responsibility to investigate them falls to the Chief Constable.

“We are aware that some of the allegations relate to the past involvement of police officers, and therefore we have referred those matters to the IPCC. In addition, we have established an independent oversight panel to demonstrate the independence and rigour of the investigation that we will be conducting.

“If there are further allegations that relate to the conduct of police officers, these will similarly be referred to the IPCC, as we are required to do.”

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