May to order independent sex abuse claims investigation

Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to announce a broad independent inquiry into how public institutions handled allegations of child abuse. Mrs May will give details of the probe as she makes a statement to MPs this afternoon.

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Lord Tebbit: 'May well' have been cover-up over abuse

Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit has said he believes there "may well" have been a political cover-up over child abuse in the 1980s because "It was the thing that people did at that time."

The former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit. Credit: PA

Lord Tebbit told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show that people's instincts during that era were to protect "the system".

Asked if he thought there had been a "big political cover-up" at the time, he said: "I think there may well have been. But it was almost unconscious. It was the thing that people did at that time."

"At that time I think most people would have thought that the establishment, the system, was to be protected and if a few things had gone wrong here and there that it was more important to protect the system than to delve too far into it," he said.

"That view, I think, was wrong then and it is spectacularly shown to be wrong because the abuses have grown," he added.

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