Lord Brittan denies mishandling abuse claim files

Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan has issued a statement denying that he "mishandled" documents handed to him in 1983 by the late Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens that contained allegations of organised child sex abuse at Westminster.

I would like to put on record that I welcome the fact that there is now to be an independent review to look at the missing files belonging to the Home Office.

It has been alleged that when I was Home Secretary I failed to deal adequately with the bundle of papers containing allegations of serious sexual impropriety that I received from the late Geoff Dickens MP.

This too is completely without foundation - as evidence from the Home Office's own report supports.

As I made clear in the statement that I issued on 2 July, I passed this bundle of papers to the relevant Home Office officials for examination, as was the normal and correct practice.

Lord Brittan added that Mr Dickens "thanked the Home Office for the way in which the information he provided was handled," citing a speech the MP made to the House of Commons in 1987.

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