1. National

Patricia Hewitt 'called for age of consent to be lowered to 10'

A civil rights group press release from 1976 with only the name of ex-Labour minister Patricia Hewitt on it called for the age of consent to be lowered to 10, The Sun claims. She has apologised for the organisation's links to paedophile campaigners.

View all 8 updates ›

Shadow minister denies backing age of consent call

Shadow minister Jack Dromey said he did not give his approval to a call for the age of sexual consent to be reduced to as low as 10-years-old that was issued by a civil liberties organisation he chaired in the 1970s.

The Sun (£) claimed that a meeting of the executive committee of the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL), attended by Mr Dromey in 1976, agreed that the body should propose lowering the minimum age for sex to 14, or 10 in certain circumstances.

In a tweet to The Sun's Political Editor Tom Newton Dunn, Mr Dromey wrote:

Mr Dromey, now a home affairs spokesman in Ed Miliband's Labour frontbench team, said in a statement: "I did not agree with the proposal in February 1976 to lower the age of consent.

"When elected chairman of NCCL weeks later, I made it clear that my first priority would be to take on the child sex abusers of PIE. I then defeated them by a massive majority at the annual conference in April."

More top news