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Lord Brittan: Police probe 'ongoing' despite peer's death

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed it will continue to review an historical allegation of rape against former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, despite the peer's death aged 75.

The Conservative peer died at his London home following a long battle with cancer, his family said.

He was recently caught up in a row over allegations that he failed to act on evidence of child abuse by senior figures in Westminster in the 1980s.

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Questions remain over Lord Brittan's handling of abuse dossier

File photo dated 24/1/1986 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with Lord Brittan (centre) and other members of her cabinet. Credit: PA Wire

Former Home Secretary Lord Brittan returned to the headlines in July last year when questions rose over his handling of a dossier handed to him as home secretary in 1983 by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens. It alleged the existence of a paedophile ring at Westminster.

Lord Brittan confirmed that he had a meeting with Mr Dickens and was given a file, which he passed on to officials, adding: "I do not recall being contacted further about these matters by Home Office officials or by Mr Dickens or by anyone else."

However, the department later released an extract of a letter Lord Brittan sent to Mr Dickens the following March explaining that the material had been assessed as worth pursuing by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) and was "now being passed to the appropriate authorities".

An independent review commissioned by the Home Office in 2013 found that the department had not retained the dossier.

A furore over the allegations led to an independent review of the Home Office's handling of child abuse allegations in the 1980s by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless. His report last November found no evidence of a cover-up - but warned it was impossible to draw firm conclusions.

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