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More than 100 alleged victims of abuse in children's homes in Cheshire will be named in a claim for compensation being prepared for the High Court which could cost insurers more than pounds 10m. It is believed to be the biggest claim for compensation for sexual and physical abuse of children in Britain, and more cases may be added over the next few weeks. The action, which will be filed in September, is against the operators of four homes in the county. Neither the operators nor the homes can at present be identified for legal reasons. Police believe that the scale of the alleged abuse in Cheshire is greater than the abuse that went on in homes in Clwyd in North Wales where seven men have been jailed.

Meanwhile, the judicial inquiry the Secretary of State for Wales, William Hague, has ordered into abuse at homes in North Wales will start as soon as possible. Roger Dobson