Home Office ‘child abuse cover-up’: Michael Gove rules out public inquiry into claims of paedophile politicians at Westminster
Review into alleged abuses finds 114 related files ‘lost or destroyed’ by officials
The Education Secretary has insisted that there should not be a public inquiry into a possible cover-up of paedophile politicians in Westminster, after it emerged that more than 100 Home Office files related to historic allegations of child abuse have gone “missing”.
Lord Tebbit, who served in the Cabinet under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, said today that there “may well have been” a political cover-up in order to “protect the establishment” of the time.
The files, which related to a 20-year period between 1979 and 1999, were flagged up as part of an internal Home Office review into a dossier, prepared by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, alleging paedophile activity at Westminster in the 10980s.
Mark Sedwill, the permanent secretary at the Home Office, revealed the documents were “presumed destroyed, missing or not found”, as he said that a fresh internal review under a “senior legal figure outside the Home Office” would be launched.
But when asked if the “toxic idea that politicians have been hiding this for a long time” meant a public inquiry was needed, Michael Gove told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he disagreed.
Exclusive: Leon Brittan questioned by police over rape allegation
Pressure mounts over file on alleged Westminster paedophile ring
Lord Brittan statement on alleged Westminster paedophile ring
He said that specific concerns should be brought to the police, and that “the due process of law” must be allowed to pursue those who “may or may not be guilty of crimes”.
Mr Gove said: “I think it is important both that we analyse what has happened in the past when a different culture prevailed, but also it is really important that we ensure that those who are keeping children safe now - teachers and social workers - are supported.”
Speaking on the same programme, Lord Tebbit said that there was a view at the time, since “spectacularly shown to be wrong”, that “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 them”.
Lord Tebbit said he thought there 'may well have been' a political cover-up over paedophile politicians in the 1980s 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.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that he did not rule out a wider inquiry but he made clear that the ongoing police investigations would have to take precedence.
“I assume any additional inquiries wouldn't be able to second guess or even look into the matters which the police are looking into already,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme.
Then-Home Secretary Lord Brittan has admitted receiving a file from Geoffrey Dickens with allegations of an abuse network Alison Millar from law firm Leigh Day which representing some of the victims of alleged child abuse, said it was now “an absolute necessity” that there was an independent inquiry into alleged abuse within Westminster.
She said: “This cannot be another internal review held by those who may well be at fault, it will only fuel a growing suspicion amongst the electorate that there is a conspiracy over the abuse of children by those with great power.”
“To be relevant, and effective, any independent inquiry needs to create a safe environment for survivors of abuse to come forward so their voices can be heard. At the moment the allegations are so serious. and go so far up in the Government, to make many survivors fear for their safety.”
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Nazi gold train: 'Significant' discovery made in Poland
Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Carol Vorderman reveals she is 'covered in burns' after she fell off her treadmill while running naked
TTIP controversy: The European Commission and Big Tobacco accused of cover-up after heavily redacted documents released
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 2 Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
- 3 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
- 5 Carol Vorderman reveals she is 'covered in burns' after she fell off her treadmill while running naked