Westminster abuse inquiries: At least 10 famous politicians ‘named again and again’ by child abuse helpline callers

Theresa May has launched a wide-scale inquiry into institutional handling of child sex abuse allegations

Child protection campaigners say at least 10 “famous” current and former politicians will now face being investigated over allegations of historic abuse.

The figures, including a number who are now dead, have been identified “again and again” by callers to child abuse helplines, it has been claimed.

It comes as Theresa May announced an independent inquiry will look into how the state and other institutions have handled accusations of abuse over the past four decades.

Dr Jon Bird, of the National Association for People Abused In Childhood (Napac), said it looked like the 10 politicians will “at last” face up to the accusations – and warned that he expected more allegations to follow.

He told Sky News: “The names of people in very high places - politicians, senior police officers and even some judges - have been going around as alleged abusers for a very long time.

Read more:
Abuse allegations: Government sets up 'wide-ranging' inquiry
Why did DPP also fail to act on evidence of paedophile ring?
Lord Brittan statement on alleged Westminster paedophile ring
Thatcher minister admits there 'may well have been' cover-up

“Since the Jimmy Savile revelations, there's been a sea change in the way police and the CPS respond to these sort of complaints and now, at last, it looks like these people are going to be investigated.”

Peter McKelvie, a former child protection manager, said he believed that the number of “prominent figures” linked to an alleged Westminster paedophile network could be “upwards of 20”.

He told the BBC's Newsnight programme that there was also “a much larger number of people who have known about it and done nothing about it, who were in a position to do something about it”.

Today Mark Sedwill, the most senior civil servant at the Home Office, will be questioned by MPs over the department’s handling of child abuse allegations made over a 20 year period.

The permanent secretary will appear before the home affairs select committee amid questions over the quality of a review he commissioned last year.

Lord Brittan has admitted receiving a file with allegations
of an abuse network, but denied any suggestion of a cover-up Lord Brittan has admitted receiving a file with allegations of an abuse network, but denied any suggestion of a cover-up Lord Brittan, the home secretary in Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government from 1983 to 1985, has faced questions over his handling of a dossier, compiled at the time by the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, which contained allegations of a predatory paedophile network operating in and around Westminster.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless has been asked by Ms May to look into the adequacy of the probe into the way claims were dealt with and the response of police and prosecutors to information which was passed on to them.

And she revealed that a wider inquiry, carried out by an independent panel of experts and given access to all the Government papers it requests, could be converted into a full public inquiry if its chairman – who is yet to be appointed – feels it is necessary.

It is unlikely to report before next year's general election, but Ms May promised that an update on its progress will be given to Parliament before May 2015.

Prime Minister David Cameron said his Government would leave “no stone unturned” in seeking the truth about widespread allegations of a paedophile ring with links to the establishment in the 1980s.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss