Minister's 'pledge' on sex register

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The Government has agreed to create new legislation giving the public some form of access to lists of sex offenders, the parents of the murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne said yesterday. After an hour-long meeting with the Home Office minister Paul Boateng, Michael and Sara Payne said he had agreed to their call for "a version" of "Sarah's Law", which would give parents access to the Sex Offenders Register. Mrs Payne said: "We have been assured there will be a Sarah's Law. We are very happy indeed."

The Government has agreed to create new legislation giving the public some form of access to lists of sex offenders, the parents of the murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne said yesterday. After an hour-long meeting with the Home Office minister Paul Boateng, Michael and Sara Payne said he had agreed to their call for "a version" of "Sarah's Law", which would give parents access to the Sex Offenders Register. Mrs Payne said: "We have been assured there will be a Sarah's Law. We are very happy indeed."

The Home Office said only that the meeting had been "constructive" and that Mr Boateng had been "able to elaborate on the Government's thinking" on the issue. A Home Office spokeswoman said the Government would soon be announcing a package of measures to improve the protection of children.

* Plans to purge paedophiles from the Roman Catholic priesthood were disclosed yesterday by the Archbishop of Westminster. The Most Rev Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is setting up an impartial panel to make a detailed examination of how children are protected from abuse within the church. "I am very sorry about the mistakes of the past," he said.

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