Independent Legal Figure To Assess Dossier Hunt
The Home Office is appointing an outsider to look at the review into what happened to allegations of child abuse in the 1980s.
It follows David Cameron’s call for a fresh look at how the Home Office dealt with claims about paedophile activity by powerful and famous figures in the 1980s.
But Labour leader Ed Miliband has told Sky News that as well as a “thorough review” of what happened at the Home Office, there must also be a wider look at child protection.
Earlier, the Prime Minister faced criticism for an “inadequate” investigation into what happened to the dossier.
David Cameron said he wanted Mark Sedwill, the permanent secretary to the Home Office, to do “everything he can” to get to the truth.
It followed an independent review carried out last year which failed to find the dossier, but provided a number of findings about correspondence between the Home Office and an MP who made the allegations.
Mr Sedwill wrote to Mr Cameron acknowledging his request and said the independent legal figure was being appointed to provide the additional reassurance he needed.
Mr Sedwill said: “I will engage a senior independent legal figure to assess whether the review’s conclusions remain sound. I aim to make the appointment within the next week.”
The Government has been under pressure to act after claims that a list of names of suspected child abusers, including high-profile men in the establishment, was passed by the MP Geoffrey Dickens to the then-home secretary Leon (now Lord) Brittan.
Lord Brittan admitted he had received the dossier and passed it on to officials – but no action was ever taken.
Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose campaign raised the issue of what happened to the Dickens’ file at a hearing of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said there needed to be a public inquiry.
He told Sky News: “The public are very clearly concerned and they won’t be satisfied with another review by Home Office officials.
“Reviews like this often prove to be whitewashes.
“The Prime Minister should establish an over-arching review led by child protection experts to draw together the results from all these different case, investigations and institutional inquiries.”
Calls for more to be done about allegations of child sex abuse by politicians have increased since the 2010 death of Liberal Democrat MP Cyril Smith, who was subsequently said to have been a paedophile.