British Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered an investigation into what happened to a dossier that contained allegations of paedophile activity within parliament in the 1980s.
Sky News reports that Cameron has ordered Mark Sedwill, permanent secretary to the Home Office, to do “everything he can” to get to the truth over the missing document.
Claims emerged this week that MP Geoffrey Dickens passed the document to the then Home Secretary Leon Britten, forcing Britten to issue a statement saying that he did indeed receive the document and passed it on to officials. After that, however, he claims that he didn’t hear of it again.
Mr Cameron said: “I quite understand people’s concerns about these events that were referred to over 30 years ago”.
“And that is why I’ve asked the permanent secretary at the Home Office to do everything he can to find answers to all of these questions and make sure we can reassure people about these events.”
The Prime Minister urged anyone with information of “criminal wrongdoing” to come forward, but asked that nothing should be done to “prejudice or prevent proper action by the police”.
Geoffrey Dickens’ son, Barry, expressed his dismay at the lack of action over the dossier, which he said would “blow everything apart”.
Many of the allegations focused on the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south west London, where it is alleged that senior members of the establishment abused children. One such figure who is linked with the guest house is former Liberal MP Cyril Smith, about whom allegations of child abuse have surfaced since his death.
Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who has been investigating the abuse claims, told Sky News: “The Prime Minister knows that there is a growing sense of public anger about allegations of historic abuse involving senior politicians and his statement today represents little more than a damage limitation exercise. It doesn’t go far enough.
“The public has lost confidence in these kind of official reviews, which usually result in a whitewash. The only way to get to the bottom of this is a thorough public inquiry.”