Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative cabinet minister, has said that there “may well” have been a cover up of child abuse in the 1980s, according to the Daily Telegraph. Tebbit, who served in various government roles under Margaret Thatcher, made the comments as more questions were being asked over whether allegations against senior figures were properly investigated.
He said the instinct of people at the time was to protect “the system” and not to ask too many questions about uncomfortable allegations such as those of child abuse.
Last week Breitbart London reported that Leon Brittan was forced to deny that he failed to act after being handed a dossier about child abuse when he was Home Secretary. The file was given to him by the late Conservative MP Geoff Dickens.
Brittan admitted he had been given a “substantial bundle of papers” by Dickens but could not remember them ever having been acted upon. This led the Home Office to admit that large numbers of documents that relate to paedophile activities of senior establishment figures had gone missing.
Appearing on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, Lord Tebbit said: “At that time I think most people would have thought that the establishment, the system, was to be protected and 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 it.
“That view, I think, was wrong then and it is spectacularly shown to be wrong because the abuses have grown.”
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.”
Speaking on Pienaar’s Politics, Nigel Evans, the Conservative MP, said that someone “within the Home Office” must know what happened to the documents that were given to Leon Brittan.
He said: “There will be more than one person who would know that that file existed and has read that file and took the decision either to destroy it or if it’s not been destroyed, it is somewhere, and I think that they really do need now to turn the Home Office upside down.
“If nobody comes forward then they really do need to look absolutely everywhere to ensure that as Francis Maude said, nobody is above the law, we need to make sure that the people inside that file are properly investigated, and the question is, why weren’t they investigated in the first place?”
Leon Brittan has also now been questioned over the rape of a 19 year old student in the 1960s. It is unrelated to the matter of the documents. He left British politics in 1989 to become a member of the European Commission.