New twist in Westminster scandal: 114 secret files on paedophile cases missing, admits Government
Government says 114 secret files on paedophile cases have gone missing
Four new cases of alleged child abuse are to be investigated by the police
Top lawyer to investigate handling of dossier alleging paedophile activity
Dossier was passed to Home Secretary Leon Brittan but subsequently lost
The file was originally handed over by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983
David Cameron has been forced to order fresh hunt for the missing dossier
The row over an alleged Westminster child sex ring took a new turn last night after the Government admitted that 114 secret files on paedophile cases have gone missing.
And four new cases of alleged child abuse, possibly dating back decades, are to be investigated by police.
The development came as the Home Office ordered a full-scale legal inquiry into claims there has been an Establishment cover-up of a powerful network of child sex abusers linked to Parliament and No 10.
A top lawyer is to investigate the Government’s handling of a dossier alleging high-level paedophile activity, which was first passed to Home Secretary Leon Brittan by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983 – but subsequently lost.
Pictured – The Home Office lost or destroyed a potentially explosive dossier given to Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan (left) by the late campaigning Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens (right)
Mark Sedwill, the Home Office permanent secretary, told David Cameron yesterday that the new investigation would examine whether the findings of a review of the ‘Dickens dossier’ conducted last year ‘remain sound’.
The earlier review failed to find the dossier and said its contents had been broken up, with relevant information passed to the police and the rest destroyed.
As public fears of a cover-up grow, Mr Cameron has been forced to order a fresh hunt for the missing dossier.
The Prime Minister said: ‘It’s right that these investigations are made. We mustn’t do anything that could prejudice or prevent proper action by the police.’
For the first time, Mr Sedwill also revealed there had been previous attempts to find the dossier – and how huge numbers of Home Office files have either vanished or been destroyed.
He said a massive review of 746,000 Home Office files covering 1979 to 1999 had identified ‘573 relevant files which had been retained’.
However, he added: ‘The extensive analysis of the central database identified 114 potentially relevant files had been destroyed, missing or not found.
‘The investigation identified 13 items of alleged child abuse, nine of which were known or reported to the police including four involving Home Office staff.
‘The remaining four, which had not been previously disclosed, have now been passed to the police.’
Mr Sedwill did not provide names, or say if the four cases involved public figures. He vowed to appoint a ‘senior, independent legal figure’ this week.
Fellow Labour MP Simon Danczuk said: ‘The missing files raise serious questions. This suggests either incompetence on a wide scale or a massive cover-up.’
He has also suggested the dossier was destroyed to protect people named in it.
Mr Dickens, who died in 1995, told his family that the dossier would ‘blow the lid off’ powerful and famous figures who were child abusers.
His son Barry said his father would have been ‘hugely angered’ that the allegations had not been properly investigated.
Campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson said last night that the new review did not go far enough and called for a wider inquiry into whether police were pressured into not pursuing investigations.
Between 1981–1985, Dickens campaigned against a suspected paedophile ring he claimed to have uncovered that was connected to trading child abuse images. In 1981, Dickens named the former British High Commissioner to Canada, Sir Peter Hayman, as a paedophile in the House of Commons, using parliamentary privilege so he could not get sued for libel. Dickens asked why he had not been jailed after the discovery on a bus of violent pornography. In May 1984, Hayman was jailed.
On 29 November 1985, Dickens said in a speech to the Commons that paedophiles were “evil and dangerous” and that child pornography generated “vast sums”. He further claimed that: “The noose around my neck grew tighter after I named a former high-flying British diplomat on the Floor of the House. Honourable Members will understand that where big money is involved and as important names came into my possession so the threats began. First, I received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at my London home. Then, more seriously, my name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list”.
In 1983, Mr Dickens said there were “big, big names – people in positions of power, influence and responsibility” and threatened to expose them in Parliament if no action was taken against the Paedophile Information Exchange.
The MP handed a one-million strong petition against the paedophile information exchange to Home Secretary Mr Brittan.
The 50 pages of research of Dickens dossier contained information about suspected paedophile rings, police misconduct and multiple abuse of young boys in care homes
In 1984 he revealed he had called for Mr Leon Brittan, the then home secretary to investigate the allegations in his dossier. But there is no evidence Mr Dickens’ findings were ever followed up and the Home Office admits it has no idea where the file is now
Geoffrey Dickens personally delivered a separate file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Thomas Hetherington, in August 1983. The file contained details of eight prominent public figures who were paedophiles that Dickens had separated out from the later dossiers.
Dickens stated: “I’ve got eight names of big people, really important names, public figures. And I am going to expose them in Parliament.”
The dossier’s may contain information about the notorious Elm guest house boy brothel in London which was reportedly used by a former Home Secretary and people who had worked for MI5, such as Sir Anthony Blunt.
He received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at his London home. Then, more seriously, his name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list, but he never gave up his fight to protect children
New information also shows that the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a group Dickens tried to expose who wanted the age of consent lowered to four years old, were directly funded by the Home Office.
It was also claimed last night that more than ten current or former politicians are on a list of alleged child abusers held by police investigating claims of a Westminster paedophile ring.
Several, including Cyril Smith and Tory grandee Sir Peter Morrison, have died, but others are still active in Parliament.