Calls for UK child abuse probe

July 07, 2014 - 10:34:22 am

LONDON: The British government faced growing calls yesterday for a national inquiry into alleged child abuse that may have involved lawmakers in the 1970s and 1980s, after it emerged that 114 files relating to the accusations were missing.

The claims have surfaced after revelations of child abuse by prominent celebrities, fuelling calls for an over-arching inquiry into past violations.

The allegations of child abusers in Westminster centre on a dossier given to the interior ministry in 1983 by Geoffrey Dickens, a Conservative MP and campaigner against child abuse.

But that file is missing.

Yesterday, Britain’s Home Office revealed that in total, 114 files relating to child abuse allegations were “presumed destroyed, missing or not found”.

The Home Secretary of the time Leon Brittan, forced to defend his handling of the Dickens dossier, said he had handed all relevant information onto officials for investigation.

The interior ministry said a senior legal figure would carry out a fresh review of how the office dealt with the Dickens dossier.

The issue comes at a sensitive time for David Cameron’s coalition government as the prime minister prepares to contest an election in 2015.