– New twist in Westminster scandal: 114 secret files on paedophile cases missing, admits Government (DailyMail, July 5, 2014):
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.
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.
His comments came in a letter to senior Labour MP Keith Vaz, who said: ‘I welcome this inquiry but it is essential that it reports promptly and comprehensively.’
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.
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.