Saturday, 5 July 2014

Yvette Cooper demands David Cameron to order 'comprehensive and over-arching' probe into historic child abuse allegations

Investigation into the dossier alone does not go far enough, says Shadow Home Secretary

Natasha Culzac

Saturday 05 July 2014

The disappearance of a dossier which detailed alleged paedophile activity by government officials has led to further calls on David Cameron to stage a fuller and more in-depth investigation into historic child abuse within Westminster.

The campaigning MP Geoffrey Dickens handed the “explosive” file to the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan in 1983. He had reportedly told his family that it would “blow the lid off” the lives of the most well-known and influential child abusers.

The Prime Minister has now asked Home Office Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill to stage a fresh probe into the handling of the report.

Shadow Home Sectary Yvette Cooper said the Prime Minister’s latest dossier review does not go far enough, instead calling for an “over-arching” and “comprehensive” investigation into all allegations.

READ MORE: MP will name politician 'involved in child abuse'
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"The Prime Minister is right to intervene to demand a proper investigation into the allegations of child abuse not being acted upon by the Home Office, because we have not had answers from the Home Secretary," she said.

"The Prime Minister should ensure that the action now taken by the Home office amounts to a proper investigation into what happened and also that Theresa May publish the full review conducted in 2013.


Geoffrey Dickens campaigned against a suspected pedophile ring "We also need assurance that the police have been given full information now and are investigating any abuse allegations or crimes that may have been committed.

"The Prime Minister should also establish an over-arching review led by child protection experts to draw together the results from all these different case, investigations and institutional inquiries.

Mr Dickens’ son, Barry, has told the BBC  that his father, who died in 1995, would have been “hugely angered, disappointed and frustrated” if he knew that his revelations had not been acted upon.

He said: “My father thought that the dossier at the time was the most powerful thing that had ever been produced, with the names that were involved and the power that they had.”

Barry also went on to detail how the burglaries of his father’s London flat and constituency home in Greater Manchester following the allegations amounted to nothing being taken.

"They weren't burglaries," he said. "They were break-ins for a reason. We can only presume they were after something that Dad had that they wanted."

Labour MP Simon Danczuk was one of a handful of MPs calling on the Home Office to revisit the dossier, after a 2013 review concluded that the file had been passed on to the police and the material destroyed in line with the policies of the time.

He told the Commons Home Affairs Committee that there needs to be full public inquiry.

"The Prime Minister knows that there is a growing sense of public anger about allegations of historic abuse involving senior politicians and his statement 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."

Child abuse dossier threatened to expose network of government paedophiles

Jul 04, 2014 08:48

Former Littleborough and Saddleworth MP Geoffrey Dickens handed the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan 'a bundle of papers' about the alleged child abuse ring in the early 1980s.

The former Home Secretary Lord Brittan

An explosive dossier which threatened to expose a vile paedophile network operating at the heart of government was created over 30 years by a pioneering former Rochdale MP, it has been revealed.

The papers, penned by former Littleborough and Saddleworth MP Geoffrey Dickens in the early 1980s, were passed to the then home secretary Leon Brittan, now Lord Brittan, to investigate.

Lord Brittan confirmed that Mr Dickens, who died in 1995, passed him ‘a substantial bundle of papers’ about the alleged child abuse ring.

He said he asked officials to look into the claims but ‘did not recall’ being contacted about the allegations again.

The Home Office said it had reviewed how it had dealt with the papers and concluded it had ‘acted appropriately’.

Despite the seriousness of the claims made in Mr Dicken’s dossier, Lord Brittan says the papers were not retained.

It comes after the current MP Simon Danczuk repeated Mr Dicken’s claims in a book about his predecessor Cyril Smith, whom he alleged was a serial child abuser protected from justice by a network of paedophiles at the heart of the government.

Speaking at a Home Affairs Select Committee hearing on Tuesday, he called on Lord Brittan to reveal what he knew about the Dickens dossier.

Lord Brittan said he believed he had acted ‘appropriately’.

He said: “I have been alerted to a Home Office independent review conducted last year into what information it received about organised child sex abuse between 1979 and 1999.

“The review found information had been dealt with properly.

“It also disclosed that material received from Mr Dickens in November 1983 and January 1984 had not been retained.

“However, a letter was sent from myself to Mr Dickens on March 20, 1984, explaining what had been done in relation to the files.

“Whilst I could not recall what further action was taken 30 years ago, the information contained in this report shows that appropriate action and follow-up happened.”

But Mr Danczuk said Lord Brittan had failed to do enough to expose the alleged child abuse network.

He said: “The job of the Home Secretary is to protect the country from criminals and paedophilia is one of the worst crimes imaginable.

“To hear a former home secretary dismiss evidence from Mr Dickens, a member of his own party who has a strong track record in campaigning on paedophilia, in such a casual, procedural manner is extremely worrying.

“Mr Dickens would no doubt have pressed upon Lord Brittan the seriousness and scale of organised paedophilia and everyone would expect a home secretary to show leadership when faced with such allegations, not just pass the dossier on and forget about it.”

Simon Danczuk
 A spokesperson for the Home Office confirmed they had reviewed how they had dealt with Mr Dicken’s dossier.

They said: “The review concluded the Home Office acted appropriately, referring information received during this period to the relevant authorities.”

In a separate development, the Crown Prosecution Service, has promised to release files detailing why they didn’t charge Cyril Smith with child abuse offences in the late 1990s, but said they needed to redact the documents first to protection the identities of victims.

It also emerged this week that Cyril Smith sent a letter to the BBC in 1976 saying he was ‘deeply concerned about the investigative activities of the BBC’ who were probing ‘the private lives of certain MPs’.

Cyril Smith threatened BBC over investigation into private lifes of MPs


Friday, 4 July 2014

Child abuse files were dismissed as fantasies of a deluded man

Geoffrey Dickens believed Parliament treated accusations of sex abuse lightly because influential people were involved and were determined to keep it quiet
Geoffrey Dickens and Leon Brittan
Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, left, handed the dossier to Leon Brittan, who was the home secretary at the time 
To MPs and Westminster journalists in the early 1980s, the disclosure that a dossier alleging an Establishment paedophile ring was presented to Leon Brittan, then home secretary, comes as no surprise.
Its purveyor was the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, a former heavyweight boxer and doughty investigator of what he believed to be a conspiracy to cover up sex abuse of children perpetrated by people in high places.

He would have considered the apparent disappearance of the dossier as further confirmation of deliberate concealment.
Dickens, who died in 1995, became associated with the issue 14 years earlier when the magazine Private Eye disclosed that a senior diplomat and MI6 operative, Sir Peter Hayman, had escaped prosecution over the discovery of violent pornography on a London bus.
Furthermore, Hayman’s name had been withheld from a trial involving members of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).
The MP tabled a question to the Attorney General, Sir Michael Havers, naming Hayman under the cloak of parliamentary privilege. In his reply, Havers confirmed that after a packet containing obscene literature and written material was found on a bus, the police uncovered “correspondence of an obscene nature” between Hayman and several other persons.

A total of seven men and two women were named as possible defendants in the report submitted by the Metropolitan Police to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The DPP decided not to prefer charges.
Havers also denied there had been a deliberate decision to withhold the diplomat’s name from a trial involving leaders of PIE accused of conspiracy to corrupt public morals.

“Although Sir Peter Hayman had subscribed to PIE, that is not an offence and there is no evidence that he was ever involved in the management. At the trial, whilst there were general references to members of PIE, including, though not by name, Sir Peter Hayman, there was no reference to any material produced by him or found in his possession.”

In fact, Hayman was referred to by the name of Henderson. To Dickens this was evidence of a deliberate cover-up by the prosecutors and he proposed to take the matter further. He called a news conference at Westminster but was told on its eve that a newspaper was about to publish a story that he was having an affair. His mistress attended the news conference, where Dickens confessed to “a skeleton in my own cupboard” and a predilection for afternoon tea dances. His paedophile campaign ran into the buffers of derision from the press and hostility from fellow parliamentarians, some of whom denounced his use of parliamentary privilege to name Hayman and accused him of grandstanding.

It is hard to imagine today, as celebrities from that era are brought before the courts for historic sex offences, that this matter was treated so lightly by Parliament. Dickens believed this was because influential people were involved in the abuse and were determined to shut him up.

In reality, it stemmed more from a startling indifference to what was then called “kiddy fiddling”. It was as though because it had always gone on, it was not something to get too worked up about.

For his part, Dickens simply could not understand how an organisation such as PIE was allowed to exist. He wrote to Margaret Thatcher asking for it to be banned and in November 1983 he handed a “massive dossier of evidence” to Leon (now Lord) Brittan, to press the case further. After a 30-minute meeting, Dickens claimed the home secretary “told me he would investigate all the cases in my file”.

A few months later he produced further material alleging abuse in a children’s home, which the Home Office now says is missing, presumed lost or destroyed. Lord Brittan initially could not recollect the dossier but this week said he handed it to officials and proper action was taken.

What that was exactly is unclear; and certainly at the time, the home secretary decided against a ban on PIE and instead outlined a “three-step approach”: asking chief constables to report to him, urging the DPP to “consider” prosecuting PIE members and warning parents to keep a close eye on their children.

This prompted criticism in the press. One editorial said: “Wait and see is not a policy – it is an excuse. Mr Brittan should respond … with a blast of rage”.

Frustrated, Dickens brought a Bill before Parliament “to make it an offence to be a member of any organisation, association, society, religious sect, club or the like that holds meetings at which support is given to encourage, condone, corrupt or entice adults to have sexual relationships with children.”

He added: “Adults in every walk of life are to be found involving themselves in paedophilia. They range from some of the highest in the land to misfits.”

He pointed out that when Hayman was subsequently convicted of gross indecency in a public lavatory “there was a conspicuous silence in the House”.

When he asked Mrs Thatcher whether the convicted spy Geoffrey Prime had been involved in child abuse, she replied: “I understand that stories that the police found documents in Prime’s house or garage indicating that he was a member of PIE are without foundation.”

But this was not true. At his trial, mostly held in secret, it was disclosed that Prime had indeed been detected as a spy through child offences and was a member of PIE.

Dickens added: “I know exactly what I am up against, for I know that within the Establishment there are those who would not wish to see a change in the law.”

In the Commons in 1985, he said: “The noose around my neck grew tighter after I named a former high-flying British diplomat on the floor of the House … [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.”

Dickens was convinced his house was burgled by MI5 but this was dismissed as the delusions of a frustrated conspiracy theorist. At this time Westminster was rife with rumours about the involvement of senior politicians in sex abuse. They included the Rochdale Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith, whose name was often associated with such stories.

Other MPs were suspected, among them Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary Sir Peter Morrison, who has been linked to allegations of child abuse at homes in North Wales.

At one point during the 1980s, the scandal threatened to engulf the Home Office but newspapers were warned off pursuing unsubstantiated rumours.

As for Dickens, he would probably look at the climate today and wonder whether the justice currently being dealt out against some of the country’s most famous figures will finally extend to some of its most powerful as well.


Westminster Paedophile Ring: Claims Intensify as MP Threatens to Name Names in Commons

Nick AssinderBy Political Editor
Former Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan
Brittan has confirmed he received dossierReuters
The controversy surrounding claims of a paedophile ring operating in Westminster in the 1980s has intensified with a former minister threatening to "name and shame" suspects.

For the second day running Downing Street has refused to launch an over-arching inquiry into the allegations and a missing dossier said to include "explosive" details of the alleged child sex abuse ring.

The prime minister's spokesman again insisted any allegations should be taken to the police who were the right people to investigate any allegations.

But former Tory children's minister, Tim Loughton, said he is ready to use the protection of parliamentary privilege to name suspected paedophiles unless a full inquiry is launched.

"Like many in Westminster, I was gravely concerned by the news the dossier compiled by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, who spent his career fighting child abuse, had been lost. Inevitably there is conjecture that someone deliberately lost it or hushed it up. Who did this? Were they politicians, civil servants, or police complicit in a cover-up?

"There will be those who will want to know why I and my colleagues do not use parliamentary privilege to name and shame suspected paedophiles in the Commons. I call it the nuclear option, and it might come to that," he wrote in the Daily Mail.

Home affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz
Vaz has called for an explanationReuters
And Lord Tebbit, a senior member of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet at the time of the original affair, added his voice to the 139 MPs demanding an inquiry and proper explanation of what happened to the dossier.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that a senior Tory politician said to be part of a child sex ring was allegedly stopped by a customs officer with child pornography videos in the 1980s but was neither arrested nor charged after senior officers received the material.

The MP is believed to have been named in the dossier compiled by former Tory MP Dickens in the 1980s and passed to the then Home Secretary Lord Brittan but has since been lost or destroyed.

All the allegations relate to the dossier compiled by Dickens which Brittan confirmed he received in the mid-1980s and passed to officials and police at the time. No action followed and the documents have since gone missing.

But Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who helped reveal details of child sex abuse by former Liberal MP Cyril Smith, has demanded a Hillsborough-style inquiry into all the historic allegations.

He fears people will believe there has been an establishment coverup and this week told a Commons committee that politics was "the last refuge of child sex abuse deniers".
The chairman of the committee, Labour's Keith Vaz, has asked the Home Office permanent secretary, Mark Sedwill, to explain what happened to the dossier.

What many in Westminster believe is that this affair is gaining a momentum of its own and that, in the end, a full inquiry drawing together all strands of the ongoing sex abuse inquiries is needed.

Much of the rumour and speculation surrounding the Dickens' dossier, along with the names of very senior suspects, was widely discussed in Westminster at the time but there never appeared to be any hard evidence and no action was ever taken.

Political journalists were certainly aware of the names of individuals suspected of involvement in child sex abuse but, again, there was never any hard evidence.

In fact there were even claims the rumours were themselves part of a shadowy campaign to discredit high-ranking individuals.

Now, 30 years later, it appears the allegations might finally be addressed and, if any of the suspicions which were raised in the 1980s turn out to be true, and action is taken, it could rock the establishment.


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Leon Brittan: I was handed 'paedophile' dossier

Former home secretary Lord Brittan says he asked officials to look at papers alleging paedophile activity in Westminster, despite telling Channel 4 News in 2013 he could not "recollect" the dossier.

In 1984, Geoffrey Dickens MP handed over a 50-page dossier to the then home secretary, Leon Brittan, writes Paraic O'Brien.

It is believed that the dossier (which the Home Office confirms has been lost) contained information about suspected VIP paedophile rings and the abuse of boys in care homes.

On 25 February 2013, I sent Leon Brittan an email enquiring about the dossier given to him by Mr Dickens in the early 80s.

Child abuse

In the email, I said: "I'm trying to find a dossier that was given to you by Geoffrey Dickens MP regarding child abuse while you were home secretary. I've been in contact with the Home Office but am not holding out much hope that they will be able to find it."

I went on to ask him whether he had any recollection of the dossier. Half an hour later, Lord Brittan replied by email. He wrote: "I'm afraid I do not recollect this and do not have any records which would be of assistance, Leon Brittan."

But today the Tory peer issued a statement after Labour MP Simon Danczuk said he should "share his knowledge" about the file prepared by Mr Dickens.

Paedophile Information Exchange

Mr Danczuk was giving evidence to the home affairs select committee on Tuesday. According to Mr Danczuk, it contained information about the "Paedophile Information Exchange (Pie), about paedophiles operating a network within and around Westminster".

In the statement on Wednesday, Leon Brittan displays a remarkably vivid recollection of having received the dossier: "During my time as home secretary (1983 to 1985), Geoff Dickens MP arranged to see me at the Home Office.

"I invariably agreed to see any MP who requested a meeting with me. As I recall, he came to my room at the Home Office with a substantial bundle of papers.

'Looked at carefully'

"As is normal practice, my private secretary would have been present at the meeting. I told Mr Dickens that I would ensure that the papers were looked at carefully by the Home Office and acted on as necessary.
"Following the meeting, I asked my officials to look carefully at the material contained in the papers provided and report back to me if they considered that any action needed to be taken by the Home Office.
"In addition I asked my officials to consider a referral to another government department, such as the Attorney General's department, if that was appropriate.
"This was the normal procedure for handling material presented to the home secretary. I do not recall being contacted further about these matters by Home Office officials or by Mr Dickens or by anyone else."

Further clarification

However, Lord Brittan later issued a second statement, admitting he had mis-remembered events, stating: "In the last hour I have been alerted to a Home Office independent review conducted last year into what information it received about organised child sex abuse between 1979 and 1999,"
The statement added: "a letter was sent from myself to Mr Dickens on March 20, 1984 explaining what had been done in relation to the files.

"The Home Office independent review is entirely consistent with the action I set out in my earlier statement. Whilst I could not recall what further action was taken 30 years ago, the information contained in this report shows that appropriate action and follow-up happened."


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Simon Danczuk asks DPP to review claim over Elm Guest House.

Labour MP Simon Danczuk appalled at Home Office handling of paedophile claims

Labour MP Simon Danczuk has cricitised former Home Secretary Lord Brittan over his handling of an investigation in the 1980s into claims of a paedophile ring in Westminster, and also questioned how the Home Office and current Home Secretary Theresa May had dealt with the allegations

Lord Brittan released his statement after Labour MP Simon Danczuk challenged him to "share his knowledge" about the file prepared by Geoffrey Dickens, a Conservative MP, in the 1980s. 

It contained information about the "Paedophile Information Exchange (Pie), about paedophiles operating a network within and around Westminster", Mr Danczuk told the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday. 

 Mr Danczuk, who has investigated claims of abuse by ex-MP Cyril Smith, has called for a "Hillsborough-style" inquiry to prevent child abuse allegations involving politicians being "swept under the carpet". Related Articles Leon Brittan: