The British government is to hold two inquiries into child sex abuse allegations.
One will look at how public bodies and figures, including judges, senior military figures and politicians, handled allegations of child abuse and paedophile rings over several decades.
Another will be a separate review led by Peter Wanless, head of the UK’s child protection charity the NSPCC. He will look into what happened to 114 files given to the Home Office in the 1980s which contained allegations about powerful figures and paedophilia which have since disappeared.
The late Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens gave the dossiers to the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan. Dickens’ son says his father planned to expose eight leading figures and were set to “blow the lids off” the lives of powerful child abusers.
A 2013 investigation by the Home office found Brittan had acted “appropriately”.
Home Secretary Theresa May said in parliament on Monday: “I wanted the work we are doing to reflect three principles; that our priority must be the prosecution of the people behind these disgusting crimes. That wherever possible, and consistent with the need to prosecute, we will adopt a presumption of maximum transparency. And that where there has been a failure to protect children from abuse we will expose it and we will learn from it.”
At the weekend a former Conservative minister under Margaret Thatcher, Norman Tebbit, said there may well have been an establishment cover-up of child abuse in the 1980s.