Indian-origin MP slams UK Home Office over sex abuse files

Written by PTI | London | Updated: Jul 7 2014, 00:06am hrs
Britain's senior-most Indian-origin MP has sharply criticised the UK Home Office for losing files linked to child abuse claims said to implicate political figures at the heart of UK's national life.

Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee, said that it was a "huge surprise" important files had been lost on "industrial scale".

The lost files are part of an investigation into the handling of a dossier about child abuse allegations presented to Leon Brittan, the former home secretary.

The dossier, compiled by Geoffrey Dickens, the late Conservative MP, is said to implicate political figures at the heart of Britain's national life.

A review by the Home Office last year into its handling of the dossier found that information it had received between 1979 and 1999 had been passed to the appropriate authorities.

British Prime Minister David Cameronhas rejected calls for an over-arching public inquiry into historical child abuse claims, but a new review, to be carried out by a senior legal figure, will look into the Home Office's handling of historical claims of child sex abuse claims involving politicians and other senior figures.

Vaz said the new review was "the right thing to do" as the 2013 investigation had not been sufficient to reveal the facts.

"We obviously now realise that the first review was not fit for purpose," he told 'The Sunday Telegraph'.

"But what concerns me is...about 114 files going missing. This is very disturbing. People will be extremely concerned.

It is a huge amount of files about a very sensitive issue.

"We really need to know who authorised it. How do we know such a precise figure Somebody must have known that these 114 files existed and they must presumably know the date that they went missing or were destroyed.

"We know the Home Office loses passports and a couple of files here or there but 114 is quite a lot of files to lose. I think we do need answers to this.

"I hope Mrs May [home secretary Theresa May] will have the answers because I am a little concerned at the absence of the Home Secretary from most of these deliberations over the last few days. This is the Home Office and she is the Home Secretary and it should be her setting up these reviews.

"This is a lot of material that has gone down the tubes. We need to know how this happened."

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: "Any relevant material that is submitted to us will be dealt with as appropriate."

In recent days fresh questions have emerged about whether enough was done to investigate the allegations.