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MPs for Portsmouth area back investigation into handling of child sex abuse allegations

Home secretary Theresa May last night announced a Hillsborough-style investigation will take place

Home secretary Theresa May last night announced a Hillsborough-style investigation will take place

MPS have thrown their weight behind an independent inquiry into the handling by public bodies of allegations of child sex abuse.

Home secretary Theresa May last night announced a Hillsborough-style investigation will take place to seek the truth about widespread allegations of a paedophile ring with links to the establishment in the 1980s.

The inquiry will be given access to all government papers it requests, and could be converted into a full public inquiry if its chairman feels it is necessary.

Meanwhile, a separate review, led by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless, will look into an investigation conducted last year into the Home Office’s handling of child abuse allegations made over a 20-year period, as well as the response of police and prosecutors to information which was passed on to them.

MPs from across the area have said they are backing the investigation.

Meon Valley George Hollingbery, parliamentary private secretary to the home secretary, said the inquiry is ‘absolutely the right thing to do’.

‘It is going to note what went wrong and what went right and what needs to be changed,’ he said.

‘It will ensure that the mechanisms in place in public and quasi-public bodies are there.’

Mark Hoban, the MP for Fareham, said: ‘Clearly there needs to be an inquiry and it is important we understand what happened in the past.

‘It’s important to understand what the culture was in public bodies.

‘We all hope that culture has changed but we need to make sure there is a culture where people feel free to report allegations and for those allegations to be taken seriously.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage added: ‘Any reports of alleged child abuse are deeply concerning.

‘It is vitally important the organisations and agencies involved are fully compliant in providing the information necessary for comprehensive and exhaustive investigations to take place.’

Mr Wanless is expected to report within eight to 10 weeks and will look at concerns the Home Office failed to act on allegations of child sex abuse in a dossier handed over by former Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens to then home secretary Leon Brittan in 1983.

Penny Mordaunt, the MP for Portsmouth North, said: ‘I back the inquiry for three reasons.

‘Firstly, we need to find out what happened to these files and the information they contained.

‘Secondly, to reassure the public and thirdly to ensure any victims who raised concerns have had redress and justice.’

David Willetts, Havant MP, could not be contacted by The News.

A spokesman for Mike Hancock said the MP for Portsmouth South was unable to comment because he is still in hospital.

 

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