Leon Brittan urged to comment on 1980s 'paedophile dossier'

Former home secretary Lord Brittan Leon Brittan was home secretary between 1983 and 1985

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A Labour MP has called for a former home secretary to make public what he knew about allegations of paedophiles operating in Westminster in the 1980s.

Simon Danczuk said that a dossier of allegations about paedophiles was presented to Leon Brittan when he was home secretary between 1983 and 1985.

"It would be welcome if he stepped forward and shared his knowledge of the allegations", he told MPs.

The MP helped expose the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith as a child sex abuser.

Speaking at a meeting of the Commons Home Affairs Select committee, Mr Danczuk called for a national overarching "Hillsborough-style" inquiry into historical allegations of child sex abuse.

'Last refuge'

He said that politics was "the last refuge of child sex abuse deniers" and there was a view among many politicians that alleged offenders should not be named.

An inquiry would help identify other perpetrators, he said.

Earlier in the hearing he said that Cyril Smith escaped prosecution because he was "part of a network of people protecting each other".

His victims, Mr Danczuk said, were "poor, white, working class boys" in the same way that forty years later the victims of grooming in Rochdale were "poor, white, working class girls."

He referred to a police investigation into a former guest house in South London where children were allegedly abused in the 1980s.

The police have confirmed that Cyril Smith had been a visitor to Elm Guest House. Mr Danczuk said he had spoken to a victim Smith had abused there and that "other high profile figures are alleged to have attended there."

He said a dossier of allegations, compiled at the time by the former Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens, had been presented to Mr Brittan.

In a separate development, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it would release details of the advice it gave to police in the late 1990s which enabled Cyril Smith to escape prosecution. It would first take steps to protect the identities of the victims, a statement added.

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