Police to investigate Geoffrey Dickens sex abuse dossier

Sign outside New Scotland Yard Image copyright PA

Police investigating allegations of a Westminster paedophile ring are to be passed a file which made up part of the so-called "Dickens Dossier".

The information, originally obtained by the late Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens, contains allegations of child abuse from the 1980s.

It is understood to have been given to Home Secretary Leon Brittan in 1984.

One document, among several seen by the BBC, suggests that "large numbers" of those named in it were paedophiles.

It contains the names of three MPs from the 1980s and other individuals connected to the Conservative party.

Lord Brittan - who died in January - was accused of not dealing adequately with information passed to him by Geoffrey Dickens, but said before his death that he had given the "Dickens dossier" to the relevant Home Office officials for examination.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Geoffrey Dickens, a long-standing campaigner against child abuse, died in 1995

The Labour MP John Mann, who recently obtained the file, has criticised the government for failing to find it despite a Home Office review last year.

He has also asked why the contents of the file were not investigated at the time.

The document seen by the BBC contains 21 names. A handwritten note in pencil suggests it was "given to Geoff Dickens, in Lobby, Jan 84".

The author, a Conservative party member in the 1980s, says the information was gathered from two former Tory MPs - Sir Victor Raikes and Anthony Courtney.

Both are now dead and as a result are unable to confirm they provided the information which appears in the document. However, handwritten notes said to have been compiled during discussions with the MPs in the 1980s are also also in the file.

Geoffrey Dickens is thought to have passed at least two "dossiers" to Lord Brittan in 1983 and early 1984.

He also met Lord Brittan to push the case for strengthening the laws on importing child abuse material and he urged the home secretary to ban the Paedophile Information Exchange - a group which campaigned for the legalisation of sex with children.

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