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May to address MPs on sex abuse claims

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Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May delivers her speech on police reform, in central LondonHome Secretary Theresa May is to address Parliament on the row over her department’s handling of historical sex abuse claims.

The Home Office faces accusations it failed to act on allegations of a Westminster paedophile ring when they first emerged in the 1980s reports BBC.

She is also set to announce a review into public bodies and their duty of care towards children.

Labour has called for a “wide-ranging” inquiry. Ministers have rejected calls for an over-arching inquiry into the various abuse allegations from the era, pointing to ongoing police investigations.

But BBC Radio 4’s chief political correspondent Gary O’Donoghue said there was “growing momentum” to pull the various investigations together into an overarching inquiry.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called for a “wide-ranging review” to ascertain how abuse claims were handled by the government when they were first put to the Home Office.

“Any stones left unturned will leave concerns of institutional malaise, or worse a cover-up, unaddressed,” the shadow home secretary said.

Over the weekend it was announced that a senior legal figure from outside Whitehall is to look again into a Home Office review last year of any information it received in the 1980s and 1990s about organised child sex abuse.

It is to look at what happened to a dossier of abuse claims reportedly passed to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan in the 1980s by the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens.

Lord Brittan said he handed the papers to officials – but their whereabouts are currently unknown.

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