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Labour Lord’s ‘sex attacks on 12 children’: ‘Horrific’ allegations include rape and serious sexual assaults

Labour Lord’s ‘sex attacks on 12 children’: ‘Horrific’ allegations include rape and serious sexual assaults MoS reveals

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Pictured – The Home Office lost or destroyed a potentially explosive dossier given to Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan (left) by the late campaigning Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens (right)

A Labour peer is being investigated by police after 12 men made allegations of historical child abuse against him

Sources close to the investigation last night said that the ‘horrific’ allegations include rape and serious sexual assault.

It is understood the alleged abuse took place over several decades.

A police spokesman said last night: ‘The inquiry has had a number of individuals who have come forward and made complaints.

‘We are thoroughly investigating their allegations and providing them with professional support.’

It is understood that a file containing the accusations has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. 

Police also last night confirmed the peer has not been arrested or questioned about the allegations.

They refused to comment on the age of the victims when the abuse took place.

A source close to the investigation said: ‘These are some of the most horrific child abuse allegations you can imagine.’

Another source said: ‘The sexual abuse that the peer has been accused of is extremely worrying. The allegations  are harrowing and must have affected the vulnerable boys significantly in later life. 

‘It is becoming clear there is a problem with historic sex abuse in Parliament and the police have to be allowed access to all the information needed to investigate these allegations.

‘It is beginning to look like Westminster is above the law. It is important that these allegations are investigated thoroughly.’

The shocking development comes as the Home Office last night said that it would appoint a senior legal figure to carry out a fresh review into how a dossier alleging paedophile activity at Westminster in the 1980s was handled by  the department.

The Prime Minister last week ordered further investigation after it was revealed the Home Office lost or destroyed a potentially explosive dossier given to Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan by the late campaigning Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens. 

The investigation into the peer comes in the wake of  the Jimmy Savile scandal and shocking revelations concerning Cyril Smith, the disgraced Liberal Democrat MP, and Labour links to the Paedophile Information Exchange group, which wanted to legalise sex with children.

And in other news~

Leon Brittan is quizzed over teen rape claim: Ex-Home Secretary accused of attacking student in his flat

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Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan has been questioned by police over claims he raped a 19-year-old student.

The assault, which he is said to strongly deny, is alleged to have taken place at his Central London flat in 1967 following a blind date.

Brittan was in his late 20s at the time of the alleged incident.

Police said last night that the woman originally made a complaint in late 2012.

It is being investigated by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command.

Scotland Yard confirmed that a man in his 70s was ‘interviewed under caution by appointment at a Central London location in connection with the allegation. He was not arrested. Inquiries continue.’

It is understood Lord Brittan, now 74, was questioned last month at the offices of his lawyers, Mishcon de Reya.

The Mail on Sunday has been told that the woman initially contacted high-profile Labour MP Tom Watson, who has made allegations of widespread child abuse in Parliament.

It is believed the detectives who questioned the veteran Conservative politician – he was made a life peer in 2000  – are part of Scotland Yard’s Operation Fairbank inquiry team which was launched after Mr Watson’s claims.

Apparently believing the investigation was not moving quickly enough, the alleged victim, now aged 66, contacted Mr Watson a second time – and it was soon afterwards that Lord Brittan was formally interviewed.

Mishcon de Reya did not respond to requests to comment last night. 

It is understood that Brittan strongly denied the allegation. TheIndependent on Sunday said he refused to comment on the claim. It quoted him saying: “I’m sorry I am not going to be able to talk about something like that.”

The allegation against Brittan is not connected to separate claims involving a dossier compiled by an MP detailing allegations of a 1980s Westminster paedophile ring that was given to Brittan when he was home secretary.

However, a prominent Westminster journalist has revealed that the peer insisted as long ago as the 1980s when he was Home Secretary that allegations against him of sexual misconduct were untrue.

Chris Moncrieff, former political editor of the Press Association,  told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I was at a drinks reception attended by Leon Brittan at the height of frenzied rumours about him when one of his officials called me to one side.

‘The official said, “The Home Secretary wishes to speak to you in private.”

‘I was led into a side room where Leon Brittan said to me, “You do know all these stories about me  are totally untrue, don’t you?”

‘He didn’t discuss any details but he said he was certain he would  be vindicated.’ Lord Brittan’s rise to power was impressive.

The former barrister contested the constituency of North Kensington twice before becoming an MP in 1974 for Cleveland and Whitby, and then switched his constituency to Richmond in Yorkshire in 1983.

When he was promoted to become Treasury Chief Secretary, he was the youngest member of the Cabinet.

Later, as Home Secretary, he was the youngest in that job since Sir Winston Churchill. He quit the Cabinet in 1986 over the Westland helicopter affair.

Four years ago, he was appointed trade adviser to the Government after David Cameron said he had ‘unrivalled experience’.

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Leon Brittan in close up

 

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