Letter from Parliament - Simon Danczuk MP

Date published: 03 July 2014

I’m sure some readers will remember the former MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth, Geoffrey Dickens. Although Dickens is no longer with us he was back in the news this week after I mentioned the campaigning work he did in the 1980s on child abuse in parliament. During his time as MP he was an outspoken campaigner against child abuse and showed a great determination to expose and smash paedophile rings. He was responsible for getting a decorated British diplomat sent to jail for paedophilia and controversially said that there was a paedophile network operating within and around the Westminster elite.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Dickens was on the right trail and he caused a lot of problems for the establishment. In the early 1980s he famously gave a dossier to the then Conservative Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, giving names of paedophiles operating at the top of the British establishment. Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith were said to be named in the 40-page dossier.

Not surprisingly, nothing happened and the dossier has since disappeared, which is why I decided to ask questions of the former Home Secretary this week. Why did he not act on the dossier and what happened to it? His statement the day after I posed these questions was less than convincing and has generated more questions than answers.

On a more encouraging note, I was very pleased to have been contacted by Geoffrey Dickens’ granddaughter this week. She thanked me for the work I was doing and said her grandfather only wanted justice for the victims of child abuse.

I’m pleased to be continuing this work and hope that we may yet see a national inquiry into historic abuse that will finally expose what Dickens had tried to uncover years ago.

At a local level, I was pleased to tell parliament this week that I feel we’re starting to make some progress in tackling child abuse. Rochdale has been under tremendous scrutiny for some time now and I hope we can become a national example of best practice where protecting children and bringing abusers to justice are concerned.

Our borough is gearing up for a special weekend and like everyone else I’m looking forward to seeing the Tour de France pass through Littleborough on Sunday. It’s great to see the world’s largest annual sporting event come through Littleborough and I hope local businesses will get a big boost as a result.

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