Theresa May
The Wanless Report said there is no evidence to suggest the Home Office covered-up child abuse allegations in the 1980sReuters

There is no evidence the Home Office destroyed documents which named alleged high-profile paedophiles, according to a report.

The review of how the government handled allegations of child abuse was set up and by led by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless with Richard Whittam QC after the Home Office revealed they had "lost or destroyed" 114 documents between 1979 and 1999.

It was feared some of the documents which have been lost included a dossier passed on to the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983, which is said to have included a list of names, including MPs, alleged to have been child abusers.

The Wanless Report said there is "nothing to support" concerns that files containing evidence of high-establishment paedophiles were "deliberately or systematically removed or destroyed" in order to cover up the allegations.

"We found nothing specific to support a concern that the Home Office had failed in any organised or deliberate way to identify and refer individual allegations of child abuse to the police," it adds.

"We do not conclude there is basis for thinking anything happened to files that should not have happened to them."

Wanless also said there is also no evidence to support claims the government ever funded controversial paedophile-rights group, the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).

The current Home Secretary Theresa May said she endorses the findings but it still leaves some questions unanswered, such as what police did with the allegations brought up by Dickens.

She said: "I have also written to Peter Wanless and Richard Whittam QC today on two particular aspects on which I am seeking further reassurance, firstly their consideration of how the police and prosecution authorities handled any material that was handed to them at the time. The Home Office will publish their response to this question, to ensure full transparency on this point.

"Secondly, I have asked them for similar assurance in relation to the full unredacted final reports of the first investigation, and the list of the 114 files considered in their Review, to establish whether any of the material mentioned in these was ever passed to the Security Service and, if so, what action the Security Service took in respect of this material."

She added: "I am determined that appalling cases of child abuse should be exposed so that perpetrators face justice and the vulnerable are protected."

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, has described the finding of the report as a "whitewash".

He added: "My impression was that the Home Office were not being particularly helpful in giving [Wanless] access to files and that he was not given sufficient time to find the documents that were handed to the then home secretary, Leon Brittan, in the 1980s.

He added: "The approach is pretty amateurish. Since Theresa May announced her inquiry into child abuse this summer we've made no progress whatsoever. We desperately need to snap out of this overly cautious and defensive approach and see an appetite to confront the cover ups of the 1980s, not just gloss over the past and hope it all goes away."