Former Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan
Brittan has issued statement on paedophile dossierReuters

Allegations about a paedophile ring operating in Westminster in the 1980s were passed to the police by then Tory home secretary Leon Brittan, it has been revealed.

Brittan, who served in Margaret Thatcher's government, has issued a statement saying it had been decided at the time that some of the claims "could form the basis for enquiries by the police" and were forwarded to "the appropriate authorities".

He also said that the original documents detailing allegations and passed to him by former Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in November 1983 and January 1984 "had not been retained".

He added that an independent home office review of organised child sex abuse between 1979 and 1999 had been carried out only last year and concluded "information had been dealt with properly".

Brittan's statements came after campaigning Labour MP Simon Danczuk told a Commons committee Dickens had presented the dossier to Brittan in the mid-1980s about the activities of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange and "paedophiles operating and networking in and around Westminster."

And he said : "It would be helpful if he (Lord Brittan) stepped forward and shared his thoughts on where that dossier is...and to share his knowledge of how he dealt with these allegations that were made at the time".

But the latest statement from the former home secretary has failed to satisfy him and he claimed if the dossier is not found it would: "fuel the flames of conspiracy. People will think names are being protected."

"The public will be very disappointed by this statement. Brittan suggests it was passed on and he then forgot about it. The 1980s aren't that long ago. We need to know what the dossier said and the home office needs to locate it and publish it," he said.

He added that he believed the documents would contain names of the very senior people in powerful positions who were implicated in the alleged paedophile ring.

Earlier, Brittan had confirmed he had met Dickens and asked his officials to examine the documents he provided.

He later published a subsequent letter written to Dickens which stated: "I am now able to tell you that, in general terms, the view of the Director of Public Prosecutions is that two of the letters you forwarded could form the basis for enquiries by the police and they are now being passed to the appropriate authorities."

It concluded: "In other cases there either seems to be inadequate evidence to pursue prosecution, for example the lady who wrote about PIE1 advertising but did not secure any example of the material complained of, or they have already been dealt with in some way by the courts or the police."

In his statement, Brittan added: "Whilst I could not recall what further action was taken thirty years ago, the information contained in this report shows that appropriate action and follow up happened."