UK Parliament
Dickens' dossier is alleged to contain the names of suspected paedohpile MPs in the 1980s Reuters

An investigation into the Home Office's handling of high-profile historical child abuse allegations is due to be published.

The review was headed by Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the children's charity the NSPCC.

Wanless will appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee to discuss his findings on 11 November.

The report was triggered after an internal Home Office review discovered that the department had "lost or destroyed" 114 files between 1979 and 1999 relating to child abuse allegations.

The "lost" files included a dossier sent from former Conservative Party MP Geoffrey Dickens to the then-Home Secretary Leon Brittan in 1983.

Brittan did not act on the allegations found in the file, which are said to relate to establishment figures involved in a high-profile paedophile network.

Dickens had used parliamentary privilege in the 1980s to allege that Sir Peter Hayman, a former British High Commissioner to Canada, was a paedophile.

Dickens campaigned on child protection and attempted to get legislation passed in the House of Commons.

But the Conservative MP alleged that the "establishment" tried to hinder his progress.

"When I asked the Prime Minister at Question Time whether the spy Geoffrey Prime was involved in child abuse a few months before his trial, the very question drew laughter in this chamber," he told MPs in 1984.

"When it was revealed at the spy trial that Prime had been detected as a spy through child offences, there was no laughter.

"I know exactly what I am up against, for I know that within the establishment there are those who would not wish to see a change in the law."

The case of the alleged "establishment" paedophile network re-emerged following the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal.

The Metropolitan Police began to look into the "paedophile network" after Labour MP Tom Watson raised the issue in the House of Commons in 2012.

"The evidence file used to convict paedophile Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring," Watson told MPs.

"One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.

"The leads were not followed up, but if the file still exists I want to ensure that the Metropolitan police secure the evidence, re-examine it and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No. 10."

The current Home Secretary Theresa May apologised after a second chair of a government inquiry, into how UK intuitions have handled historical child abuse allegations, stood down.

Fiona Woolf resigned from the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse over her links to Brittan.

The move came after Baroness Butler-Sloss stood down as the head of the investigation for similar reasons in July.