LONDON - Britain pledged Monday to investigate allegations that politicians may have sexually abused children in the 1980s and then used their position to scuttle attempts to uncover their crimes. Claims of a high-level conspiracy to abuse children in the care of the state have roiled the political establishment after the unmasking of once-feted celebrities such as late television personality Jimmy Savile as prolific child abusers.
"We need to get to the truth," finance minister George Osborne told the BBC. "We want to get to the truth and nothing but the truth and we will do it in an independent and authoritative way." Local media have claimed that a group of politicians and others in authority may have used their position to abuse children in care during the 1980s. No evidence has yet been published to support the allegations, but fears that claims about the abuse were not properly investigated at the time were stoked when Britain's Home Office admitted 114 "potential relevant files" had been destroyed, were missing or could not be found.