By Tim Montgomerie
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David Cameron has acted today to get ahead of an increasingly loud drumbeat of speculation about a Tory Cabinet minister from thirty years ago being involved in child abuse. The allegations focus on the existence of a paedophile ring exploiting children-in-care in the Wrexham area in the 1980s.
Mr Cameron has announced two enquiries today. One reviewing whether an original 1996 investigation into child abuse in north Wales was properly conducted and another into how the police handled abuse complaints during the period.
Speaking from Dubai the Prime Minister said:
"Child abuse is an absolutely hateful and abhorrent crime … These allegations are truly dreadful and they mustn't be left hanging in the air, so I'm taking action today. I'm going to be asking a senior independent figure to lead an urgent investigation into whether the original inquiry was properly constituted and properly did its job and to report urgently to the government."
The Welsh Secretary David Jones will meet Steve Messham tomorrow. Mr Messham has led the allegations about the involvement of one of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet ministers in child abuse.
The Labour MP Tom Watson has urged the PM to go further. Writing an open letter on his blog Mr Watson wrote:
"My advice to you as Prime Minister – and from one father to another – is that you need to order a special police investigation, outside the affected forces, with proper resources, to review all relevant police files and those of the intelligence services."
Read his full letter.