Scotland Yard is carrying out a search of the Barbara Castle archives at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library to try and locate a copy of the ‘Dickens Dossier’, the missing file containing allegations of organised child abuse by politicians and other prominent figures.
The Met is working in conjunction with archivists at the library to sift through more than 850 boxes of documents relating to the life and career of the former Labour cabinet minister and MP for Blackburn, ranging from the 1930s, when she was first elected as a London councillor, until her death in 2002.
A source close to the investigation told the Independent that “preliminary searches” had already been carried out but that it would take several weeks to complete the search of the archives. Among the material are the former Employment Secretary’s dairies, political correspondence and ministerial papers from her time both in Westminster and Brussels, where she represented Greater Manchester as MEP from 1979 until 1989.
The source said: “The archivists have been working in conjunction with Scotland Yard concerning the preliminary searches. The dossier is not in the obvious locations where one might expect to find it and there’s a doubt as to whether it is in there but the search continues. It should take quite a few weeks.”