It is 30 years since the then Huddersfield West Tory Geoffrey Dickens tried to blow the lid on child abusers with links to the corridors of Westminster.

Long before the revelations about Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith or Rolf Harris hit the headlines, Mr Dickens was on the trail of Establishment paedophiles.

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile
 

But only now is the work carried out by the former Huddersfield West and later Littleborough and Saddleworth MP, who died in the mid-1990s, finally hitting home, as two major inquiries are launched by the Government.

Mr Dickens was the Conservative MP for the Huddersfield West seat from 1979 to 1983.

Between 1981 and 1985, Dickens campaigned against a suspected paedophile ring he claimed to have uncovered that was connected to trading child pornography.

In 1983, Mr Dickens claimed there was a paedophile network involving “big, big names – people in positions of power, influence and responsibility” and threatened to name them in the Commons.

The following year, he campaigned for the banning of the Paedophile Information Exchange organisation. Mr Dickens had a 30-minute meeting with the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, after giving him a dossier containing the child abuse allegations. Although Dickens said he was “encouraged” by the meeting, he later expressed concern that the PIE had not been banned.

Lord Brittan, who has said he asked officials to "look carefully" at a dossier he was handed in the 1980s alleging paedophile activity in Westminster, but the issue was not raised with him again.
Lord Brittan, who has said he asked officials to "look carefully" at a dossier he was handed in the 1980s alleging paedophile activity in Westminster, but the issue was not raised with him again.
 

His granddaughter Louise, 27, has now described the crusading MP as a ‘hero’ who was decades ahead of his time.

Louise, who lives in Yorkshire, said: “The way I look at it is: in the 50s and 60s it took one lone voice to start a revolution against racism and it took years and years – but they got there.

“In grandad’s era he started a revolution against paedophiles. Again, it’s taken very long time but things are changing. My grandad was a pioneer in this field and that deserves recognition.”

It was Mr Dickens who handed a dossier of evidence – much of which now appears to have been lost – to then Home Secretary Mr Brittan in 1984.

After current Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk raised the file in front of a select committee last month, a Government inquiry is now not only looking at what happened to it, but at child abuse across public life.

“I would like to think grandad would be thrilled that people are finally listening and waking up to the evils of our society,” said Louise. “Although far too late for so many poor children.

“He was not a ‘career politician’ as you see so many of today. He used his wit, charm and charisma to get his views and thoughts across in a way everyone could understand.

“He believed everyone had a voice and should be listened to, especially children.”

Mr Dickens was slammed in Parliament when he named a senior diplomat – Sir Peter Hayman – as a suspected paedophile.

He was castigated by fellow politicians for using Parliamentary privilege to do so, but years later other MPs would begin to do the same.

Louise added: “For people to now be taking his work seriously on a very professional level I am so, so proud of him. I would like some recognition for my grandad for the courage he showed.”

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