Abuse law change under consideration - PM

Help

The government is considering whether to make it a legal requirement for public institutions to report child sex abuse, David Cameron has said.

The prime minister said the proposal would be looked at by both inquiries into child sex abuse, and added: "I think it may well be time to take that sort of step forward."

He had been asked by Labour leader Ed Miliband whether he would consider a change in the law, during exchanges on 9 July 2014.

Peter Wanless, who is leading a review into how the Home Office handled historical allegations of child abuse, has said there should be a duty on bodies such as hospitals, children's homes and boarding schools to report abuse.

The NSPCC chief has also said people who cover up such crimes should be prosecuted.

In addition to Mr Wanless's review, there will be an overarching inquiry into allegations of historical abuse, led by retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss.

It will investigate how claims of abuse by politicians and other powerful figures in public institutions such as the NHS, the church and the BBC in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were handled.

Mr Miliband told the PM that all inquiries must be allowed to go "wherever the evidence leads them, into whatever institution of the country, including our own".

Mr Cameron agreed: "It's absolutely vital that, whether it is the two inquiries announced by the home secretary or the vital police inquiries that are being carried out, that no stone is left unturned."

Baroness Butler-Sloss was announced as the head of the wide-ranging probe on Tuesday.

But MPs and victims claim she is too close to the establishment, particularly as her late brother, Sir Michael Havers, was Attorney General in the 1980s at the time of the alleged paedophile scandal.

The former judge has insisted she will not quit, as the prime minister claimed she was the right person for the job.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.