Police investigate abuse claims against late Labour MPs

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Leo Abse
Image caption,
Leo Abse, who was a lawyer, Labour MP, and gay rights campaigner, died in 2008

Police investigating historical child abuse allegations have been handed new claims relating to late Labour MP Leo Abse and ex-speaker George Thomas.

The allegations were made to South Wales Police and have been passed to another force, the BBC understands.

Mr Abse, a gay rights champion and ex-Labour MP, died in 2008, aged 91.

Last year, police said they were investigating allegations Mr Thomas - a Labour MP and ex-Commons Speaker who died in 1997 - abused a boy, aged 9.

The Sunday Times reported that the fresh claims are understood to have been passed to officers leading an investigation into an alleged "network of politicians".

It says a Church of England review into historical sexual abuse had also passed Mr Abse's name to detectives from Operation Fernbridge - a Met Police inquiry into alleged child abuse involving senior politicians.

Image caption,
George Thomas, who later became Viscount Tonypandy, as Commons Speaker between 1976 and 1983

Last year, South Wales Police confirmed officers were investigating claims against Mr Thomas - who later became Viscount Tonypandy - dating back to the 1960s and 1970s.

An alleged victim, who now lives in Australia, told the Mirror newspaper he had been raped by the late MP.

Viscount Tonypandy, a Methodist preacher, held the role of Secretary of State for Wales from 1968 to 1970 and was Commons Speaker between 1976 and 1983.

A Labour MP in Cardiff from 1945 to 1983, he died of cancer in 1997, aged 88.