British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing calls to launch a full-scale inquiry into allegations that well-known politicians abused children in the 1980s, after an official said the government had lost files that may shed light on the matter.

The allegations, which purportedly involve powerful and famous figures of that era, including politicians, made headlines after an opposition lawmaker raised them in Parliament.

They have resurfaced at a time when the British authorities are investigating and trying to prosecute celebrities and other well-known figures in public life over other unrelated historic allegations of sexual misconduct.