The MP for Worthing West has revealed his anger after rumours were published on the internet.

Sir Peter Bottomley claimed people were “trying to restart” false allegations about sex abuse in the 1980s.

The MP denied involvement and warned he would sue for libel if newspapers repeated the rumours.

The Conservative successfully sued The Mail on Sunday in 1989 after it printed false allegations, winning damages of about £130,000.

When asked if he would take legal action against Twitter users or websites that published false allegations, he told The Argus he was only targeting “substantial publishers” who could expect “the same kind of action The Mail on Sunday got”.

His comments came as he revealed he backed the idea of an inquiry into claims that senior figures were involved in sex abuse provided it did not interfere with police inquiries.

He dismissed suggestions of a conspiracy to cover up abuse by establishment figures following claims that a paedophile ring existed in Westminster in the 1980s.

He said successive governments did not take seriously enough the activities of groups like the Paedophile Information Exchange, a British pro-paedophile group founded in 1974.

Speaking to the Today programme on Radio 4 on Monday morning, he said this happened partly because people could not believe it.