Padraig Colman

Rambling ruminations of an Irishman in Sri Lanka

Tag: Leon Brittan

Greville Janner

A shorter version of this article appeared in Ceylon Today on Tuesday April 21 2015 under the heading “Cowardly and Wicked” (accompanied by a picture of Lord Longford rather than Lord Janner).

http://www.ceylontoday.lk/51-90502-news-detail-cowardly-and-wicked.html

“Cowardly and wicked”  were the words used by Keith Vaz MP in 1991 to describe the allegations against Greville Janner.

Colman's Column3

Keith Vaz is chair of the Commons home affairs select committee. Vaz enjoys portraying himself as a champion of the voiceless, happy to castigate the Home Office over its handling of the current investigation into child abuse.

Lord Janner Will not Stand Trial.

cameron

Baron Janner of Braunstone is a prominent ex-barrister, aged 86, widowed with three children. As Greville Janner, he represented Leicester West as a Labour MP for almost 30 years. Janner is also a former president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and he has been prominent in the field of education about the Holocaust.  He was President of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism, and chaired the All-Party Britain-Israel Parliamentary Group. He co-founded (along with Prince Hassan of Jordan) the Coexistence Trust, a charity to combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

janner geller

After retiring from the House of Commons in 1997, he became a life peer. Janner was a member of the Magic Circle. One of his few subsequent forays into the public eye came in 2002, when Uri Geller, a friend, arranged for him to accompany Michael Jackson and David Blaine on a tour of Parliament. Lord Janner was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009 and now requires round-the-clock care for his dementia.

jac

The UK Crown Prosecution Service said on 16 April 2015 that Janner would not be tried for sexual offences against children. Alison Saunders, the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions), said that because of Janner’s dementia a trial would not be in the public interest.

In statement issued through lawyers, Janner’s family said he is entirely innocent of any wrongdoing. “As the Crown Prosecution Service indicated today, this decision does not mean or imply that any of the allegations that have been made are established or that Lord Janner is guilty of any offence”.

In 1995, the DPP decided not to try Szymon Serafinowicz, a retired carpenter from Surrey, under the War Crimes Act in connection with murders of three Jewish people during the Second World War because of his dementia. Janner condemned the DPP’s decision. “I don’t care what bloody age they are,” he told The Jewish Chronicle. “These criminals should have been dealt with years ago.”

The Faulds File

I remember Andrew Faulds from my childhood. He played  Captain Jet Morgan in Journey into Space on the radio in the 1950s. He had already been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1948. He was Labour Member of Parliament for the Smethwick constituency from 1966 until his retirement in 1997. When he  died in 2000 at the age of 77, Michael White, in his Guardian obituary described Faulds as “unmistakably loud and thespian… a man of deeply-held passions…who lacked either the patience or the subtlety to do effective justice to those concerns at Westminster.”

 

Shortly before retiring, he created an archive of the paperwork he had accrued during three decades in Parliament and lodged it at the library of the London School of Economics. Among the 263 boxes,  is a four-page leaflet published by a group which called itself ‘Concerned Leicester Parents’ and  a 24-page booklet, which claimed on its cover to reveal: ‘How people in high places covered-up for a Parliamentary paedophile’.

Janner and Frank Beck

youngJanner

From 1994 to 1997, I worked at the Department of Health as a policy advisor to ministers on child protection. Someone I often met at Home Office meetings was Alison Saunders, who is now Director of Public Prosecutions.

FrankBeck

One of my colleagues spent a great deal of his time on the Frank Beck case. Beck was an officer-in-charge of several children’s homes in Leicester during the 1970s and 1980s. Beck died in prison in June 1994. He had been  convicted at Leicester Crown Court in November 1991 of 17 charges of sexual and physical abuse of boys and girls including rape, buggery, indecent assault and assault and sentenced to five life terms. My colleague had a very fat file of correspondence in which members of the public made serious and credible allegations against Greville Janner that connected him with Frank Beck.

Indeed, Janner’s name came up during Beck’s trial. One witness, who had previously said he had had a two-year sexual relationship with Janner, named the politician as one of his abusers. The jury was told the claims were a “red-herring” and irrelevant. In 1991, during the investigation leading to Beck’s trial, a man, Paul Winston,  alleged he had been groomed by Janner from the age of 13. Janner’s only police interview took place that year at a police station in Leicester. He attended with his solicitor and gave “no comment” answers. The CPS advised there was insufficient evidence to charge.

Closing Ranks

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In 1991, the House of Commons rallied to Janner’s defence. That scourge of Sri Lanka, Labour’s Keith Vaz, a fellow Leicester MP, rose to deplore the “cowardly and wicked” slur on a “distinguished” colleague. The majority of the MPs who spoke in Janner’s defence were Conservatives.

keith-vaz-labour_2011398a

Jay Rayner was a young freelancer in 1991 trying to do a story on Janner’s connection with Beck. He now recalls the wall of silence he encountered. He writes that Vaz is happy to castigate the Home Office over its handling of the current investigation into child abuse. Rayner tweeted Vaz to ask his views on the DPP decision. Vaz blocked him.

jannerandblair

 

Blair made Janner a life peer in 1997 – after the credible allegations mad against him in 1991.

 

janner-and-cherie

During Operation Magnolia in 2002, another Leicestershire Police inquiry, residents of a care home made further  allegations against Janner. Police decided to take no action against him.

During Operation Dauntless in 2007, an individual made complaints about serious sexual assault against three people, including Janner, over incidents alleged to have taken place in 1981. The CPS ruled there was insufficient evidence. Mick Creedon, now chief constable of Derbyshire police, but then a detective sergeant on the Beck case, told the Times last year that he and colleagues wanted to charge Janner but senior officers ordered him to neither arrest Janner nor search his London flat.

Anti-Semitism

A website connected with neo-Nazi groups has  been publicising the Janner case. They will no doubt exploit Janner’s activities for anti-Semitic purposes. For many years, bloggers campaigning against paedophiles in high places have been pointing out the fact that Janner and Leon Brittan are Jewish.

Jewish friends have described to me their own encounters with Janner. One said, he was so “galled by his pomposity and unmistakable air of the huckster that I distanced myself from his causes. I did not want this creep speaking for me”. He went on to say that he was frustrated by the fact that Janner seemed to be above criticism on the left and among Jewish activists. “I was shot down…for daring to express my strongly-held view that he was a wrong-un”.

Innocent until Proved Guilty?

In statement issued through lawyers, Janner’s family said he is entirely innocent of any wrongdoing. “As the Crown Prosecution Service indicated today, this decision does not mean or imply that any of the allegations that have been made are established or that Lord Janner is guilty of any offence”.

I have often written against witch hunts, vigilantism and smearing by unsubstantiated rumours. As Lord McAlpine said: “There is nothing as bad as this that you can do to people. Because they [paedophiles] are quite rightly figures of public hatred. And suddenly to find yourself a figure of public hatred, unjustifiably, is terrifying “. It is possibly worse to be falsely accused when you are someone with few resources. Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie were cleared by a court but they lived in fear of their lives when the Sun whipped up a lynch mob.

https://pcolman.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/the-persecution-of-lillie-and-reed/

CPS lawyers spent nine months studying evidence gathered by Leicestershire police’s Operation Enamel. Detectives approached more than 2,000 potential witnesses and interviewed more than 25 men who claim Janner abused them when they were children in care. Some of them told police about extreme sadistic behaviour, involving the use of blindfolds and restraints.

Credible Allegations

DPP Alison Saunders has stated publicly and clearly that both the CPS and Leicestershire police were at fault for the failure of previous inquiries. The CPS statement conceded that Janner, while “in a position of authority and trust as the local MP for Leicester West”, befriended the manager (Frank Beck) of a children’s care home to allow him access to children.

In some cases, the CPS decides there is not sufficient evidence to take a case to court. Ms Saunders said quite clearly that her office had decided that there WAS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE for  Janner  to stand trial on 22 sex offences against children. He would have been charged with 14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988; two indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988; four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987; and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.

DPP Criticised

Leicestershire police took the unusual step of issuing a statement saying they might challenge the DPP’s decision in the courts, possibly calling for a Judicial Review. Sir Clive Loader, Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, a Conservative, said the decision was “not just wrong” but “wholly perverse” and “contrary to any notion of natural justice”. The Assistant Chief Constable of Leicestershire feared that other victims would be dissuaded from coming forward. “

Victims and their families are also exploring avenues of redress through civil proceedings now that there criminal proceedings have been ruled out. Liz Dux, of Slater & Gordon solicitors, said the 25 alleged victims could claim for up to £100,000 each. She said: “If they are successful, damages could be very sizeable.”

One victim said: “Let someone feel the pain and suffering that I’ve endured and am still going to endure for the rest of my life. It’s not a case of being found guilty or going to prison – it’s about being believed after so long being told we were lying. Justice needs to be served.”

hamish Baillie

Hamish Baillie, one of Janner’s victims.

The Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who used parliamentary privilege to be the first to publicly  name the Liberal MP Cyril Smith as a paedophile, said Janner should be stripped of his peerage. (Danczuk‘s relentless efforts on behalf of his constituents forced the reluctant Sri Lankan authorities to take action against a thuggish local politician who murdered a British tourist and raped his girlfriend.) “This terrible decision is bringing the whole justice system into disrepute and will be devastating news to the alleged victims.”

DPP Defended

The evidential test prosecutors must apply before a criminal charge is laid has been passed. This evidential test was also passed in the three previous police investigations but the CPS failed to charge Janner. Many have condemned the DPP’s decision  on the grounds that  Janner could have been put before a court where his fitness to stand trial could be assessed by experts publicly in front of the trial judge. One   lawyer defended the decision. She told me: “She has had the guts to make a difficult and unpopular decision. The right to a fair trial is enshrined in the European Convention on Human rights .Inability to follow proceedings or instruct lawyers will prevent a fair trial. The DPP has had four medical reports saying that he is not fit to stand trial.  There would be no benefit in bring Janner before a court when the judge’s decision would be the same as hers. Indeed it would be regarded as an abuse of the process of the court ”.

Vintage Sleaze Part2 Butler-Sloss Inquiry

This article appeared in the July 16 edition of Ceylon Today.

 

Colman's Column3

Last week I wrote about calls for a public inquiry into allegations that the UK Home Office had colluded in a cover up of paedophile activity in Parliament and government. There has been strong criticism of the role of Leon Brittan, who was Home Secretary at the time when 114 files relating to child abuse went missing. At the time I wrote that article, UK prime minister David Cameron was steadfastly arguing that an internal Home Office inquiry combined with ongoing police investigations would be sufficient.

Since then, on 6 July 2014, the current Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced that an expert panel will have the power to scrutinise the behaviour of political parties, the security services and private companies amid allegations that paedophile networks operated with impunity in the 1970s and 1980s. It will also investigate the handling of the information given to the police and prosecution service about the allegations at the time. May added that this review would look into the Paedophile Information Exchange group. Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the NSPCC will head this review which will report within ten weeks to Mrs May and to Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General. Wanless was previously the Big Lottery Fund’s chief executive and worked at the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

May raised the possibility of converting it into a full public inquiry and giving the panel the authority to subpoena witnesses and has since announced that a public inquiry will be led by retired judge Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss. There has been much criticism, mainly on the grounds of her age and connections, of the appointment of the appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss.

NPG P1029; Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (nÈe Havers) by Christian CourrËges

Brother’s Keeper?

Lady Butler-Sloss’s family connections are indeed somewhat embarrassing. Her father, Sir Cecil Havers, was the high court judge who passed the death sentence on Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain. In a 2010 television interview, his grandson, the actor Nigel Havers, revealed that his grandfather had written to the Home Secretary recommending a reprieve, but had received a curt refusal. Sir Cecil subsequently sent money annually for the upkeep of Ellis’s son.

Gerry Conlon recently died at the age of 60. Daniel Day Lewis is to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth. One of Day Lewis’s memorable performances was as Gerry conlon in Jim Sheridan’s film In the Name of the Father. In the film Daniel Massey plays the prosecuting QC, Sir Michael Havers, who is unnamed. Gerry Conlon spent 25% of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Gerry Conlon was one of the Guildford Four, who were convicted in 1975 for the IRA Guildford pub bombings of 5 October 1974. After their arrest, all four defendants confessed to the bombing under torture by British police. There was never any evidence that any of The Four had been involved with the Provisional IRA. Collectively, the Four and the Maguire Seven served a total of 113 years in prison and one of the Maguire Seven, Giuseppe Conlon, Gerry’s father, died in prison, convicted on the basis of discredited forensic evidence. Havers represented the Crown in the trial and appeal of the Guildford Four and also of the Maguire family. In the case of the Guildford Four, the Director of Public Prosecutions was found to have suppressed alibi evidence that supported Gerry Conlon and Paul Hill’s claims of innocence. The DPP suppressed confessions by Provisional IRA bombers, known as the Balcombe Street Gang that they had carried out the Guildford and Woolwich bombings. In his submission to Sir John May’s 1989 Inquiry into the Guildford and Woolwich bombings, Labour MP Chris Mullins cast doubt on Havers’s integrity. “He is, therefore, probably the person who can lay claim to the most detailed knowledge of this affair. I respectfully submit that any inquiry that passed without the benefit of his experience would be deficient…The only hope of sustaining the original convictions was to rewrite the script from top to bottom. This Sir Michael and his colleagues proceeded to do with ingenuity and relish.”

In the Yorkshire Ripper case in 1981, Havers attracted controversy at the outset of the trial, when he said of Sutcliffe’s victims in his introductory speech: “Some were prostitutes, but perhaps the saddest part of the case is that some were not. The last six attacks were on totally respectable women.”

More to the point, Sir Michael was the attorney general under the Thatcher government and was accused of a “cover-up” when he refused to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman, a former diplomat and member of the Paedophile Information Exchange. Hayman was the deputy under secretary of state at the Foreign Office, and was reputed to be a senior officer in MI6, the foreign intelligence service.

havers

Should being sister to Mrs Thatcher’s most senior law officer disqualify Lady Butler-Sloss from heading an impartial inquiry?

Husband’s Keeper?

When Lady Butler-Sloss was appointed by Tony (now Lord) Newton to head the Cleveland Inquiry, the News of the World (17 July 1988) did a feature on her husband Joseph Butler-Sloss, who was then a circuit judge in Kenya. In a taped conversation, he confessed to using prostitutes A Nairobi court colleague said: “The wife comes through the front door and his girls go out the back. He is very discreet with her around because he doesn’t want scandal.”

Her Own Record

She was the first female Lord Justice of Appeal and, until 2004, was the highest-ranking female judge in the United Kingdom. In 2002, she chaired the Crown Appointments Board charged with the selection of a new Archbishop of Canterbury. She is Chairman of the Advisory Council of St Paul’s Cathedral. She once stood as a Conservative candidate for election to Parliament.

Her main qualification for heading this inquiry would probably be her previous work on the Cleveland child abuse scandal in 1987. Dr Marietta Higgs and Dr Geoffrey Wyatt diagnosed 121 cases of suspected child sexual abuse in Stockton-on-Tees. Higgs used a reflex anal dilation test, which on the scandal’s 20th anniversary Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson described as “not reliable”. The children were subject to place of safety orders, and some were removed from their parents’ care permanently. Dr Higgs continued to examine them while they were in foster care. She subsequently accused foster parents of further abuse and many were arrested. Courts dismissed cases involving 96 of the 121 children alleged to be victims of sexual abuse and 26 cases, involving children from twelve families, were found by judges to have been incorrectly diagnosed.

In The Cleveland Report was established, Baroness Butler-Sloss stated that the problems of child sexual abuse had become more recognised in the early 1980s which caused “particularly difficult problems for the agencies concerned in child protection”. She went on to state: “In Cleveland an honest attempt was made to address these problems by the agencies. In Spring 1987 it went wrong.”The public inquiry found most of the allegations of sexual abuse were unfounded and all but 27 children were returned to their families. The two doctors were criticised for “over-confidence” in their methods.

People on various sides of the debate were unhappy with the Butler-Sloss Cleveland Report. Anti-patriarchal witch finder Beatrix Campbell said: “Her report contributed to the myth that children were the victims not of sexual abuse but of crazed doctors and social workers.” Anti-zealot the late Richard Webster wrote: “Through no fault of her own Justice Elizabeth Butler-Sloss had, in effect, been compelled to produce her report in the dark. She simply did not have the benefit of the very scientific research which would have revealed the true scale of the Cleveland scandal and the real dangers of the child protection ideology and the paediatric zealotry which had led to it.”

Should She Stand Down?

Lady Butler-Sloss will not be working alone. She will have a panel of independent experts and the review will be conducted in the glare of publicity. However, can we expect transparency from an inquiry presided over by a member of the House of Lords whose members she would be investigating?

She was Chairman of the Independent Security Commission  which  reviewed “vetting of those who belong to the Royal Households, those working with them, or who otherwise gain access to Royal residences”.   She would have overall a responsibility for vetting  Jimmy Savile. She is an intelligence insider. She must have known knew Savile was a paedophile.

How About an International Inquiry?

In the five years since Sri Lanka comprehensively defeated the barbarous Tamil Tigers, UK ministers have been persistently calling for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes and human rights violations. As there is strong evidence that UK ministers have been buggering orphans for decades, would it not be the best plan to appoint an internationally respected figure to conduct an independent inquiry? Someone not intimately connected by ties of blood and influence to the likely perpetrators?

 Postscript

Since the article was published, Lady Butler-Sloss has decided to stand down saying it has : “become clear to me that I did not sufficiently consider whether my background and the fact my brother had been Attorney General would cause difficulties.”

Vintage Sleaze Part 1 The fox in charge of the hen house.

 

A shorter version of this article appeared in Ceylon Today on Wednesday July 9 2014.

 

Colman's Column3

 

Last week, I mentioned that I had observed a certain degree of masochism in some Sri Lankans who seemed to find a pride in what they perceived as the sheer bloody awfulness of their native land. One aspect of this is the firm belief that Sri Lankan politicians are the most corrupt in the world. I have repeatedly pointed out that, anywhere in the world, the kind of people who go in to the politics game are the type who are after personal gain and are often not very nice people. One response I get to this is that in other countries, corruption is properly investigated and punished. It is sometimes claimed that in the UK, for example, politicians who are caught out do the honourable thing and resign.

 

coulson

I have just heard the news that David Cameron’s former press secretary, Andy Coulson, has been jailed for 18 months for conspiracy to hack phones. Asked about the jailing of his former communications chief, the prime minister, who has apologised for hiring him, said: “What it says is that it’s right that justice should be done and that no one is above the law – as I’ve always said.” That’s OK then. The fact remains that Cameron employed the editor of a sleazy newspaper against all good judgement. Coulson did not own up to allowing his minions to hack the phone of a murdered teenager.

Labour MP Tom Watson was the scourge of Coulson and Murdoch. He is now campaigning for an investigation into long-running allegations that a senior Conservative cabinet minister and well-known celebrities were involved in a paedophile ring. Watson raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions on 24 October 2012. A journalist from the investigative news website Exaro passed the information to Watson. Rumours have been flying around the blogosphere for a long time and some of the blogs making allegations are somewhat flaky. There are allegations against many famous people including members of the Royal Family. These bloggers often follow the logic of Beatrix Campbell – stranger things have happened so why not believe this? However, journalists of repute, such as David Hencke, formerly of the Guardian, contribute to Exaro.

Peter McKelvie, a retired child protection officer, has spent more than 20 years compiling evidence of alleged abuse by authority figures. He helped bring the notorious paedophile Peter Righton to justice in 1992 when he worked in Hereford and Worcester child protection team. In a letter to his local MP Sir Tony Baldry last month, Mr McKelvie suggested that a further 20 MPs and Lords were implicated in the “cover-up” of abuse of children. It was as a result of information provided by Mr McKelvie that Tom Watson raised the issue of child abuse at Prime Minister’s Questions in October 2012. He spoke of “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and Number 10” that arose from the Righton case.

Following Mr Watson’s intervention, the Metropolitan Police began Operation Fernbridge, an ongoing investigation into allegations of sex abuse at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south London. At least one witness is understood to have told police in the 1980s that he was abused by a Tory MP at the guest house when he was aged under ten, but the alleged victim has so far refused to give a sworn a witness statement to the police.

When I lived in Putney in the early 1980s, I used to enjoy long walks on light summer evenings down across Barnes Common to the Bull’s Head pub to listen to jazz. Little did I know that Barnes Common was a popular gay cruising site after dark. In the late 1970s, the Elm Guest House on Rocks Lane was a safe, unthreatening meeting place for homosexual men free from the stigma of a sexual orientation  legalised barely a decade earlier.

elm

However, “It became a convenient place for rent boys to take their clients,” says one person familiar with the place. In 1982, the Met’s notorious Special Patrol Group raided the property on suspicion that it was a brothel. As many as 12 boys gave evidence to the police to the effect that they had been abused by men at the house. The police only seemed interested in pressing charges against Carole Kasir, who owned the place. Child-protection campaigners alleged that boys had been taken from a local council-run home and abused by politicians and showbiz entertainers. The real unlawful activity was underage sex, but the police only interviewed the boys a view to them being witnesses against Kasir, not as minors who were abused themselves. In 1990, at the age of 47, Kasir, a diabetic, died of an insulin overdose. Two Naypic (National Association for Young People in Care) employees told the coroner they believed she had been murdered, the victim of powerful people who feared she knew too much.

Kasir

Chris Fay, a social worker at Naypic, has alleged that a terrified Kasir had shown him about 20 photographs of middle-aged men with young boys, taken at what he said were kings and queens fancy-dress parties, attended by a number of powerful and well-known people.

In the early 1990s, I worked in the child protection field myself. I often attended meetings at the Home Office and came to know a young lawyer named Alison Saunders. She is now Director of Public Prosecutions and has often been in the news relating to the fallout from the Jimmy Savile saga and the subsequent investigation under Operation Yewtree. She is the first lawyer from within the Crown Prosecution Service and the second woman to hold the appointment. Tom Watson said he was writing to Ms Saunders to ask her to examine the evidence relating to an unnamed Tory politician.

dpp

A police investigation, Operation Fairbank, started in late 2012. This was a “scoping exercise” aimed at a “preliminary assessment of the evidence rather than a formal inquiry”. The existence of the operation was confirmed on 12 December 2012, after beginning in secret. The secrecy was such that nothing was even put on computers. Cynics say this was because so many of the culprits were police officers. A full criminal investigation, Operation Fernbridge, was launched in February 2013.

Geoffrey Dickens

Between 1981 and 1985, Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens campaigned against a suspected paedophile ring he claimed to have uncovered. In 1981, Dickens named the former British High Commissioner to Canada, Sir Peter Hayman, as a paedophile in the House of Commons, using parliamentary privilege so he could not be sued for slander. Dickens was an admirable fellow in many ways but he did allow his willingness to believe take him to the wilder shores inhabited by Beatrix Campbell and Valerie Sinason – he took on trust their fantasies about satanic abuse.

In 1983, 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 next year, he campaigned for the banning of Hayman’s Paedophile Information Exchange organisation. Dickens had a thirty-minute meeting with Leon Brittan, who was Home Secretary between 1983 and 1985, and gave him a dossier containing the child abuse allegations. Dickens said he was “encouraged” by the meeting.

hayman

On 29 November 1985, Dickens said in a speech to the Commons that paedophiles were “evil and dangerous” and that child pornography generated “vast sums”. He claimed that: “The noose around my neck grew tighter after I named a former high-flying British diplomat on the Floor of the House. Honourable Members will understand that where big money is involved and as important names came into my possession so the threats began. First, I received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at my London home. Then, more seriously, my name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list”. Barry Dickens, the MP’ son later said that about the time when the dossier was given to the Home Secretary, his father’s London flat and constituency home were both broken into but nothing was taken.

Tom Watson asked the Home Office in February 2013 for Dickens’s dossier. A Home Office review in 2013 concluded that any information requiring investigation was referred to the police. Mr Dickens’s dossier was “not retained”. A Downing Street spokesman rejected calls to publish in full the 2013 review of paperwork, saying: “My understanding is that the executive summary reflects very fully the report.” The opposition said the work was carried out by just two officials and took just four weeks.”This is not good enough,” said shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.

spit

Last year Brittan said he could not remember getting the dossier, but recently released a statement saying he could now recollect a meeting with Dickens. He said he had asked officials to look into the claims and could not remembering hearing any more about it. A Home Office review last year found Brittan had written to Dickens in 1984 saying the DPP assessed the material as worth pursuing and passed it “to the appropriate authorities”.

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP who came to Sri Lanka to seek justice for a murdered constituent, said he had received a dozen new allegations naming the same politician. Danczuk is taking an interest because Sir Cyril Smith used to represent Danczuk’s Rochdale constituency. The late, “larger than life” Liberal MP has been the subject of rumours for decades that he was a paedophile. Liberal party leaders have consistently ignored Smith’s activities with boys in the care of the social services. Danczuk has been pressing Lord Brittan to reveal what he knew about the dossier’s contents.

smith

Barry Dickens said: “My father thought that the dossier at the time was the most powerful thing that had ever been produced, with the names that were involved and the power that they had… “I would like Lord Brittan to name the very next person he handed it on to. And where did it end up? There must have been a person who was the last to handle it.” Former DPP, Lord Macdonald, said the circumstances in which the dossier had gone missing were alarming and recommended an inquiry.

The Prime Minister told Mark Sedwill, the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, to “do everything he can” to clear up what happened to the file. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who worked for Lord Brittan in Brussels in the 1990s, said the police were in the “best position” to investigate the allegations and he did not want anything – such as a public inquiry – to “cut across that or disrupt that”.

Danczuk responded that another internal inquiry was merely trying to limit damage, and that a public inquiry was necessary to retain public confidence. “The Prime Minister knows that there is a growing sense of public anger about allegations of historic abuse involving senior politicians and his statement today represents little more than a damage limitation exercise. It doesn’t go far enough. The public has lost confidence in these kind of official reviews, which usually result in a whitewash. The only way to get to the bottom of this is a thorough public inquiry.” A public inquiry into historical child abuse in public life, has been demanded by 139 MPs.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism committed an embarrassing blunder when they named Lord McAlpine as the senior cabinet minister in the Thatcher government who had been abusing young boys. He received damages, which he donated to charity, for the false allegation. McAlpine said: “There is nothing as bad as this that you can do to people. Because they [paedophiles] are quite rightly figures of public hatred. And suddenly to find yourself a figure of public hatred, unjustifiably, is terrifying.”

 

The media are wary about naming names again. The Daily Mail is sending coded messages. I know who the alleged culprit is and have done for some time. The other day I received an e-mail from a friend who spent many years as a child protection social worker. He said, “At last, what to every 80s social worker was common rumour.”

 

Will the name be named or will the cover-up continue?

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