All posts tagged CSAinquiry

Theresa May: Sex abuse runs through every level of society like a ‘stick of rock’

Published March 14, 2015 by misty534

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The Home Secretary says that people across Britain do not yet “appreciate the true scale” of the abuse and that once the inquiry is done “we will never look at society in the same way again”.

A major inquiry into child abuse will reveal that sexual exploitation runs through every level of British society like a “stick of Blackpool rock”, Theresa May warns today.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the Home Secretary, says that people across Britain do not yet “appreciate the true scale” of the abuse and that once the inquiry is done, “we will never look at society in the same way again”.

In a highly personal intervention, Mrs May says that the panel, being led by Justice Lowell Goddard, will encourage more victims of abuse to come forward and lead to perpetrators being brought to justice.

“I hope and believe it will give all victims and survivors a voice,” Mrs May says. “For too long nobody listened, nobody wanted to admit the darkness in our midst.”

She warns that “the trail” will lead into schools, hospitals, churches and youth clubs as well as “and many other institutions that should have been places of safety but instead became the setting for the most appalling abuse”.

What we have seen so far is “only the tip of the iceberg”, Mrs May says.

Mrs May set up the inquiry into child abuse following revelations about the crimes committed by Jimmy Savile as well as disclosures about abuse in Derby, Oxford and towns across Britain.

There were also a series of allegations about a Westminster paedophile ring.

“The inquiry won’t probe individuals but where there is evidence a person has abused their position – no matter how high or how low that position – it will be passed to the police to investigate,” Mrs May writes. “So if there has been a cover-up, we will uncover it. And if perpetrators of child sexual abuse are found, they will be brought to justice.

“The inquiry won’t examine abuse that has taken place within the family but it is my hope that by confronting the issue head on, it will encourage more people to come forward and report such abuse to the authorities. And I hope and believe it will give all victims and survivors a voice. For too long nobody listened, nobody wanted to admit the darkness in our midst.”

Justice Goddard, a new Zealand High Court judge, was named by Mrs May as the new head of the inquiry, which will examine allegations of an establishment cover-up of abuse spanning decades.

The appointment of Justice Goddard, 65, followed the loss of two former chairmen who stood down over perceived conflicts of interest due to their personal connections with establishment figures.

Admitting failings in the way the inquiry was initially set up, Mrs May says “It is a matter of public record that the inquiry had a difficult beginning. We did not realise the degree to which survivors mistrusted the political establishment.

“And we set up the inquiry in the way Whitehall always sets up inquiries. But it wasn’t enough for survivors to have the inquiry, its chairman and its terms of reference presented to them as a fait accompli. We needed to work with survivors if we were going to get those things right. It was through this collaboration that my understanding of this complex issue grew.”

Peter Dominiczak

Inquiry into child sexual abuse by establishment figures could look at crimes as far back as 1945, says inquiry chair

Published February 15, 2015 by misty534


There are calls to broaden the geographical and chronological scope of the investigation

The inquiry into child sex abuse by establishment figures may have to examine crimes committed as far back as 1945, the judge who is chairing it has said.

Lowell Goddard also indicated that the investigation may go back even further than the end of the Second World War, arguing that fixed cut-off points for probes of this nature tended to be “artificial”.

Justice Goddard is a judge in New Zealand and was appointed by the Home Secretary after two UK-based figured had to step down from the position due to establishment links.

Critics, including alleged abuse victims, said the links of previous chairs presented a conflict of interest.

The former Elm Guest House, Barnes, the site of alleged abuse. Despite the case being reopened last year no one has been charged

The former Elm Guest House, Barnes, the site of alleged abuse. Despite the case being reopened last year no one has been charged“The terms of reference talk about going back to 1970 but there is a push from certain quarters to take it back to about 1945,” she told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

“A cut-off point is always a bit artificial – someone who falls on the wrong side of it is aggrieved.”

The probe was expected to mainly concern crimes committed after 1970 when it was announced last July.

Theresa May is reported by the newspaper to support lifting time-limits on the inquiry.

Justice Goddard is also expected to issue a series of interim reports to prevent the investigation becoming bogged down.

Dolphin Square in Pimlico, London, where some abuse is alleged to have taken place

Dolphin Square in Pimlico, London, where some abuse is alleged to have taken placeThe New Zealander said she did not feel “intimidated” by the powerful people who could potentially be implicated in the investigation and that she would be likely to summon prominent people to give evidence.

Last week MPs called for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to cover the whole of the UK, rather than just England and Wales.

A report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said claims of abuse at a Belfast children’s home in the 1970s meant crimes could be intertwined and investigated together.

Separate abuse inquiries have been set up in Northern Ireland and Scotland where child protection is a devolved matter.

The Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast; in 1981, three men were imprisoned for between four and six years for a number of offences relating to systematic sexual abuse

The Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast; in 1981, three men were imprisoned for between four and six years for a number of offences relating to systematic sexual abuseThe head of  Amnesty International’s NI branch Patrick Corrigan said there were allegations that MI5 covered up abuse there.

“Allegations have persisted that paedophilia at Kincora was linked to British intelligence services, with claims that visitors to the home included members of the military, politicians and civil servants, and that police investigations into abuse at Kincora were blocked by the Ministry of Defence and MI5,” he said.

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has also previously repeated allegations that the security services monitored abuse at the Kincora children’s home to gain leverage over politicians.

Jon Stone

Sex claims file ‘already seen’

Published January 22, 2015 by misty534

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Home Secretary Theresa May answers an urgent question about historical child sex abuse claims

Allegations of “unnatural sexual” behaviour at Westminster contained in a file found at the National Archives may have already been seen by an inquiry into the Home Office’s handling of historic sex abuse claims, Theresa May has said.

The Home Secretary said the previously top-secret file may be a duplicate of one that was already looked at by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless and barrister Richard Whittam QC’s inquiry into paedophile ring allegations in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

University lecturer Dr Chris Murphy uncovered the once-classified document late last year at the archives in Kew, south west London.

Mrs May was answering an urgent question from shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper on the the current institutional child sex abuse inquiry.

After being questioned on the file, which was marked to indicate it had passed through former prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s office, Mrs May told the Commons: “You have made reference to the file that has come to light.

“We are checking that today but as I understand it we believe it may be a duplicate of a file that was at the Home Office which was seen by Wanless and Whittam during their review but of course we are checking that.

“Any allegations in relation to that file will be passed to the police and those concerned to ensure that they are looked at properly.”

The file which was found by Dr Murphy in November came to light yesterday.

It was entitled: “PREM19/588 – SECURITY. Allegations against former public (word missing) of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 – 1981 Mar 20.”

The “PREM” category of files covers documents and correspondence that passed through the prime minister’s office. Sir Bernhard Ingham, former press secretary of Mrs Thatcher, told reporters he could not recall the file.

The Cabinet Office has said the file was “kept closed and retained as it contained information from the security services and advice from the Law Officers” but that any documents pertinent to the sex abuse inquiry would be passed to it.

Mrs May set up the inquiry in July to find out whether public bodies had neglected or covered up allegations of child sex abuse in the wake of claims paedophiles had operated in Westminster in the 1980s.

She announced today that a new chair would be appointed by the end of the month following a series of problems, including the resignation of two previous chairs over their alleged links to Establishment figures of the time.

The Home Secretary will also decide whether it will take the form of a statutory inquiry or a royal commission by the end of January, with both options having the power to compel witnesses and full access to evidence.

Mrs May said: “I am clear that the new chairman must be someone who commands that confidence and who has the necessary skills and experience to carry out this vital work.

“In my work to find that person, as I told the House I would do, I have undertaken a number of meetings with the survivors of child abuse and their representative bodies And I have been deeply moved by the candour and the courage they have shown in telling me their harrowing stories and the experiences they have been through.

“I am absolutely committed to finding them the right chairman to ensure they get the answers they deserve.

“But not only does this inquiry need the right Chairman, it also needs the right powers.

“That means the ability to compel witnesses, and full access to all the necessary evidence.

“In December I wrote to panel members to set out the three options which could give the inquiry these powers.

“I confirmed those options in my evidence that month to the Home Affairs Select Committee, and I also confirmed that I would make my decision on the right model for the inquiry and the chairman by the end of January.

“It remains my intention to make a statement to the House shortly after I have made that decision and after the necessary interviews and careful due diligence work have taken place.”

Ms Cooper called for the inquiry to be scrapped and relaunched with a new chair and statutory powers.

The Labour frontbencher said: “Since November the allegations have become more serious.

“The police are now investigating allegations of child murder involving senior figures linked to Dolphin Square.

“A government file has emerged containing further potential allegations of abuse, clearly not seen by the Wanless review.

“These need to be investigated by the police, not just an inquiry, but it makes it even more vital that a serious and credible inquiry is under way with the confidence of the public and survivors.

“Given the seriousness of this, I now fear there is no choice but to start this inquiry again properly with a new chair and statutory powers and proper consideration of the scope and purpose involving the survivors themselves.

“This should not be beyond the wit of the Home Secretary.”

Mrs May came under pressure to publish the file from MPs including campaigner Labour’s Simon Danzcuk (Rochdale), who said the inquiry was starting to make Chilcot look “punctual and efficient”.

He asked: “Why doesn’t the Government now publish that file so that we can judge its importance?”

The Home Secretary replied: “My understanding is that the Cabinet Office file is being looked at. They are looking at the file making sure it can be passed to the National Archives.

“That would of course effectively make it public. That may require some redaction to take place.

“But I think everybody is aware that we want to ensure that the information that needs to be available is available.”

Labour’s Tom Watson (West Bromwich East), who has also campaigned on the issue, said there was a “clear public interest” in knowing whether a former prime minister had received a briefing on sexual crimes allegedly committed by a senior intelligence officer or officers.

He went on: “Regardless of whether the inquiry gets to see the document, can you not commit to publish the document now in the public interest or at least commit to give it to members of the Home Affairs Select Committee as part of their inquiry?”

Mrs May said again that the file had been passed to the police, adding: “I can assure the House that the file will be made available as it is my intention that all files should be made available to the inquiry.

“So it can be appropriately looked at and considered in the work they are doing.”

Labour’s Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak), a former social worker, then added his voice to the call for publication suggesting it should only take a few days to establish whether the document was indeed a duplicate.

He said: “Given the cloud of suspicion, I can’t believe it can take more than a couple of days to clarify whether it is a duplicate or a withheld file.

“Will you agree to come back to the House next week and tell us which it is?”

Mrs May said she would cover the issue of the file in the statement she makes on the chairmanship of the inquiry panel, due before the end of this month.

The Home Secretary was also criticised for the delays to the inquiry.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said Mrs May was “in danger of losing control of the process” and raised concerns about the allegation of bullying of a panel member by the inquiry’s barrister.

Mrs May said survivor Sharon Evans’s complaint had been investigated and no evidence of bullying found by Ben Emmerson QC.

Labour’s Sarah Champion (Rotherham) said the inquiry had now become a “farce” and her veteran colleague David Winnick (Walsall North) said even someone with the aim of sabotage could not have done a better job of throwing it off course.

He said: “If someone had set out to wreck the whole process from the very beginning, that person could not have done a more effective job. It is a tragedy.

“As far as the survivors are concerned, what has occurred is a tragedy, first that they were abused and now what appears to them at least is a farce since the inquiry was first established.”

Labour’s Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) asked Mrs May if she had considered resigning over the inquiry.

He said: “There have been a lot of casualties in this very sensitive process. Have you, with the great authority that the Home Office holds, have you ever considered that you might be the problem?

“Have you considered the unthinkable? Have you considered resigning?”

Mrs May said she was firmly committed to getting the inquiry up and running fully with a chairman.

She added: “I have apologised to the House. I have apologised to survivors for the fact that two chairmen resigned.

“But I also say to you it is this Government that has agreed to set up this inquiry. Yes we are now in a position where we have to look at a further chairman. But we have an inquiry set up in terms of a panel.

“We have an intention to ensure the inquiry does get fully up and running with a chairman and that we get to the truth. That is what everybody wants.”

Conservative Philip Hollobone (Kettering) asked whether Mrs May had been able to cut the long list of candidates for the new chairman down to a shortlist.

She said it was now “quite a short list” but would not go further than that.

Labour’s Paul Flynn (Newport West) suggested the Government look again at the scope of the inquiry given the vast areas to be covered, including allegations that whips concealed evidence of paedophilia by MPs so they could blackmail them in the division lobbies.

Telegraph & Argus

Mrs May said it was important not to leave out any matters.

Child sex abuse inquiry panel suspends all work

Published January 21, 2015 by misty534


Members of the Government’s inquiry into historic child sex abuse have refused to do any more work until their future is decided

The troubled inquiry into child sex abuse has suspended its work until Theresa May, the Home Secretary, makes a firm decision on its future.

The independent panel has said it will not hold any further meetings with victims until either a chairman is appointed or a decision is taken whether to replace it.

The move has plunged the inquiry in to further chaos and delays and comes just a day after evidence emerged of tension and infighting within the panel.

But the rest of the panel distanced themselves from the claims.

However, it is understood the dispute was the final straw and members have now decided to suspend all work until clarity over its future is given.

A statement on the inquiry website said: “The panel has made the difficult choice to delay all scheduled listening meetings until after the Home Secretary has made her decision on the future of the panel and has announced who will be appointed as Chair.

“The purpose of the listening meetings was for the panel to hear the views of victims and survivor organisations about the work and direction of the Inquiry.

“However, given the uncertainty over the future shape of the Inquiry, the panel feels that all upcoming listening meetings would not fulfil that intended aim.

“They also understand that for some victims and survivors the decision to attend a meeting might be both difficult and courageous, and did not think it appropriate to ask them to share their views about an Inquiry where there is a lack of certainty about its future shape.”

The inquiry was set up by Mrs May in July to find out whether public bodies had neglected or covered up allegations of child sex abuse in the wake of claims paedophiles had operated in Westminster in the Eighties.

It has already been hit by the resignations of both Baroness Butler-Sloss and then Dame Fiona Woolf as the chairman after each became entangled in allegations of conflict of interest.

But the panel had, until now, been determined to continue the work until a new chairman was appointed.

The Home Secretary revealed in a letter last month that she was considering standing down the current panel in favour of a royal commission or a new inquiry on statutory terms.

On Tuesday Sharon Evans, a child abuse survivor, accused the inquiry’s lawyer, Ben Emmerson QC, of “overstepping the mark” including claims he had put pressure on how she should give evidence to a parliamentary committee.

Mrs Evans, chief executive of the Dotcom Children’s Foundation, which helps prevent children from becoming victims of violence or abuse, told the home affairs select committee she felt “bullied and intimidated”.

In a statement after the hearing Mr Emmerson claimed Mrs Evans had repeatedly disclosed confidential information from panel meetings and it was his duty to raise that with her.

He said the allegations of bullying and intimidation were “entirely baseless” and that his advice “was legally correct and entirely necessary in the circumstances”.

In a separate statement, the rest of the panel said it had “full confidence in the integrity, advice and impartiality of counsel to the Inquiry”.

The Telegraph

Westminster sex probe member ‘bullied by QC’

Published January 20, 2015 by misty534


A MEMBER of the independent panel into child sexual abuse has told MPs she has been “bullied” by the barrister conducting the embattled inquiry.

Home Secretary Theresa May set up the inquiry to find out whether public bodies had neglected or covered up allegations of child sex abuse in the wake of claims paedophiles had operated in Westminster in the 1980s.

Panel member Sharon Evans, a child abuse survivor and chief executive of the Dot Com Children’s Foundation, which helps prevent children from becoming victims of violence or abuse, told the Home Affairs Select Committee she felt “bullied” by counsel to the inquiry Ben Emmerson QC.

Ms Evans said Mr Emmerson was “overstepping the mark” with his advice, including demands she re-write letters sent to the Home Secretary and agreed he was “running the show”.

Chair of the committee Keith Vaz asked Ms Evans about reported concerns she had over alleged threats made by Mr Emmerson in respect of evidence she would give to the Committee.

Ms Evans said: “I do feel concerned, very concerned, yes.”

She went on: “I believe I have been called here today – I was appointed, I was told, as the media person for the independent panel and to help understand a survivor perspective and I feel that I was told today that we must speak with a collective voice.

“I feel that would prevent me from answering some of your questions honestly.”

Ms Evans said she was concerned about the “independence” of the inquiry in relation to advice she had received from one adviser, adding that letters she had sent to the Home Secretary had been re-written by him.

“I felt very bullied,” she told the Committee. “He was overstepping the mark with advice and re-writing of letters.”

Mr Vaz started the session by reminding the panel members it would be a contempt of the house for anyone to threaten them over evidence they wanted to give to the Committee.

Ms Evans was joined by panel members Drusilla Sharpling, Professor Jenny Pearce and Professor Alexis Jay.

The inquiry was announced in July but still has no chairman, following the resignations of the Government’s first two choices, and doubts remain over plans to give it extra powers.

Previous appointments as inquiry chairwomen Fiona Woolf and Baroness Butler-Sloss resigned following claims about their perceived closeness to establishment figures.

The Home Secretary revealed in a letter last month that she was considering standing down the current panel in favour of a royal commission or a new inquiry on statutory terms.

Panel member Jenny Pearce, Professor of Young People and Public Policy at the University of Bedfordshire, who was recently awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for research on child sexual exploitation influencing safeguarding, told MPs the panel work must “carry on”.

She said: “The work must carry on, it’s a very important inquiry. The work of the inquiry must carry on.”

The Government insisted it still expected the panel to be up and running under its new chair by the end of March, when Parliament is dissolved ahead of the general election.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We want to get this right. We understand very much that concerns have been raised previously by victims and victims’ groups about the process that is being followed. We have been very clear in our determination to get that right.”

Asked if the panel would be established under the new chair by the end of March, the spokesman said: “I do think that you will see this set up in the coming period.”

Yorshire Post

Theresa May’s child abuse inquiry shame: Counting the days since Home Secretary promised victims justice

Published January 18, 2015 by misty534


Theresa May’s handling of the historic child abuse inquiry has been shambolic

Today marks 196 days since Theresa May announced her inquiry into historic child sex abuse – and the nation is STILL waiting for it.

The Home Secretary now has the choice of 100 candidates to chair the inquiry after two she appointed slipped through her fingers.

But Mrs May is still dithering over who it should be.

Last week we put six crucial questions to her which she declined to answer.

So today the Sunday People launches the May-o-meter to monitor how long survivors of abuse are to be denied justice.

We want to shame the Home Secretary into pulling her finger out before the General Election in May.

On 7 July last year she announced an ­independent inquiry to ­investigate the way ­public bodies handled child sex abuse claims.

It was to be led by former judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss.

But a week later the baroness had to stand down because her late brother Sir Michael Havers, who was ­attorney general in the 1980s, was allegedly involved in sex parties with rent boys.

On 5 September, Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf was named as new head of the inquiry.

But by 31 October she was gone after it emerged she dined five times with former Home Secretary Lord Brittan in 2008-2012.

Labour MP John Mann said yesterday: “This has dragged on far too long. Victims are losing faith and the Home Secretary must sort this mess out.”

But a Home Office spokesman said: “We have to balance the need to make progress with the need to get this right.

“The Home Secretary is absolutely committed to ensuring the inquiry has the confidence of survivors who must be at the heart of this process.

“She has also made it clear the inquiry should be placed on a statutory footing with powers to compel people to give evidence. She is considering options for doing this.”

Six questions we asked Theresa May to answer

  1. When will your inquiry begin?
  2. Why is there still a delay in getting it off the ground?
  3. What evidence have you gathered in the meantime?
  4. Will the existing panel be disbanded?
  5. Are you any nearer to appointing a chair for the inquiry?
  6. Will you be looking abroad for a new chair?

By Nigel Nielson

Britain’s Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Are Finally Being Listened To

Published January 15, 2015 by misty534


Flowers laid for the victims of child abuse (Photo by Susan G Crocombe)

Yesterday, for the first time ever, survivors of child abuse were invited into Parliament. Around 300 people from all over the country crammed into the House of Common’s biggest meeting room, standing and sitting on the floor, thanks to an invitation by John Mann MP.

The last three years have seen ever grimmer child abuse scandals surface, with few areas of British public life immune. It seems like after decades, the country is finallytaking these accusations seriously and the victims themselves are finally being listened to in the corridors of power.

Called the “White Flower” campaign, it draws inspiration from a popular campaign that saw thousands take to the street with white flowers to protest high level paedophile rings in Belgium. The day started with campaigners laying white wreaths and flowers next to the Houses of Parliament to commemorate children that had been murdered, disappeared or abused.

In the meeting, emotions were running understandably high. Its purpose was to call for a statutory inquiry into organised child abuse that is “fit for purpose”. Campaigners want the government’s inquiry into child abuse to tackle organised and institutional child abuse from 1945 until today and to be a Statutory inquiry – with power to stop any more evidence disappearing or being shredded.

Seven months after the inquiry was announced, progress has been slow, as both chairs – Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf – were forced to resign after accusations that they were too cosy with establishment figures.

VICE chatted to two of the campaign’s key organisers about why they’re speaking out and what they hope to achieve.


Phil Frampton, pictured above as a child, is the co-ordinator of the White Flower Campaign.

VICE: What is the White Flower Campaign?
Phil Frampton: In Belgium thousands took to the streets, the whole country protested the organised child abuse scandal there. We want to take the issue to the streets here. We will make sure survivors’ voices are heard in the public inquiry. We have held a white flower vigil here today outside Parliament, and we will be holding them around the country, wherever children were abused. We want people to come forward and for their voices to be heard.

What do you want from the public inquiry?
We want it to tackle all abuse and go further back than 1970. It’s not transparent. The choice of chair and panel member must be absolutely transparent. And we want people who come and testify to get proper support and protection. And dedicated, trained police who will be on hand to investigate the claims that are made. People need to believe in this inquiry so as many survivors as possible can come forward. Many of us here have been campaigning on this issue for decades.

How did you get involved in campaigning?
I was in born into care and was in care until I was 18. I’m what they call a publicity seeker. We’ve been called treasure hunters, only in it for the money, and now David Cameron is calling us conspiracy theorists.

That’s why we’re here, united against abusers. We are survivors, whistle-blowers, MP’s, child protection professionals. We’re publicity seekers. It’s time we were heard. 11 million survivors united will not be defeated. 11 million survivors can end the misery of child abuse.

Are you optimistic you will succeed?
The public inquiry has stalled before it’s even begun. But we believe that Theresa May has the power to resume it. My childhood and working with child abuse survivors has taught me to be realistic. But right now, I don’t believe this can all be swept under the carpet any more. I am definitely optimistic.


Nigel O’Mara, pictured above, is a child abuse campaigner who has faced threats and violence during his search for justice.

VICE: Can you talk a bit about why you’re here?
Nigel O’Mara: I am a survivor of abuse in care homes and I set up UK’s first ever helpline for male survivors – The Survivors’ Helpline. I set it up in 1986, and started bringing things into the public domain. And I paid dearly for it.

I was beaten half to death three times. During the North Wales child abuse scandal I supported survivors. I was warned that my life would not be worth living if I continued. I was attacked in my own home. My partner escaped and managed to tell the police. They never came. I told them what had happened and they said, “well what do you expect”.

And they did nothing about it?
I knew not to expect much from the police. I reported being sexually abused to the police aged 12, and they told me that it doesn’t happen to boys. Me and my other friends reported it to the police but nothing was done. Back then it was impossible to convict paedophiles. Things are a lot better now. But there is still a long way to go.

And what do you want to see coming out of this campaign?
I’d like to see an open and transparent inquiry that enables all survivors to take part, whether they are aged 10 or 100. That’s why we’re called survivors. Because we are still alive. Many of my friends were not here today. Some like Jason Swift were murdered.

Others we lost to suicide or drugs. The effects of being abused in childhood are catastrophic. For me, it meant I rebelled against people in charge of me and went through the care system, and was spat out and became homeless. I survived destitution by prostitution. And I survived that through drugs. The cycle of self-harm did untold damage. And 40 years on, the abuse still affects me. I speak and write six European languages but I never got any qualifications.

We want a review of services, so everybody who needs support can afford it. We want justice for people who were kids then and for kids now to know that there are people who will stand up for them.

By @BenGelblum

Insurance companies ‘suppressed facts’ about child sex abuse

Published January 14, 2015 by misty534

Insurance companies tried to “suppress” information about child sex abuse in council care homes, a whistleblower has claimed.

Tim Hulbert, a retired civil servant and local authority chief, said he was “instructed” by a county council’s insurers not to admit liability or apologise to victims involved in a sex abuse investigation.

Mr Hulbert said he believed his experience – when he headed social services in Bedfordshire – had not been an isolated incident, and accused insurers of “immoral and obscene” behaviour which had allowed the full extent of abuse to remain hidden.

It came as Theresa May, the Home Secretary, came under renewed pressure to start the national child sex abuse inquiry as more than 300 abuse victims, whistleblowers, MPs and campaigners met at the Houses of Parliament.

Phil Frampton, a campaigner and survivor of abuse who chaired the meeting, said: “In our view the inquiry remains a mess.

“But we believe that Theresa May has the opportunity to rescue it.”

Mr Hulbert, who retired from Bedfordshire county council 20 years ago, has previously played a major role in exposing concerns about child sex abuse.

It emerged last year that when Mr Hulbert previously worked for the Home Office he challenged a decision to award taxpayers’ money to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which was formed in the 1970s to campaign for a reduction in the age of consent.

Mr Hulbert worked in the department’s Voluntary Services Unit which approved grants to various outside organisations in the late 1970s and early 80s, and challenged his manager over why money was being given to PIE.

He claims he was told the grants were sanctioned by Special Branch.

Mr Hulbert told the meeting: “Some insurers sought to suppress facts and justice for vulnerable young people in order to protect their own commercial interests.

“Put simply, out of greed.

“I find this approach immoral and obscene and I think it’s actually a part of the abuse that had been allowed to exist in this country.”

He declined to name the insurance company but said it was a household name and operated internationally.

Mr Hulbert said he had been advised by the insurance company not to admit liability or apologise because it “implied guilt”. Other council officers were also spoken to by the company along with senior councillors, he added.

Samantha Morton, the Oscar-nominated actress who disclosed last year that she was abused as a teenager, sent a message of support to the rally.

“We will not be forgotten and we will not be quiet,” she said.

“Abuse is happening right now to a child or an infant that is desperately in need of rescuing.”

Morton, who said in September she was abused by two residential care workers when she was in care in Nottingham in the Nineties, urged campaigners to “come together as one to stop child abuse and stop the perpetrators of this horrific crime”.

Two women appointed to lead the Government inquiry –Baroness Butler-Sloss, the retired judge, and Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London – had to resign last year after it emerged they had links with Lord Brittan of Spennithorne, whose conduct as a Cabinet minister in the Eighties is likely to come under scrutiny during the proceedings.

The Home Office has yet to announce a replacement.

by David Barrett

Child abuse expert vows to fight on until whole sordid picture of Islington’s paedophile ring revealed

Published January 14, 2015 by misty534

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Original whistle-blower tells 440 strong crowd at House of Commons abusers are till out there

A child abuse expert pledged to fight until she revealed “the whole sordid picture” of Islington’s paedophile scandal at the House of Commons today.

Addressing more than 400 people at the Child Abuse inquiry – Time for Action and Justice meeting, Dr Liz Davies criticised the alleged cover up of the systematic paedophilia that took place in the borough’s care homes during the 1970s – and said the abusers are still out there.

She said: “I first exposed the child abuse in 1992 and I’ve born witness to crimes against children, sexual assault and abduction.

“The 14 inquiries Islington launched were a complete sham. All my records went missing, so I can be forgiven for thinking it was an absolute cover up.

“The Paedophile Information Exchange was operating just one street away from me, although I didn’t know it at the time

“The powers that be can destroy all they want, but we have our memories and we won’t forget what happened to us.

“We’ve had parts of the jigsaw and now the whole sordid pitch is being put together.

“We have to deal with di-information and people trying to discredit us. It’s been same since 1992 we know the main players, we fight them off every day and we won’t stop until we get what we deserve.”

Dr Davies, a reader in child protection at London Metropolitan University, in Holloway Road, Holloway, first blew the whistle on Islington’s paedophile ring.

Now she is spearheading the survivors’ campaign for justice.

She said: “I’m honoured to be here today bringing together so many survivors. This is your day, absolutely

“For 25 year some of us have been doing this.

“Since 1992 when I exposed child abuse in Islington, we’ve been whispering in dark corners.

“Today we are shouting out loud and that’s very different.

“This is a long running campaign to protect current children, which we can’t do without survivors bravely coming forward, and gaining justice.

“Many perpetrators we know about and there are lots and lots still around. They aren’t all dead.”

Islington Gazette

Westminster abuse inquiries: At least 10 famous politicians ‘named again and again’ by child abuse helpline callers

Published December 9, 2014 by misty534

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Child protection campaigners say at least 10 “famous” current and former politicians will now face being investigated over allegations of historic abuse.

The figures, including a number who are now dead, have been identified “again and again” by callers to child abuse helplines, it has been claimed.

It comes as Theresa May announced an independent inquiry will look into how the state and other institutions have handled accusations of abuse over the past four decades.

Dr Jon Bird, of the National Association for People Abused In Childhood (Napac), said it looked like the 10 politicians will “at last” face up to the accusations – and warned that he expected more allegations to follow.

He told Sky News: “The names of people in very high places – politicians, senior police officers and even some judges – have been going around as alleged abusers for a very long time.

“Since the Jimmy Savile revelations, there’s been a sea change in the way police and the CPS respond to these sort of complaints and now, at last, it looks like these people are going to be investigated.”

Peter McKelvie, a former child protection manager, said he believed that the number of “prominent figures” linked to an alleged Westminster paedophile network could be “upwards of 20”.

He told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that there was also “a much larger number of people who have known about it and done nothing about it, who were in a position to do something about it”.

Today Mark Sedwill, the most senior civil servant at the Home Office, will be questioned by MPs over the department’s handling of child abuse allegations made over a 20 year period.

The permanent secretary will appear before the home affairs select committee amid questions over the quality of a review he commissioned last year.


Lord Brittan has admitted receiving a file with allegations of an abuse network, but denied any suggestion of a cover-upLord Brittan, the home secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government from 1983 to 1985, has faced questions over his handling of a dossier, compiled at the time by the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, which contained allegations of a predatory paedophile network operating in and around Westminster.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless has been asked by Ms May to look into the adequacy of the probe into the way claims were dealt with and the response of police and prosecutors to information which was passed on to them.

And she revealed that a wider inquiry, carried out by an independent panel of experts and given access to all the Government papers it requests, could be converted into a full public inquiry if its chairman – who is yet to be appointed – feels it is necessary.

It is unlikely to report before next year’s general election, but Ms May promised that an update on its progress will be given to Parliament before May 2015.

Prime Minister David Cameron said his Government would leave “no stone unturned” in seeking the truth about widespread allegations of a paedophile ring with links to the establishment in the 1980s.