Fiona Woolf

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Child sex abuse report: Files concerning Westminster paedophile ring were destroyed in the last few years

Published November 11, 2014 by misty534

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Home Office files concerning allegations of child abuse at the heart of Westminster were destroyed in the last few years, according to a report into the Government’s handling of the claims.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said a sophisticated cover-up was “unlikely” to have taken place after searching records at the Home Office and beyond. He also said he had not uncovered any attempts by the department to conceal child abuse.

Mr Wanless was asked to investigate after an internal review found the Home Office had “lost or destroyed” 114 files between 1979 and 1999. They included a dossier presented by the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens to the then-Home Secretary Lord Brittan in 1983.

The peer has denied failing to act on the file, which is said to have named prominent politicians and other senior figures alleged to be involved in a paedophile network.

Mr Wanless said upon publication of his report today that it appeared the missing files were not destroyed by anyone who could be directly affected by the allegations. He said that the missing files were last seen “in this century”.

However, he said he had “major concerns” about both the police’s and the department’s record-keeping.

Mr Wanless said that at the time, police forces only kept paper records on file for up to two years unless a charge was brought. He called it an “imperfect system”, pointing out that it may take longer to substantiate allegations and that often their significance emerges only when a pattern emerges.

Mr Wanless also said there was no evidence to suggest the Home Office had funded the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), the pro-paedophile activist group established in 1974 which lasted 10 years until it was disbanded.

He said he had been unable to determine whether or Special Branch funded the group, via the Home Office budget in order to keep track of members. Mr Wanless said that would be “odd but not impossible”.

He endorsed all the recommendations from the original civil service report into the missing documents from 2013, including the directive that where there is an allegation of child abuse it should be recorded and marked “significant”.

He added that there should be a system in place at the Home Office of recording what information is sent to the police and a formal procedure of confirming what the result of the reference should be.

Responding to the report, Home Secretary Theresa May said she was determined that cases of child abuse should be exposed so the perpetrators may face justice. She welcomed the detailed investigation and has written to Mr Wanless to find out what the security services did with any material his investigation said had been passed to MI5.

Mr Wanless is due to speak to the Home Affairs Select Committee about the report’s findings. Geoffrey Dickens’ son Barry said he was “not surprised” by the findings and questioned whether six weeks was long enough for Mr Wanless to conduct an appropriate investigation.

The findings are due to be used by the upcoming, wider Hillsborough-style inquiry into paedophile activity linked to public bodies and institutions. The Home Office has begun the search for a third chair after Fiona Woolf became the second candidate to step aside from the job. It emerged she lives a few doors away from Lord and Lady Brittan and has dined with them on several occasions. Mrs May has apologised to victims for the delay in finding someone to head the probe.

The Independent

I was ready to testify about the abuse I suffered as a child – but I can’t as long as Fiona Woolf chairs the inquiry

Published October 24, 2014 by misty534


Witnesses are vulnerable, and they need to have complete faith in the system

As someone who suffered child abuse in the children’s home I grew up in during the 1960s and 70s, I saw the Government inquiry into the scandal not just as an opportunity to observe institutions finally being made accountable for their woeful neglect – but also as an opportunity to go before the inquiry and spell out what happened to me.  But as long as Fiona Woolf is in charge I am not prepared to do that.

When, earlier this year, I wrote about what happened to me, I received many messages of support from members of the public, and heart-warmingly, gained support from friends with whom I grew up.  More often than not, they shared the same harrowing experiences.  The child abuse was systematic in my children’s home in Surrey.  From the age of five I was violently attacked by a member of staff and once sexually assaulted by a member of the medical profession.

Even though many of my ‘brothers and sisters’ are now in their late forties and early fifties, they are still trying to come to terms with the atrocious acts inflicted on them when they were at their most vulnerable.  When they reached their adult years, some turned to drink or drugs in an attempt to erase all memory of their suffering.  A number of tortured souls were unable to look after their own children.  A few I know still receive counselling.  What we all have in common is that we have been absolutely failed by every institution that had a care of duty to protect us.  Among this sorry list includes the social services, local councils, government, police forces and the Crown Prosecution Services.

So when Theresa May first stood up in Parliament and announced that there would be an inquiry into historical child abuse, I knew I wanted to testify.

Bearing witness can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience.  I know people who find the prospect of doing so impossible.  And with all this deep-seated hurt, betrayal and anger, it was imperative that the appointed chair of this inquiry could gain the trust of every victim who stood in front of them.  Sufferers have to be confident that they will be granted a fair hearing and that those who played a role in any institution will be questioned and interrogated without bias and favour.

With news emerging concerning the second appointed chair, Fiona Woolf, and her links to Lord Brittan, that fragile confidence has been completely undermined.  It was under Lord Brittan’s watch when he was Home Secretary that a dossier detailing alleged Westminster paedophiles went missing.  Ms Woolf and Lord Brittan, we learn, have swapped polite conversations at home dinners. Ms Woolf has sipped coffee with Lord Brittan’s wife, and they live on the same affluent London street.  They are hardly nervous strangers who have been forced to sit together on a packed bus.

I was one of the few I know who wanted to testify to this inquiry.  I’m not aware or haven’t been told of how I would go about this but it was my intention to relate my experiences to whatever panel sat in front of me.  I will no longer seek to achieve this if Fiona Woolf still remains chair of the inquiry, because of her social ties to Lord Brittan.  She should resign.  What’s more, she shouldn’t cling on to her post to save the credibility of Theresa May. Inspiring confidence in the victims is far more important than that.  I don’t give a damn about ministerial reputations but I care passionately about victims baring their souls.  I urge the Home Secretary to retreat to her office, put the phone off the hook, take out her contacts book, and think again.

Alex Wheatle

Another Coverup to cover all the other coverup’s

Published October 6, 2014 by misty534


The new head of the national child abuse inquiry is as Establishment as they come and is there to ensure that the truth does not emerge,

Fiona Woolf was recently appointed by Home Secretary Theresa May as head of the promised overarching inquiry into child sexual abuse after the first appointee, retired judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, resigned.

Butler-Sloss quit following revelations that her brother Michael Havers, who was attorney-general under Margaret Thatcher, limited the scope of an inquiry into child sexual abuse at the Kincora Children’s Home in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.
Cabinet minutes from 1983 reveal that Havers ensured that MPs and other prominent public figures were protected by restricting the terms of reference of the inquiry.

Anglican judge and one-time failed Tory parliamentary candidate Butler-Sloss also recently admitted covering up the crimes of Anglican priests while presiding over an inquiry into their paedophile activities.

Woolf, the controversial new head of the government’s inquiry into historic sex abuse, is now under growing pressure as more evidence emerges of her links going back at least a decade with Leon Brittan, who is accused of involvement in a cover-up when he was home secretary.

Lord Brittan recently admitted that as home secretary he received the now “lost”  dossier on paedophile MPs compiled by campaigning MP Geoffrey Dickens.

In the early 1980s, Havers was accused by Dickens of a cover-up when he refused to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman, a diplomat, former MI6 deputy director and member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a lobbying organisation for child abusers. Another PIE member has confirmed that he kept PIE files, records and membership details in the Home Office itself.

What these appointments confirm again and again is that when it comes to the government appointing one of its own to an important public inquiry, one whose outcome is likely to impact on the legitimacy of the political Establishment, only a safe pair of hands will do.

We have seen this over the decades, from the first tribunal under lord chief justice Widgery that covered up the truth around the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry in 1972 all the way through to the Hutton inquiry into the death of David Kelly in 2003 and the Butler Review into the infamous Iraq war “dodgy dossier” in 2004.

Woolf, like these previous appointees, has impeccable Establishment credentials.

She is currently Lord Mayor of the City of London, the heart of British capitalism, which since deregulation in the 1980s, has operated as a giant casino that helped caused a trillion-dollar crash in 2008.

Woolf was previously president of the Law Society and is a global ambassador for Britain’s financial services sector.

The City is immersed in financial scandal yet receives the lightest of regulation and no democratic scrutiny. Whether mis-selling of dubious financial products, fiddling Libor interest rates, dodging corporation tax, fixing false foreign exchange rates or money laundering the proceeds of drug cartels, the City is a cesspool of rapacious greed and mind-boggling levels of income.

Yet even the banking crash of 2008 and the wild behaviour of finance traders leading to the collapse of major financial institutions, later bailed out by ordinary workers’ taxes, has failed to prompt meaningful change in an inherently corrupt culture.

Woolf took a City of London lobbying team out to Bahrain earlier this year which prompted Amnesty International to report that children are being routinely detained, ill-treated and tortured in the Gulf state.

Scores of children arrested on suspicion of participating in anti-government protests — including some as young as 13 — were blindfolded, beaten and tortured in detention over the past two years following mass unrest in 2011. Others were threatened with rape in order to extract forced confessions.

“By rounding up suspected under-age offenders and locking them up, Bahrain’s authorities are displaying an appalling disregard for its international human rights obligations,” said Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.

Amnesty posed the following questions: “Did Fiona Woolf’s team make any effort to research the notorious human rights environment in Bahrain before they went out there, and once they were there did they show any interest in finding out more about what was going on?

“Did Fiona Woolf pay any attention to the abuse of human rights and in particular children’s rights in a country which presumably she already knew well from her three years spent there as representative of the lawyers CMS Cameron McKenna?”

Last November, the all-party Commons foreign affairs committee urged the Foreign Office to classify Bahrain as a “country of concern” if its human rights record did not improve.

Britain sold Bahrain military equipment worth £18 million in 2013, according to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT). Britain also hopes to sell Bahrain Typhoon jet fighters worth £1 billion. So money counts but children don’t.

Patrick Rock, a senior Downing Street aide to David Cameron, was arrested earlier this year on allegations of downloading computerised child abuse imagery. His brief was to advise Cameron on internet security for filtering online pornography.

This is just the latest in a series of revelations that began with the exposure of the crimes of late paedophile Liberal MP Cyril Smith, which together prove that paedophiles have had unfettered access to the corridors of power for the past 30 years, while police investigations have been stopped and official inquiries stymied as files go missing, are shredded or seized by the Secret Intelligence Services.

Leader of the House of Commons William Hague has declined MPs’ calls for a debate into Woolf’s appointment.

The independent inquiry has been broadened to shift the focus away from parliamentary paedophiles, and the Establishment are closing ranks, covering their tracks and making sure the truth will not get out.

Steven Walker is the author of The Social Worker’s Guide to Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Gyles Brandreth’s new book reveals how the main Westminster party whips conceal many dark secrets about MPs and goes a small way to lifting the lid on an Establishment cover-up of paedophile MPs.

In Breaking The Code: Westminster Diaries, Brandreth writes about his time as a Tory whip and confirms previous evidence of a deliberate cover-up of criminal acts against vulnerable working-class youngsters.

Asked about allegations of a paedophile ring operating in Parliament, Norman Tebbit even admitted this summer that “there was probably an Establishment cover-up.”
Brandreth, Edwina Currie and others named Peter Morrison as a dangerous paedophile while serving as a Tory MP.

Morrison worked as a government whip himself and was a close adviser to Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Police have gone on record to say that he was found sexually abusing young boys in public toilets and seen driving away from the notorious Bryn Easten children’s home with a young boy in his car near his parliamentary constituency in north Wales.

The police took no action against him and a previous inquiry led by Judge Waterhouse into organised paedophile abuse in north Wales prevented investigators from following up high-profile suspects.

In Michael Cockerell’s 1995 BBC documentary Westminster’s Secret Service, Tim Fortescue, Edward Heath’s chief whip from 1970 to 1973, stated there was a tried and tested method for cover-ups called the “Dirt Book” system.

Talking about the role of the chief whip, Fortescue said: “Anyone with any sense who was in trouble would come to the whips and tell them the truth … a scandal involving small boys … we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points … and if, I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then he will do as we ask forever more.”

Put together with the fiasco of the Home Secretary’s second attempt at appointing as head of the promised overarching child sexual abuse inquiry, it becomes clear how the rich and powerful operate within a secret world where the laws of the land don’t really apply.

Steven Walker