During Prime Ministers Question Time On 24th October 2012, Tom Watson MP suggested that evidence of a paedophile ring with connections to parliament and possibly a former Prime Minister came to light during the conviction of Peter Righton in 1992, and was covered-up by the establishment and the police, who failed to investigate further.
Mr Watson said “if it [the file] still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring”
Since then there have been further allegations of abuse by people of high-status at care-homes in North Wales (the Waterhouse inquiry is alleged not to have dealt with a fraction of allegations involving sexual abuse from boys at Bryn Estyn), and a further establishment cover-up. Adults have also claimed they were abused as children by former MP Sir Cyril Smith (now deceased) while they were child residents at Cambridge House hostel in Rochdale, and were silenced despite reporting this abuse, by an establishment cover-up. All this with the backdrop of the Savile child sex abuse scandal.
No doubt vulnerable children are at great risk today, our system is not working, and perhaps the very people responsible for it are a risk themselves. We have a moral duty to cleanse the system of any such element, seek justice for children who have been abused and to protect future potential victims, without further delay.
We, The Undersigned, echo Mr Watsons demand that David Cameron, PM, order an over-arching inquiry/special police investigation into the sexual abuse of children, outside the affected forces, with proper resources, to review all relevant police files and those of the intelligence services. If they have documents suggesting politicians in the Commons and Lords or others in positions of power were involved in child abuse then they should make them available to a new inquiry team.
The forces so far known of be affected (Met, Surrey, West and South Yorkshire, West Mercia, Dorset, Kent, Essex, North Wales, Suffolk and Sussex) need to have their archives systematically searched for intelligence from witnesses/victims making claims which were not investigated; investigations which were closed down, and so on.
The government must draw the terms of reference such that the police inquiry has licence to follow any lead it finds in what will be, after all, a serious criminal investigation. There should be no historic sexual abuse of children which is off limits to this investigation. The police should be supported by a dedicated team of child protection specialists, many of whom have been raising their concerns for years. Narrowing the inquiry equals hiding the truth.
Detailed recommendations about how to organise an investigation is in the possession of the government. The 2002 guidance on Complex Child abuse investigations: Inter agency issues (Home Office and DoH) continues to be relevant and is referenced in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 Investigating complex (organised or multiple) abuse (p194 6.10-1.6.13).
A dedicated police unit is essential, investigating the organised abuse of children, wherever it happened – from the seediest backstreets even to Downing Street – without fear or favour of exposing the rich and powerful, or those who covered up for them.
And if it opens a floodgate of misery, then so be it. We will all feel dirtied and sickened – as we should. Victims have an absolute right to the whole truth.
We believe failure to do the above is not only a crime against children, but a huge indictment on this government and previous ones that have allowed such terrible abuse of trust and power and such risk to societies most vulnerable citizens to go un-checked.
NO CHILD IN THIS COUNTRY IS SAFE UNTIL WE HAVE UNCOVERED THE TRUTH AND BEGAN THE PROCESS OF CLEANSING AUTHORITIES OF THIS ELEMENT IN A COMMITTED, TRANSPARENT AND SINCERE WAY.
We cannot, do not and will not trust any government that does not consider the genuine and complete protection of our children to be the top priority at all times.
UPDATE FROM MR TOM WATSON, MP's BLOG 3/11/2112
'It’s ten days since I raised a question about intelligence suggesting a paedophile ring that touched the very heart of a previous government. I’d done so because a very credible retired child protection professional had lived with a gnawing suspicion of a cover up for many years.
These people are the rarest of human beings. They’re the people who labour in anonymity, day in day out, trying to make the world a better place. They have always been the foundations of our public services. Yet this retired public servant had, through a quirk of fate, stumbled on something that appeared so huge, that almost everyone he’d ever raised his concerns with had baulked at the challenge.
Since then though, many more ordinary people have contacted me about suspicions they have had of a wider wrongdoing – in some cases so heinous it made me cry.
They have talked of psychopaths marking children with Stanley knifes to show “ownership”. They tell of parties where children were “passed around” the men. They speak of golf course car parks being the scenes for child abuse after an 18 hole round.
And they have named powerful people – some of them household names – who abused children with impunity.
Two former police officers have raised their concerns of cover-ups. Child protection specialists have raised their fears that the network of convicted paedophile Peter Righton, the nexus of the group, was wider than at first thought. Others have identified a former cabinet minister who regularly abused young boys.
Some have raised mysterious early deaths, disappeared children, suspicious fires, intimidation and threats.
These allegations go way beyond the claims made on BBC Newsnight yesterday. Newsnight failed to name the paedophile mentioned by a North Wales survivor. I can understand why. A career can be destroyed by an allegation of such magnitude. There needs to be a high bar of proof.
Yet the thing I learnt most from the hacking scandal, and for that matter, the Savile case, is that the intelligence was staring the police in the face. These people were hiding in daylight. So powerful, so brazen in their actions, those who had an inkling of what was happening turned a blind eye.
Or maybe none of this happened. Maybe the 50 plus emails and numerous phone calls and letters I have received were all from fantasists. Maybe the allegations of the victims – made for many years, consistently to anyone that would listen, maybe they’re bogus.
One thing is for certain: someone has to join the dots. And that should be the police. There are a few hardy child protection specialists who for many years, have been burrowing away, trying to uncover the truth. Their work and insight should be taken more seriously. The police should work with them.
The hacking scandal was about the police failing to follow clear leads of wrongdoing by powerful people. They could do this because politicians turned a blind eye.
This is potentially worse. Some of those powerful people involved in a cover up may well have been – and could still be – powerful politicians.
I’m not going to let this drop despite warnings from people who should know that my personal safety is imperilled if I dig any deeper. It’s spooked me so much that I’ve kept a detailed log of all the allegations should anything happen.
As I type this blog post, I’m half-smiling about how insane all this appears. It sounds like I’ve taken leave of my senses – just like they said I had during the early days of the hacking scandal. Maybe I have. Yet with a properly resourced investigation, with the voice of victims being heard in public and with the political will we can get to the facts.
I wish I could fight the case of everybody who has been abused by a paedophile who has so far got away with it, but I can’t. That is a job for the police. Up and down the country private grief is being stirred by these stories. I cannot help in each individual case, but the police and support services can, must and will. If you were abused a long time ago and want justice now, go to the police. It is not too late.
What I am going to do personally is to speak out on this extreme case of organised abuse in the highest places. At the core of all child abuse is the abuse of power. The fundamental power of the adult over the child. Wherever this occurs it is an abomination. But these extreme cases are abuse of power by some of the most powerful people. Abuse of trust by some of the most trusted. It is a sickening story, but one which – like the truth about Jimmy Savile – is now going to be told.' - Tom Watson, MP
31/10/2012 Did North Yorks Police 'fixit' for Jim?
Action Against Abuse started this petition with a single signature, and now has 406 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.