An important step was taken today when seven MPs wrote to Theresa May asking for an independent panel inquiry to be launched into repeated failures by police to investigate thoroughly historic cases of child sexual abuse. They want the equivalent of the investigation into the Hillsborough disaster.The initiative came from Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative MP for Richmond, who has become acutely aware that the Met Police have still not got to the bottom of the historic child sex scandal at Elm Guest House in his constituency despite two people due to stand trial.
He decided that the issue was too important to become a political football and that an all party approach – it involves MPs from four parties- Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green- was the best way forward.
The result is revealed on the Exaro website today in two reports by me outlining the letter and the key cases where they have been repeated failures – every time police investigation have come near VIPs. evidence seems to have gone missing, dossiers lost,surveillance material disappearing, seized child porn DVDs lost and even police investigation reports possibly censored.
The first report on Exaro details the letter sent to Theresa May and the type of inquiry MPs want. The second report goes into more detail about what MPs want investigated. well as Zac, the other six MPs, are the former coalition children’s minister,Conservative MP Tim Loughton; Labour’s Tom Watson, who raised the question of a paedophile ring run by the late Peter Righton; Labour MP Simon Danczuk, the Rochdale MP who exposed further scandals around the late Sir Cyril Smith; Tess Munt, Liberal Democrat MP for Wells and parliamentary private secretary to Vince Cable, who has concerns about physical and sexual abuse in military schools; John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham, Yardley, who has raised similar issues of child sexual abuse, and Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, who expresses concern about the issue.
These magnificent MPs have put their political differences aside and put their heads above the parapet. They do not mince their words about the unsatisfactory situation that still persists.As Tim Loughton puts it:“Virtually every week, the public is bombarded with new stories about sexual abuse of children coming to light, yet they stretch as far back as the 1960’s.“Few areas have been left untouched with increasingly alarming stories involving schools, churches, care homes, entertainment, sport and of course politicians and celebrities.“Most alarming is a consistent theme of the reluctance or, more worryingly, the seeming complicity of police and other agencies to investigate the allegations seriously, and pursue the perpetrators rigorously.
“Documents go missing and investigations are curtailed with a chilling frequency, and that now threatens a serious undermining of the public’s confidence in our current child-protection system despite all the progress that has undoubtedly been made in recent years.”
It is really time to act. Teflon Theresa May – not known as a shrinking violet in dealing with tough and controversial issues – should very seriously consider what the MPs want and why they feel driven to ask for it.