Leon Brittan: Why Lawson is wrong and there is a real case to answer

Leon Brittan

Leon Brittan

There has been anger  and disbelief among many of the late Leon Brittan’s friends that his name has become public in connection with the current Met police investigation into  historical child sex abuse dating back to the 1980s. In one sense it is understandable. Who would want to believe that the person they invite to dinner, meet in the House of Lords, have known for years, could be remotely considered a serial paedophile. So the reaction from Lord Deben ( better known as John Selwyn Gummer), Edward Garnier MP and David Cameron after his recent death is not unusual.

But the attack in the Sunday Times by Dominic Lawson, a former editor of the Sunday Telegraph, is a different matter. By taking the argument that those who say that he could be a paedophile – such as Tom Watson and Simon Danczuk  are part of a  frenzied Labour left-wing plot to get back at Tories close to Margaret Thatcher,he is way off the mark.

As an investigative  reporter  not only does this line of argument not stand up – but the facts of the case are against him.

For a start  he questioned whether “Nick’s ” account  about  Leon Brittan and others sexually abusing him was accurate. Yet ” Nick” has already been described by the  Met Police as ” a credible witness”. They do not do such a thing lightly. and they certainly don’t do it just because Tom Watson or Exaro News say so. They make up their own mind.

Second if he started to examine the known facts about  the allegations against Leon Brittan he might have pause for thought. ” Nick” is not the only person to make these allegations. Separate allegations have been made by more than a handful of other survivors and a number are still being followed up by the police because they involve other people.

As a journo if you want to establish the probability of a fact – one of the most compelling arguments is when two or more people who did not know each other give a similar story. So unless Dominic Lawson is going to argue that there is a wicked conspiracy among survivors across England to name and frame Leon Brittan for some unknown reason this does not stand up.

People also forget that the case against Leon Brittan is not only made by survivors – who as kids as young as nine or eleven would not easily recognise Cabinet ministers – but by members of the public.

The original reason why Elm Guest House was raided in 1982 was not initially because children complained about sexual abuse but because the residents in Barnes got thoroughly fed up with an unruly B & B in a  quiet street, with cars turning up at all times of night. It was a resident who allegedly said she saw Leon Brittan going there. Certainly the police from separate sources have established that Sir Cyril Smith went there.

And other people, not just survivors, are now coming forward saying at least there was one flat in Dolphin Square where young people were invited to gay sex parties.

Of course they may now be a clamour for the Met to stop investigating him – but the investigation is on going because they are people who were allegedly there with Leon Brittan who are still alive.

Finally if  some one is likely to be charged – the most likely person which both Leicestershire and Met Police say they are currently investigating – it is Lord Janner. Now unless Dominic Lawson knows something I don’t ,I can’t recall Lord Janner ever being in Thatcher’s Cabinet. He is a  former Labour MP and if his argument is that the sex abuse scandal is based on Leftie political revenge on the Tories – I have not seen Tom Watson or Simon Danczuk rushing to protect him for the sake of Ed Miliband.

Frankly the thesis of Dominic Lawson is a bit of old tosh – pressure for an overarching child sex abuse inquiry had all party support – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green. It was precisely the idea of Conservative Mp, Zac Goldsmith, to do it this way – to prevent it becoming a party political matter.

In his frankly partisan piece Lawson – I suspect in grief for a friend he sees unjustly accused- has broken that. And shame on him for suggesting it.

I now see following the Times revelations today(July 23) that indeed the Cabinet Office did have documents which named Leon Brittan in connection with child sex abuse allegations but they were suppressed. I hope Dominic Lawson will reflect on the findings.

25 thoughts on “Leon Brittan: Why Lawson is wrong and there is a real case to answer

  1. Pingback: Leon Brittan: Why Lawson is wrong and there is a real case to answer – David Hencke | Vox Political

  2. Pingback: Leon Brittan: Why Lawson is wrong and there is a real case to answer | Catholic Canada

  3. Lawson and Moore get their info from ppl like Saff uk who have a grudge against Dickens that goes way back
    It dont bother anyone they will try and spin this..like Parris ( oh dear and
    his old mate peter campbell too tut tut)
    And the speccie / spiked mob too
    Brendan O Bollox and Rose and all them lot

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  4. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    David Hencke here picks apart Dominic Lawson’s argument in the Sunday Telegraph that the accusations that Leon Britain was a paedophile are a ‘lefty plot’. Hencke shows that they are not. The accusations come from the police, survivors of the abuse, who corroborate each other’s stories, and members of the public. The demands for an inquiry have support across the House, and one of those accused of participating in the same orgies is a Labour MP.

    Lawson’s defence of Brittan is, however, extremely partisan. He is a Tory, defending a former Tory minister, of whom he was a friend.

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  5. It would be surprising if a file on Leon was not prepared by for Prime Minister as that for Hayman on the potential security implications of his activities

    It is noticeable that all those coming to the aid of the reputation of Leo are male. I have a great regard for the Home Secretary and believe she has come under fire from her male political colleagues as from the Opposition, so I am loathe to add to the pressures on her, but it does occur that Home Office questions next Monday Tom or Simon or another if they do not have other more important questions to hand could ask the Home Sec if her department shares the sentiments of those who claim a left wing conspiracy to denigrate the name of her predecessor by making accusations without evidence or the view of the Police that a survivor has been listened to and believed a point she made forcibly to the International crime and policing conference in London last week which I have circulated.

    Similarly someone could ask if anyone in her department has made search of national archives records, or contacted the intelligence services to see if there was a file prepared for a previous prime minister on the potential security implications of his behaviour.

    There is also the question whether the information given to the police by Leon will be available to the inquiry once it is not longer required by them in relation to an on going inquiries,

    There is the separate issue of the no cover up line in the Hayman papers and to ask The Home Secretary or the Prime Minister direct if this was not the same advice and from whom to the Prime Minister when he/his press advisor commented, to the effect that those claiming an organised cover up were conspiracy theorists and in effect fantasists ?

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  6. Dominic Lawson chooses also to ignore the large amount of reporting and campaigning relating to the Paedophile Information Exchange and its deep links to the National Council for Civil Liberties at a time when various figures who would later become leading Labour politicians (one of them the current Deputy Leader of the Party) were involved at the top of this institution. Or the ongoing story about the Blair-era minister allegedly involved with a network of abuse in Lambeth care homes, for which the foremost campaigner has been Labour MP John Mann. And police are investigating the late former Speaker of the House and before then Labour MP George Tonypandy. There is also the case of the complicity or at least complacency of Labour politicians in Rotherham and elsewhere, about which Simon Danczuk has been most outspoken.

    Lawson is speaking partisan rot and trivialising a major issue which crosses party lines.

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  7. I find it odd that those rushing to defend Brittan now did not do so while he was alive. It’s not as if the accusations only arose after his death. And in light of the fact that it his terminal cancer diagnosis was well known amongst his friends and colleagues, the repeated choice of contentious candidates to lead the enquiry – and the foreseeable delays these choices caused – have been quite convenient. Perhaps David Cameron should make completely sure he isn’t involved in any organised cover-up before accusing others of being conspiracy theorists.

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  8. My response was to chuckle and ignore the professional conspiracy denier, who is said to have MI6 connections, but someone needed to rebut his idiocy, thank you David good article. Dominic’s dad was of course in Thatchers cabinet at the time, so will know a few paedophiles, something younger people might not know. A link to the text of Dominics article is here http://t.co/uF0irfLNnS and another passionate response is here https://t.co/IbXiG4kNLW

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    • http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1511215.ece

      Another bit of spinfo about Brittan
      They are really trying it on ..
      Claiming Geoff Dickens praised Home Office and or Home Sec
      Well Brittan was hardly going to wear
      a ” I am a paedophile ” badge now was he ?
      Dickens wasnt to know the truth
      This piece of total non journalism and obvious lying establishment disinfo
      should be seen for the disgrace that it is and scumbag journo sacked
      And paper should apologise for both articles …
      Btw when crap like this comes out am always curious what comments are posted
      Spiked comments resemble a paedo fan club magazine the speccie not much better but at least some on there try to offer balance against the establishment line

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    • Lawson and Moore remind me of two lawyers who are picked to represent criminals who are caught on camera. The more they put the defence case the more idiotic their utterances appear. In fact as usual the more they protest their clients are innocent, the more the jury (public) see their clients as guilty as hell. My advice to the defendants is change your defence team otherwise the pair will hang you. See one defence line is that the left are trying to drag the Thatcher era through the mud with their claims. Politicising the issue with statements like this, fail to recognise that the average person has a low opinion of politicians and only enforces the view that politicians are above the Law. Now this is dangerous as if the lawmakers themselves think they are above the Law, then they have contempt for the Law which they the legislators draft and pass in Parliament.
      Child abuse is a crime and its affects on the victim can be long term and I have seen personally the long term effects it has on adults that are abused. It has nothing to do with politics in one sense as we should treat all abusers as the same. If I broke into a property I would be a burglar and if caught sent to jail, If a member of the Establishment broke into my house, would he go to jail? I leave you to answer that yourselves and maybe your perception of the English Legal system will I fear give different answers.
      The issue of child abuse raises serious questions that can be applied to all crimes, are the scales of Justice uneven and child abuse does illustrate the problem of that we are not all equal in front of the Law. Maybe a city banker getting away with fraud and deception and a clerical worker going to Jail because she misappropriated money with intentions of paying it back goes to jail seems somehow acceptable to many! But one thing is not acceptable is elected officials being above the Law and no elected official Home Secretaries included and Police Constables should be covering up crimes. Anyone told Ms May there is a law that could send her to Jail if it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt that she was implicit with others in covering up crimes. I suspect we need to build a new prison before long and we could run it on the lines of a Victorian prison. We do not want some leading cushy lifes in prison do we Ms May!

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  9. @David – You said: ” Nick” has already been described by the Met Police as ” a credible witness”. They do not do such a thing lightly…”
    Actually, Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald has been quoted: “…police policy dictates that officers believe a victim unless evidence emerges to undermine their account…” [ieyenews.com], so you may think they don’t invest belief in a victim witness “lightly”, but they do it routinely – as a matter of policy. And “Nick” may well be highly credible, but what blows people’s minds over here in North America is your police declaring “Nick’s” allegations to be TRUE. Such a determination is still reserved for the conclusion of an investigation, here, and is generally left for judge or jury to make. For police investigations themselves to declare an allegation that someone committed murder to be true, and at the very beginning of the investigation, SOUNDS like they intend to ensure the accused gets convicted even if they have to “frame” him. Can you understand this?

    David said: “As a journo if you want to establish the probability of a fact – one of the most compelling arguments is when two or more people who did not know each other give a similar story”. In this day and age? There’s this thing called the internet, it enables people who don’t know each other – potentially everyone in the UK ,even – to see/hear, know and even research other people’s “stories”. Having similar stories can’t be used as a screen for credibility, anymore.

    David said: “So unless Dominic Lawson is going to argue that there is a wicked conspiracy among survivors across England to name and frame Leon Brittan for some unknown reason…”
    No, not a wicked conspiracy – but perhaps a righteous one. And not necessarily a conscious conspiracy, perhaps more of a common cause campaign. Many people in the UK believe that child abusers who are famous, privileged and politically connected persons have been committing crimes against children with impunity all their lives – and that government agencies cover-up for them and protect them. Many are outraged and determined that such abusers must not get away with this. Some may decide the best course of action, to stop suspected privileged perpetrators, lies in portraying themselves to be “another of their victims” and make accusations themselves. 589 people made accusations against Jimmy Savile. You don’t think ANY of those people were falsely “jumping on the bandwagon” – with all the best intentions of course – ?

    David said: “It was a resident who allegedly said she saw Leon Brittan going there [EGH]”
    Where did you get that idea? Reference, please! The accusation of Leon Brittan patronizing EGH originated from Moss & Fay, who made sure it got into the public record by repeatedly voicing it at Kasir’s inquest. No matter what they may have told you or anyone else, whatever claims about someone else giving them such info, they made it up! That’s the truth.

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  10. Pingback: An initial analysis of the Proctor Statement | Philosophical Politics

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