Abusing his position as a senior Tory MP, former Deputy Speaker, Nigel Evens, is accused of nine sex offences against young men between 2003 and 2013, including rape, sexual assault and indecent assault.
When one of the victims complained to senior Conservative party members they decided to cover-up the incident because it was close to the general election in 2010. They persuaded the victim that is would cause untold damage to the party at a sensitive time if the young man were to complain to the police.
Even though Evans was warned about his behaviour, he continued to abuse victims and senior Tories failed to take any action against him or to report the matter to the authorities.
Opening the case against Evans at Preston Crown Court, prosecutor Mr Heywood said: ‘Within the Palace of Westminster, in his constituency and in his own political party, Mr Evans was, during the decade with which you are concerned, a very well-known and powerful individual.
‘Part of his influence included the ability to make, or to break, the careers of those young people who themselves would be politicians or work for those who govern.
‘The prosecution case against Mr Evans is that he, often when in drink, pressed his sexual attentions on those younger men, using or trading on his position of influence.
‘Now this behaviour did not happen once but has been repeated over time and despite repeated warnings given to him by others.
‘It has also escalated in seriousness, no doubt because he believed that his position made it less than likely that someone would complain.’
Mr Heywood continued: ‘The prosecution alleges that he, on separate occasions over many years, has sexually assaulted young men, both in public situations and in private.
‘By the last of these, in early 2013, he raped one of the young men.
‘So the prosecution allege, he not only abused those young men, in some cases seriously, but he abused the positions he held.
Very rarely do political cover-ups find their way into the public domain, yet political parties (usually when they are the powerful position of government) will do everything they can to protect their own interests while keeping their immoral activities as secret as possible.
Even though many of those directly involved in abuse who come to public attention are prosecuted, there are many more behind the scenes involved in covering-up or reducing the effect of scandals.
In the current government, William Hague’s role in covering up the Welsh care home/Elm Guest House scandal, when he was allegedly directly responsible for ensuring key evidence (the names of high profile abusers) was removed from information available at one court hearing, has gone largely unreported by mainstream media.
Other public figures within current government have also been suspected of being involved in using their influence to cover up very nasty crimes – mostly sexual abuse.
When Labour MP Tom Watson stood up in the House of Commons and demanded that information he had about high profile abusers be investigated, the public face of the Tory dominated government immediately ordered police to launch an investigation. However, the Tories were well aware of the names on Watson’s list and had suppressed the information for decades.
Operations Fernbridge and Fairbanks were launched by the Metropolitan police, and have yet to arrest anyone of significance, let alone charge them with any offence concerning the sadistic and depraved activities which took place during special ‘parties’ in which children from the care home were abused by high-profile figures.
It has been alleged that the government are instrumental in ensuring the investigation is kept low key and concentrates on low-level and deceased suspects – even though many are still very much alive and involved in politics.
One of the most powerful tools in supressing information is the DA-Notice (or D-Notice as it is commonly known). The notice is issued by Downing Street to news editors requesting that they refrain from reporting on a particular issue. It has been used to prevent the mainstream press from reporting sex scandals involving government figures.
In 2003, Operation Ore was closing in on high-profile figures in the Labour government of the time who were suspected of being connected to paedophile activities. Tony Blair issued a D-Notice preventing the media from reporting on the investigation, citing the impending war in Iraq as the reason.
The fact is that those in the political arena work on having contacts in key places who they can influence or manipulate for their own means – especially supressing information they do not want in the public domain – as has been clearly demonstrated in Evans’ case.
It seems that politics attracts a large number of those who are intent on using the power they gain for their own self-fulfilment and perverse practices. They abuse the power given to them by the people, they abuse the public purse, and they abuse anyone they perceive as a potential victim.
It remains to be seen if sentences given out by courts in cases involving high-profile political figures reflect the nature of their crimes.
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