The Wanless review of allegations that important files relating to institutional child abuse in the 1980s has gone missing finds no evidence to support the claim.
Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), concludes in his inquiry report into 114 missing Home Office files relating to child abuse in the 1980s that there is no evidence that they were “deliberately or systematically removed or destroyed to cover up organised child abuse”.
“There is no mention of prominent politicians or celebrities in the cases under discussion [in marked contrast to media commentary about these meetings at the time],” adds Wanless.
The review was in response to claims that documents submitted to the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, by the former Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens has gone missing since the 1980s, which contained information about high profile public figures being involved.
Home Secretary, Theresa May, also asked Wanless and his co-author, Richard Whittam QC to establish whether any of the material mentioned in the internal inquiry or in connection with the 114 missing files was passed to the security services, and if so, what action they took.
Apparently a request was sent to MI5 who have stated that a search of their files has revealed nothing relevant to the investigation.
It is not surprising that the review found no evidence (if any existed in the first place) considering that the event was said to have taken place over 30 years ago If something needed to ‘go missing’ then it is highly unlikely that it would have made its way into some obscure archive.
It is also highly unlikely that MI5 would admit to holding such information over that period, or to having any involvement. Requesting that MI5 investigate its own archives is illogical.
Although the review has found no evidence of the missing documents, parts of the file were referred to in papers compiled by Labour’s Barbara Castle who investigated allegations linking MPs, peers, the National Council for Civil Liberties and the Paedophile Information Exchange shortly after they were submitted by to Brittan by Dickens.
Leon Brittan has admitted receiving the documents stating ‘I passed this bundle of papers to the relevant Home Office officials for examination, as was the normal and correct practice. I wrote to Mr Dickens on 20 March 1984 informing him of the conclusions of the Director of Public Prosecutions about these matters.’
Around the same time a scandal was erupting about one of Margaret Thatcher’s close aides, Sir Peter Morrison.
Rod Richards, a former Conservative MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Tories, made the shocking allegation that he had seen evidence linking Sir Peter Morrison to the North Wales children’s homes case, in which up to 650 children in 40 homes were sexually, physically and emotionally abused over 20 years.
Richards also linked a second leading Tory grandee – now dead – to the scandals at homes including Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn Hall, both near Wrexham.
He said official documents had identified the pair as frequent, unexplained visitors to the care homes.
Richards – who helped establish the inquiry that unearthed the scale of the abuse – said bluntly: ‘What I do know is that Morrison was a paedophile. And the reason I know that is because of the North Wales child abuse scandal.’
He added that William Hague, who was Welsh Secretary at the time of the inquiry, ‘should have seen the evidence about Morrison’.
Hague called the inquiry into the scandal in 1996 after care homes boss John Allen was convicted of child abuse. It concluded that a paedophile ring around Cheshire and Wrexham had caused ‘appalling suffering’ to children in care in the Seventies and Eighties.
Barry Strevens, an ex-detective chief inspector and Thatcher’s bodyguard, claims he told her about rumours that Morrison was involved in underage sex with boys. It was claimed a dossier on Establishment abuse handed to then-Home Secretary Leon Brittan named senior ministers Sir Keith Joseph and Sir Rhodes Boyson.
In an interview in the Sun on Sunday in July Strevens said “A senior officer in Chester had told me there were rumours going around about under-age boys – one aged 15 – attending sex parties at a house there belonging to Peter Morrison.”
“After we returned to No10 I asked to go and see her immediately. It was unusual for me to do that, so they would have known it was something serious.
“When I went in Archie Hamilton was there. I told them exactly what had been said about Peter. Archie took notes and they thanked me for coming”.
Responding to the claims, Hamilton said that he remembered that the officer had been at No10 but could not recall any mention of under-age boys.
‘I don’t remember him saying they were under-age,’ he said. ‘There may have been but the point he was making to her was that there were only men involved.
‘She listened to what he said and that was it. It was merely a party and men were there.’
Tory activist Anthony Gilberthorpe says he was handed cash and told to ‘fetch entertainment’ – code for young boys – by members of Mrs Thatcher’s government.
He named former former-Education Secretary Keith Joseph and ex-local government minister Rhodes Boyson. Both are now dead.
As with today’s government, the ‘old boys network’ exists as it did in Thatcher’s day. Any inconvenient information will be handled by those entrusted with keeping the web of contacts safe and secure.
If there were documents (which the evidence suggests there were) relating to high profile paedophiles within the corridors of power, it is highly unlikely that they would exist over 30 years later. If they do exist, then they will be locked away in some safe place where the prying eyes of investigators will never see them.
The abuse that took place throughout the 1970s to 1990s is well documented, and yet we have seen very little progress in bringing the criminals responsible to justice. A few dead people have been named, but we have heard nothing of high profile political figures, past and present, who are still alive.
According to first-hand accounts of some of those who were abused, Hague was responsible for preventing essential evidence (such as the naming of high profile political figures) from being part of the enquiry he headed. We should wonder why when Hague has no concerns about other suspects (or those involved in some way) being named in court.
While the government and their patsies/sympathisers/cronies remain loyal to the powerful and will ensure any undesirable information about them remains in the shadows, we can not have confidence in any enquiry into the child abuses which took place during the 70s/80s/90s (and maybe are still taking place).
The fact is that they will look after their own. The old Etonians and their ilk will do all that is necessary to protect themselves, and the last thing they will allow is for the public to be aware of their sickening atrocities against children.
No matter how much smoke and mirrors they use (for example by promoting the current crop of investigations into alleged historical sexual abuse/inappropriate behaviour by celebrities) it is highly unlikely that we will know the full extent of abuse and sexual deviation that is claimed to be rife in Westminster.
BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30002908
Huffington Post: Margaret Thatcher ‘Told Of Sir
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