Detectives have combined a series of investigations into alleged cover-ups of child sex abuse by VIPs into one umbrella operation. Exaro can reveal that allegations about how Scotland Yard “corruptly” dropped old cases on claims against celebrities, politicians and other prominent people are being investigated under ‘Operation Winter Key’. It covers allegations about shelved investigations up to 2012.
UK / LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Local councils are to be slammed for wasting “tens of millions of pounds” because of the poor quality of spending data published by them.
Transparency International UK, the anti-corruption organisation, is set to publish a damning report that will highlight the failings by local authorities in how they publish spending data. It will say: “Local government in England is increasingly becoming a significant corruption risk.”
Tucked away on the third floor at the back end of the Royal Courts of Justice is where British institutions will come under painful scrutiny. This is where the UK state will face accusations that it failed many of the nation’s children fundamentally. This is the courtroom where the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse is holding its hearings. This is Court 73.
Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor faces no further action as police today closed their investigation into allegations of murder and child sex abuse by VIPs. The Metropolitan Police Service this afternoon announced the halting of ‘Operation Midland’, which was investigating the alleged murder of three boys, after informing Proctor and the complainant, known only as ‘Nick’. But the Met defended Operation Midland.
One of Scotland’s former top prosecutors today backs calls for an independent advocate to decide on any charges over allegations about the original Lockerbie investigation. Brian McConnachie, one-time Principal Advocate Depute in Scotland, is due to speak at an event in Edinburgh this afternoon to press for an independent prosecutor to assess police findings on allegations of perverting the course of justice in the case.
More than a million pages of documents on child sex abuse have been found at just three of the Church of England’s 42 dioceses. Exaro has learnt that the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse demanded the CoE to hand over all relevant documents in time for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, according to well-placed sources. But the CoE protested that the demand was unreasonable.
Scotland’s chief law officer faces growing pressure about who will decide on any prosecution for allegedly perverting the course of justice over the Lockerbie case. Frank Mulholland, Scotland’s Lord Advocate, heads the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the prosecuting authority, which is expected to receive a police report within weeks about claims of interference with the original investigation.
Security breaches over personal data held by the NHS nearly doubled to more than 100 during the last financial year, Exaro can reveal. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that there were 105 such breaches in NHS bodies in 2014-15. This was an increase of 81 per cent on the previous year, with 58 security breaches over personal data.
Retired judge Dame Janet Smith finds that BBC star Sir Jimmy Savile carried out sexual assaults linked to corporation premises on 72 people. Some of the 72 women, girls and boys were sexually attacked by Savile more than once, Smith says in her final report published by the BBC today. The figure is slightly higher than was in the draft report leaked to Exaro.
Local councils in England admitted to making £11 million in duplicate payments to suppliers in each of the last two financial years, Exaro can reveal. But Andrew Rowson, former PwC auditor and an expert in financial business systems, said that this was a “tiny proportion” of such double payments, pointing to an estimate in an official report of £147 million a year across England.
Police have found the missing diary of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after allegedly being raped by a disc-jockey from Top of the Pops. Scotland Yard has handed around 30 boxes of material on the case to Dame Janet Smith’s inquiry into sexual abuse by the BBC’s Sir Jimmy Savile. Meanwhile, Smith was planning to take no questions when she unveils her report.