Police today submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service on allegations against a former MP of raping an under-age girl. The CPS will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge the former MP, along with several other alleged perpetrators of repeated sexual abuse against the girl. Detectives interviewed the ex-MP under caution over the allegations last October, but have not arrested him.
UK / CHILD ABUSE
Shadow education secretary Lucy Powell is calling for greater safeguards on who can work as private tutors for children.
The Labour MP made the call after Exaro established that teachers who are banned from the profession or even have convictions for child abuse are free to work as private tutors. Parents have no way of carrying out their own background checks for most private tutors.
England’s health watchdog has given up on meeting its target of inspecting all care homes for elderly people under a new rating regime by September. Exaro has established that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has again fallen far behind in its programme to inspect social-care services for adults under a new rating system introduced in response to Robert Francis’s inquiry into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.
Children’s charity NSPCC is to stop providing the helpline service for the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse. The helpline service attracted strong criticism from some abuse survivors when it started. A month after the helpline launched, the inquiry announced that it would tender the contract to run the service. The £1m contract is for three years, with an option to extend it to 2020.
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.”
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.
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.