MPs this afternoon challenged the chairwoman of the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse over her links with Lord Brittan. But Fiona Woolf, Lord Mayor of London, denied have a “close association” with him under questioning at the House of Commons home affairs committee. Woolf this morning declared social links with Brittan and his wife, as terms of reference for the inquiry was announced.
UK / CHILD ABUSE
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby admits in a private letter that child abuse has been “rampant” in the Church of England and other UK institutions.
Writing to the mother of three boys who were groomed and sexually abused by the headmaster of an Anglican school, Welby describes the church’s failure to “face the misdeeds of those in its service” as “inexcusable”.
Lord Brittan has stepped down as UBS Investment Bank’s vice-chairman two months after being named in Parliament over a lost dossier on VIP paedophiles. He left his UBS post in September. Detectives interviewed the 75-year-old Tory grandee under caution in June over an allegation that he raped a 19-year-old female student in 1967 before he became an MP. Brittan denies the claim.
Bishops and vicars are to undergo training on safeguarding children as part of a drive to combat child sex abuse in the Church of England. The training, to include how to respond after receiving a complaint of child sex abuse within the CoE, is to be introduced first for new clergy. The plan is to roll out training for existing clergy later.
Scotland Yard’s senior detective who was heading its wide-ranging investigations into paedophile politicians has been forced to quit, Exaro can reveal. Detective chief inspector Paul Settle, head of the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit, has stepped aside after months of pressure over the direction of the investigations. According to one Met source, the DCI is formally off on sick leave.
Allegations of the sexual abuse of children at a Catholic school led to an extraordinary clash between one former pupil and ministers over child safeguarding. Graham Wilmer, a member of the panel for the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse, is furious with Michael Gove for refusing, when he was education secretary, to order an investigation into schools run by the Salesian order.
Detectives have discovered that a Catholic priest and teacher who masqueraded as a child psychotherapist was a “prolific paedophile”. An investigation by Scotland Yard into paedophilia at schools run by a Catholic order in Great Britain – the Salesians – has exposed the priest’s shocking activities. One expert, Graham Wilmer, dubbed him “the Salesians’ equivalent of Jimmy Savile”, the late BBC star and paedophile.
For every editor who reflects on his or her career, there will always be the frustrating memories of the “stories that got away”. For me, two of those concern the harrowing subject of paedophilia, and the haunting spectre of power, celebrity, VIP cover-up and our draconian libel laws. The two have since entered the lexicon of the UK’s shameful saga of child sex abuse, writes a former editor of the Sunday Mirror.
Victims of child sex abuse who allege a paedophile network at Westminster are calling on Fiona Woolf to declare her links with Lord Brittan. Woolf was appointed to chair the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse. But abuse survivors are disturbed by Woolf’s links with Leon (now Lord) Brittan, who is embroiled by a storm over a missing dossier on VIP paedophiles.
Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf is preparing to make a statement to dismiss concerns about her chairing the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse. Woolf will “robustly” reject claims that her links with Lord Brittan make her position as head of the inquiry untenable, Whitehall sources say. She will issue a statement after returning to the UK from an overseas trip.
This year’s Conservative conference is set to be dogged by fresh allegations about how the party covered up for paedophile MPs. New claims about Sir Peter Morrison, the late MP who was Lady Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary when she was prime minister, are due to be published at the end of this month to coincide with the Conservatives’ annual conference.