Justice Lowell Goddard is set to announce this month that the troubled inquiry into child sex abuse will hold hearings sooner than expected. One option for initial hearings is to examine the failure to prosecute Sir Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP, on three occasions for sexually abusing boys even though there was enough evidence. The Crown Prosecution Service admitted the errors in 2012.
UK / CHILD ABUSE
Questions over BBC policies on child protection have been quietly removed from the terms of reference for the broadcaster’s inquiry into paedophile Jimmy Savile. Exaro can reveal how the BBC took away this key element from the remit of the review, which is being conducted by Dame Janet Smith.
The BBC instead commissioned an “independent assessment” of its child-protection and whistleblowing policies.
Mystery deepened over the delay at the BBC in the Jimmy Savile inquiry as Exaro established that it takes account of police concerns about “prejudice”. Exaro can reveal that Dame Janet Smith has closely heeded police advice about potential prejudice to their ongoing cases as she carried out and wrote up her review of the BBC’s failure to stop Savile’s sexual abuse.
Police revealed that they are investigating another 13 elected officials over allegations of child sex abuse, bringing the total to 89. The new figures were gathered by ‘Operation Hydrant’, which co-ordinates police investigations into child sex abuse by “prominent” people or at institutions. The number of “prominent” people under investigation over such allegations has increased to 287 from 261 in May.
Home secretary Theresa May is considering ordering an inquiry into police actions in the infamous “battle of Orgreave” in the miners’ strike of 1984. Exaro can reveal that May has already agreed to receive a legal submission from lawyers on behalf of campaigners who want a full investigation into claims of police brutality during a mass picket of a coking plant in Orgreave.
Police are investigating a senior detective who is a confidential source for BBC1’s Panorama over the leaking of secret identities of complainants in abuse cases. Communications seen by Exaro reveal that the Metropolitan Police Service’s directorate of professional standards launched the investigation last month into the officer on suspicion that he improperly disclosed the name and address of a complainant in a criminal investigation. Updated 6.33pm, 5 October 2015
This is how I responded to Panorama’s request for an interview with me for its programme on the ‘Westminster paedophile network’… I often appear on television and radio to talk about – and face questions about – Exaro’s work. My default position is to agree to such requests. I turn them down if the programme has no credibility or will not treat the subject properly.
BBC1’s Panorama is planning to attack survivors of child sex abuse and others who are uncovering evidence of a ‘Westminster paedophile network’. Many journalists at the broadcaster fear that the programme will prompt a backlash because two established cases of VIP paedophiles were among the BBC’s biggest stars – Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall. Exaro can reveal what Panorama’s repeatedly-delayed programme will allege.
BBC bosses are trying to delay publication of an inquiry into its failures over paedophile Jimmy Savile until after ministers agree the broadcaster’s charter renewal. Whitehall and BBC sources say that the Dame Janet Smith’s review into the Savile scandal is so damaging of management knowledge and tolerance of abuse that senior executives fear that it threatens the future of the broadcaster.
Police are under investigation over another 13 cases where operations into claims of child sex abuse by VIPs were allegedly halted because of “corruption”. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) today announced the new set of investigations, bringing the total to 31 so far. The majority of these investigations into closed police operations stem from allegations made by retired Met officers, the IPCC said. Updated 18 September 2015
Detectives are assessing evidence provided to them by a man who claims to be an ex-lover of former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, Exaro can reveal. He has given a statement to the Metropolitan Police Service’s ‘Operation Midland’ about his relationship with Proctor as a newly elected MP in the summer of 1979. The period is of particular interest to the police investigation.