June 25, 2015 Comments Off on Allegations fly at heated Westminster child abuse conference
Allegations fly at heated Westminster child abuse conference
By Felicity Capon 6/24/15
….Rumours have swirled in recent years about a cover-up in the British establishment involving senior politicians and police that has seen prominent figures engaging in child abuse and murder. Police have described evidence from one survivor relating to abuse at the Dolphin Square estate in London and at least three murders “credible and true”.
….Yesterday’s event, arranged by the WhiteFlowers group, was designed to keep up the pressure on home secretary Theresa May regarding the government-led inquiry, as well as stressing the need for solidarity among campaigners. The group is demanding full and equal legal representation for survivors, the amendment of the Official Secrets Act to ensure it does not cover historical allegations of child sex abuse, and greater measures to protect and support whistleblowers, as well as the prompt prosecution of Lord Greville Janner – the former Labour MP accused of being a serial abuser who the director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders said was not fit to stand trial due to his suffering from dementia – and other high-profile figures suspected of paedophile activities or cover-ups.
The group has recently been vocal in challenging May’s decision to exclude representatives of victims’ groups from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which has been dogged by controversy after both Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf were forced to resign from chairing it due to their links to establishment figures.
….John Mann MP also spoke, demanding that the Official Secrets Act be lifted. “We will uncover, unmask and embarrass those who knew in detail about the abuse, who made calculated decisions that the state would cover up this abuse,” he said.
….One survivor who was placed in care in homes in Rotherham, Warrington, North Wales and Rochdale, told the audience in an earlier meeting that abuse had taken place in each home. “How was that possible?” he asked. “I would have had to have been the unluckiest kid on the planet for every place they put me in for abuse to happen. That could only have come about with planning.”
Richard Scorer, Head of the Abuse Team at Slater & Gordon law firm which represents a number of victims making allegations against Lord Janner, called for a change in the law which would enforce a legal duty on those working with children to report any knowledge or suspicion of child abuse. He also called for an overhaul of how the criminal justice system treats survivors, explaining that one of the firm’s clients, a victim of the Rochdale child sex abuse ring which came to light in 2008, was cross-examined for 42 days, often just a few feet away from the men who raped her.
The law firm will find out next week whether their request for a review of the decision of the director of public prosecutions not to charge Lord Janner has been successful. A decision not to prosecute the peer would “be a serious miscarriage of justice”, according to Scorer.
“For 25 years Janner was able to rely on networks of support to protect himself, some of which may have been operating from out of this building,” he said.