A major new inquiry will look at allegations of child sex abuse by senior establishment figures, the Home Secretary has announced. Political parties, the security services, the BBC and religious organisations will all be looked at to find out if some of Britain’s most respected institutions were guilty of hiding the activities of known abusers.
The inquiry will be allowed to call witnesses and will be given access to some of the government’s most confidential documents in a bid to get to the truth, according to the Daily Telegraph. At present it is not a full Public Inquiry, but Theresa May has indicated that if it does need the powers to take evidence under oath, it will be upgraded.
Under its current incarnation it will be able to call witnesses from a wider than expected range of organisations, including the civil service, the private sector, political bodies and other organisations such as the Church and broadcasters. Senior civil servants who are subject to the Official Secrets Act and other legal restrictions will be allowed to speak freely.
“”t is my intention that people should be able to speak openly in relation to the evidence that they give if they are called as witnesses and if they wish to give written evidence,” she told the House of Commons.
“I will have to look at the legal issues around the Official Secrets Act but it is my intention that everybody should be able to speak openly. It is only if people can speak openly that we will be able to get to the bottom of these matters.
“We need to learn what was going on. The inquiry is going to have to look quite widely and look at the documentary reviews that have taken place.
“I don’t want to dictate to the inquiry how they are going to undertake their work but I’m sure the chairman and the panel will need to be alive to the fact that they will have to hear from those who have not felt able to speak out in the past.
“The inquiry panel will have access to all the government papers, reviews and reports it needs. Subject to the constraints imposed by any criminal investigations, it will be free to call witnesses from organisations in the public sector, private sector and wider civil society.
“And I want to make clear that – if the inquiry panel chairman deems it necessary – the Government is prepared to convert it into a full public inquiry.
“Given the scope of its work it is not likely to report before the General Election but I will make sure it provides an update before May next year.”
Mrs May also announced a second inquiry into the handling of the case of allegations surrounding the goings on at Elm Park Guest House. The hotel in Barnes, west London is now widely thought to have been a centre for child abuse. It is alleged that a series of celebrities and senior politicians were regular visitors there.
As previously reported on Breitbart London, there are now serious allegations that documents relating to child abuse may have gone missing from the Home Office. A total of 114 documents that were handed to former Home Secretary Loan Brittan have gone missing, despite the serious nature of the subject matter.
The two probes come as confidence in the British establishment takes yet another battering. Many voters have still not got over the 2009 expenses scandal in which large numbers of MPs and Lords were shown to have claimed vast amounts of taxpayer’s money with little justification.
Then respected institutions like the BBC and the Catholic Church were shown to have covered up child abuse. It now looks possible that officials in the Home Office and the Security Services hid appalling abuse by politicians against vulnerable children in care homes.