A Tory minister who exposed Police failings over the handling of a case of child abuse has claimed he was threatened by officers who wanted him to keep quiet. Rob Wilson MP, who is a minister in the Cabinet Office, claimed he received “darkly veiled threats” to drop claims the police failed to protect a young boy whose mother unwillingly worked with a dangerous paedophile.
The boy’s mother was employed looking after the two disabled sons of David Cullen, who was already on the Sex Offender’s register. She accused Thames Valley Police of failing to warn her Cullen posed a risk to her son. In the end he was convicted of abusing the boy 25 times in six months.
Amongst those accused of threatening Wilson is the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police Sara Thornton. She has “categorically” denied “ever making any sort of threat – veiled or otherwise” and but is now threatening legal action against the MP.
Mr Wilson is standing by the claim, telling the Mail on Sunday he was first approached in 2008 by the woman and offered to raise her complaint in Parliament. She contacted him because he is her local MP in Reading East.
He said: “There were all sorts of darkly veiled threats if I went head-to-head and toe-to-toe with Thames Valley Police… I had phone calls from at least two members of the force who rang me up directly about this and tried to stop me raising it in Parliament, even though it was quite clearly the right thing to do.
“They said things like ‘Really, Mr Wilson? So early on in your Parliamentary career? Do you want to make an error about getting involved in raising this issue? There may be more to this than meets the eye. You could be getting into a very difficult situation.’”
Sara Thornton said: “Such allegations are unfounded and libellous. I will be writing to Mr Wilson directly to seek clarification on exactly what he has alleged.
“I am extremely concerned that such serious allegations, relating to alleged events over six years ago, now appear to have been made via the media and not with the force directly via any formal complaint, either at the time of the case in 2006 or at any point since.”
Thames Valley Police has already been accused of failing to act over abuse of children by Pakistani grooming gangs in Oxford. A recent report suggested they had let the gang abuse 300 children over years, this prompted the force to identify a further 700 children they believed might be at risk of abuse.
They are now monitoring the children in the hope of offering them better protection than was provided in the past.