Sky News is reporting that as Parliament breaks for the summer recess, the Government has released child abuse documents which name key Westminster figures from the 1970s and 1980s.
The news channel been requesting the information for months and the Government has now revealed that papers do exist relating to Margaret Thatcher’s former parliamentary secretary the late Sir Peter Morrison, former Home Secretary the late Leon Brittan, former diplomat and MI6 man the late Sir Peter Hayman and former minister the late Sir William van Straubenzee.
This follows a previous revelation from the Government in January which gave details of a file prepared for Lady Thatcher’s office on the “unnatural sexual” behaviour of Sir Peter Hayman.
The latest release comes after the review of Government papers conducted by Peter Wanless and Richard Whittam QC last year. That review did not find many of the relevant abuse files that had been held by Government departments and the Cabinet Office has since apologised for the “flaw” in the way they responded to the request for information.
Permanent Secretary Richard Heaton wrote to Whittam and Wanless in May saying: “I deeply regret that the Cabinet Office failed to identify the papers in question when you first asked for them.”
The released papers also reveal the Kincora children’s home in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on which allegations of abuse and trafficking of children to England have centred, was at the heart of further correspondence involving the security services. They show former intelligence officer Colin Wallace raised concerns about abuse at the children’s home. Those papers had been stored by the Cabinet Office.
Although the existence of the documents is now established, the full contents have still not been revealed. Instead they have been shared with police and will be passed to the historic child sex abuse inquiry being chaired by the New Zealand high court judge Justice Lowell Goddard (pictured above).