‘A Labour MP has used parliamentary privilege to accuse former Home Secretary Leon Brittan of ‘improper conduct with children’.
He used a Commons debate on the 1984-85 miners’ strike to suggest that those who took part in the industrial action will not be surprised by the allegations against Lord Brittan.
The remarks from Jim Hood, who said there were ‘reports about child abuse being linked with’ the Conservative politician, were criticised as ‘disgusting’ by business minister Matthew Hancock.’
‘Fiona Woolf, who has been appointed to chair the government inquiry into historic child abuse, was subjected to an interrogation on Tuesday. I strongly recommend watching the proceedings. They shed light on our weird current public culture.
Mrs Woolf appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons. She had a hard time. The essential charge against her was that she was a member of the “Establishment” and therefore (as if by iron logic) unsuitable for the task.
The committee thought she had a record as long as your arm. She is a former president of the Law Society. She is the current Lord Mayor of London. It was even held against her that she had recently led a Corporation of London delegation to Bahrain shortly after Amnesty International had published reports of child abuse in that country. (If such a visit was disgraceful, no delegations would ever come to Britain, since reports about child abuse here are published virtually every week.)’
‘This investigation into child abuse has already been a marvellous success, before they’ve even agreed who’s going to conduct the thing. Because Fiona Woolf, the woman appointed to investigate the conduct of Establishment figures independently, including Leon Brittan, turns out to have had a number of dinners… with Leon Brittan.
That should make the investigation so much easier to carry out. Instead of going through the rigmarole of formal hearings, they can chat about it during pudding. Then her final report can read: “During my first interview with Lord Brittan, we agreed that as child abuse is rather a dry and stuffy issue; instead he’d show me his holiday snaps.
“As a result I have no hesitation in recommending that if you have been a victim of abuse, a fortnight in a villa in the Caribbean seems an ideal setting to relax and get over it.”‘
‘Fiona Woolf last night faced renewed pressure to stand down as the head of the Government’s child abuse inquiry after victims said they will no longer participate because of her links to Leon Brittan.
As evidence emerged of yet more undisclosed meetings between Mrs Woolf and Lord Brittan, a key figure in the scandal, child abuse survivors said they had lost confidence in the inquiry.
A lawyer for almost 50 victims said some would now boycott the hearings as they feel they will not be listened to.
Lord Brittan is accused of being at the centre of an Establishment cover-up of sex abuse claims in the 1980s – a charge he strenuously denies. It is alleged that, when he was Home Secretary, he ignored a document – which later went missing – that described a paedophile ring involving high-profile figures.’
‘Cleaners gang-raping children in school toilets; teachers sexually abusing students while the kindergarten principal videotapes; secret rooms; dodgy office renovations; school cover-ups. This, some parents allege, is what has been taking place at one of Asia’s most renowned schools, the Jakarta International School (JIS), in the past year.
The row started in March, when the parents of a then five year-old boy asked for an emergency meeting with the head of school. Their son had been raped by several cleaning employees in one of the school bathrooms, they claimed.’
‘This is the picture which last night intensified pressure on the head of the Government’s child abuse inquiry to resign.
It shows Fiona Woolf with Lady Brittan, the wife of former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, at an awards ceremony in October 2013. This is despite Mrs Woolf telling MPs that she had had no social contact with the Brittans since April 2013.
Victims of sexual abuse, their lawyers and MPs last night called for Mrs Woolf to resign over her dinner-party links to Lord Brittan, who is likely to be called to give evidence to the inquiry about allegations – which he denies – that he was at the centre of an Establishment cover-up of sex abuse claims.’
‘When a government is forced to call a public inquiry, it almost invariably summons a judge or senior lawyer from the liberal Establishment in the expectation that he or she will come up with the ‘right’ recommendations.
So it was that, when in July the Home Secretary Theresa May finally assented to a major inquiry into historical sex abuse among Establishment figures, she turned to an 80-year-old former judge, Baroness Butler-Sloss.
This is the way things operate: the Establishment looks after its own.
Unfortunately, Mrs May overlooked the fact that Lady Butler-Sloss’s brother, Sir Michael Havers, had been Attorney General in the 1980s, and may have turned a blind eye to the very scandals she was supposed to investigate.’
‘A victim of historical child sexual abuse has launched a legal challenge to the choice of Fiona Woolf as the chair of the inquiry investigating the issue.
A judicial review application, seen by the BBC, claims she is not impartial, has no relevant expertise and may not have time to discharge her duties.
Labour wants Mrs Woolf to meet abuse victims amid concerns over her links to former Home Secretary Lord Brittan.’
‘The head of the Government’s sprawling historic child abuse inquiry is facing demands to step down after she admitted hosting dinner parties with the former minister under scrutiny over his role in an alleged Establishment cover-up.
In a letter to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, Fiona Woolf, a lawyer, said that she had hosted three dinner events for Lord and Lady Brittan and dined twice at their home since 2008.
Despite other connections with the couple, including living in the same street, she said this did not amount to a “close association” with the former minister.
But concern at her relationship with the couple is mounting, particularly as Ms Woolf was only appointed after the original choice to head the inquiry – Lady Butler-Sloss – was herself forced to step aside over Establishment and family links to Lord Brittan.’
‘In today’s Mail on Sunday, an exposé by the respected journalist David Rose (working closely with controversial blogger Anna Raccoon) offers a rather different viewpoint on the extent and nature of the late DJ Jimmy Savile’s sexual criminality. The Slog offers a perspective on how little we really know about the motives behind the BBC accusations.’