Yesterday allegations came to light that one of Tony Blair’s ministers was involved in a child sex ring and that the involvement was covered up. The suspect is also accused of abusing children at a home run by a paedophile.
The politician was allegedly implicated in a 16-month investigation into attacks believed to have taken place at a private flat inside the Angell Road children’s home in Brixton, south London, in the early 1980s.
The children’s home was run by convicted paedophile Michael John Carroll, who was arrested in 1998 and convicted of a string of child sex attacks dating back three decades.
But the inquiry into alleged attacks at the home was halted soon after an ex-social services boss told police of alleged early evening visits by a Labour politician, believed to be a minister.
It has been reported that Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll was taken off the case and faced disciplinary proceedings for ¬allegedly naming the MP among the suspects. He was questioned under caution by Met Police officers and removed from Lambeth (in London) borough force before the disciplinary proceedings were later dropped.
Two former social services employees who were involved in the case have now revealed they suspect the minister’s involvement was covered up. Former Lambeth council child protection chief Dr Nigel Goldie said: ‘There were a lot of very senior people trying to put a lid on it. There was ¬something very unfortunate about the way the whole thing was dealt with.’
The Mirror reported it has seen a Lambeth council memo that shows there was an intention to brief then Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, about the police investigation. However, Mr Dobson said he did not remember being briefed and was never told a minister in Tony Blair’s government was suspected of child abuse. Whitehall officials are now conducting a review, at Mr Dobson’s request, of all documents and briefings he received from the SSI when he was Health Secretary.
It comes after claims of a cover up continued over allegations of abuse surrounding the late Liberal Democrat MP Cyril Smith. The political party is under further pressure over Smith after his family called for an independent inquiry into allegations he had abused boys.
In a statement, the family said they did not believe the claims against him — but would be happy to co-operate with a proper inquiry. The intervention is uncomfortable for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who had rejected calls for such a probe. Last week he urged the police to investigate whether there had been an Establishment cover-up of Smith’s activities. Read our blog regarding Cyril Smith abuse here.