Essex/Suffolk: MP links police forces to paedophile inquiry

A CRUSADING MP has linked Essex and Suffolk constabularies to a national inquiry ordered by David Cameron into alleged child sex abuse which may go to the heart of government.

The inquiry, announced by the Prime Minister on Monday, is to review – among other things – whether an alleged paedophile ring involved influential figures three decades ago.

Yesterday Mr Cameron appointed High Court judge Mrs Justice Julia Wendy Macur after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice to review the original public inquiry into abuse at the Bryn Estyn children’s home in Wales.

But Labour backbencher Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich, is pushing for a far more wide-ranging investigation.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Watson wrote: “Congratulations on ordering a review of what information government departments may hold about organised child abuse at the heart of government 30 years ago.

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“Since sharing my concerns with you at Prime Minister’s Questions, a number of people have come forward to say that they raised their suspicions with the police, but investigations were not carried out.

“My advice to you as Prime Minister is that you need to order a special police investigation, outside the affected forces, with proper resources, to review all relevant police files and those of the intelligence services.

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“If they have documents suggesting politicians in the Commons and Lords, or others in position of power, were involved in child abuse then they should make them available to a new inquiry team.

“The forces so far known of (sic) be affected – Met, Surrey, West and South Yorkshire, West Mercia, Dorset, Kent, Essex, North Wales, Suffolk and Sussex – need to have their archives systematically searched for intelligence from witnesses/victims making claims which were not investigated; investigations which were closed down, and so on.”

It is understood Suffolk Constabulary is unaware of any specific incidents Mr Watson is referring to but is trawling through its archives.

Force spokeswoman Lucy Sheehan said: “Suffolk Constabulary takes any allegation of abuse, either physical or sexual, extremely seriously. We would urge anyone with information into any instance of abuse, current or historic, to report it directly to police immediately.”

A spokesman for Essex Constabulary said: “We take all investigations into sexual offences very seriously and will continue to do so.”

Yesterday Home Secretary Theresa May said Keith Bristow, the director general of the National Crime Agency, is to mount a separate investigation into allegations of abuse in children’s homes in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s, amid claims that a senior Tory was among the perpetrators.

However, Mr Watson, who raised claims of a past paedophile ring linked to No 10 and of a former Cabinet minister allegedly involved in child abuse, dismissed the latest moves as “the next stage of a cover-up”.

Mrs May said she would consider Labour calls for a wider inquiry – including the allegations involving the late DJ and BBC presenter Jimmy Savile – if the evidence justified it.

The investigations followed renewed allegations by one of the Bryn Estyn victims, Steve Messham, who said the original inquiry examined only a fraction of the abuse claims.

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