In a terrible turn of events, it has emerged that Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy, Nick Clegg have been trying to block significant materials outlining child abuse at government level.
New reports confirm that documents prepared by the Establishment, highlight the extent to which the government knew about the late paedophile and MP Cyril Smith’s crimes against children. Despite a Freedom Of Information request made by the Daily Mail asking for the release of the 19 page dossier, the government dragged its feet on the matter and refused to release the document. The newspaper complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which ruled that the Cabinet Office had broken the law by failing to respond to the original request.
The Cabinet Office, faced with the threat of High Court action, submitted and released the document to the paper.
Even more concerning still is the Cabinet’s continued insistence on hiding information relating to child abuse within government, which is clearly of public interest. Four new historic files have come to light, however the Cabinet Office has refused to share even the names of these files, which has left survivors and victims’ families feeling disgusted by the government’s clandestine behaviour.
The Prime Minister should tread carefully. Having called out social work professionals for failing to report child abuse, and currently threatening them with a five year prison sentence if they fail to do so, he is likely to find himself being thrust under the legislative train by the media and members of the public with longer memories it would seem, than his own. Having also told the nation to its face that a VIP paedophile ring was nothing short of a conspiracy theory, he may have to eat his words, and a great deal of humble pie, if the four files he is currently refusing to reveal happen to document widescale abuse, or the suggestion of it, within government circles.
The Statutory Inquiry Into Child Abuse must make this area of their investigation a priority. It may well be the source of the trouble. This week we wrote an article on what the Inquiry may wish to do in order to build trust amongst survivors and members of the public. We would include the need to carry out a full investigation into central government’s part to play in covering up child abuse, facilitating it and engaging in this terrible crime.
That investigation must be carried out swiftly and with full and unfettered access to all relevant documentation. Mrs Goddard must have the stomach for this imperative. And she should start by demanding the immediate release of the four new files.