Palace of Westminster (UK Houses of Parliament)
My intention in this post is different from that of my previous set of 146 case histories. The latter were confined to false accusations amongst the public. Here my aim here is to compile all allegations of sexual misdemeanours, above a certain level of severity, against national government officers – whether false or otherwise. Part of my purpose was initially the hope that this might shed some light on the relative frequency of false allegations – that elusive Unholy Grail – but I now realise that that was always a forlorn hope.
Despite “rape” occurring in the title, I take all accusations of sexual assault or misdemeanours as the scope. Most are less serious than rape. Some are less than criminal.
The bar as regards “sufficient severity” was set at those cases in which the police have been involved, whether or not charges were forthcoming, plus cases which have led to sackings or enforced resignations or suspensions. The latter sets the bar well below the criminal level. However this criterion also excludes the myriad of allegations emerging from the post #MeToo progrom, for example the allegations against 36 Conservative MPs here (and the even longer equivalent list against Labour MPs). So I will not be bothering with “allegations” such as “likes having intercourse with men wearing women’s perfume”. I fail to see why that is even an allegation. There are issues raised by these Parliamentary allegations, principally “are these children suitable people to decide on whether we bomb Syria?” Just saying. But I’ll not be addressing these things except where they have led to sackings, suspensions or criminal proceedings.
I confine attention to MPs, peers and people working in the Houses of Parliament, plus senior figures in major government departments who may be taken to be political figures. Hence, Bishops are included, but lower-ranking priests are not (so the bulk of accusations within the Churches are not considered here).
Local government officials, Mayors and local Councillors, are excluded. It is worth noting in passing that there have been a surprisingly large number of people in local government convicted of (criminal) sexual offences, averaging around 10 per year. This seems alarming until one recalls that there are 20,811 local councillors, so this is a yearly rate of 0.048%, which is essentially the same as the rate amongst the population as a whole. Despite being excluded from detailed investigation, I have made a brief review of the statistics of local councillors convicted of sexual offences in the Appendix.
Limiting the scope, as defined above, was essential to avoid the task becoming excessively burdensome. It is likely that readers can think of cases which I have not identified. If they are within my defined scope, do let me know and I’ll include them – whether guilty or not.
I have not adopted any strict cut-off on date, though I did not wish to go back into ancient history (the Neil & Christine Hamilton case is perhaps an exception due to its extraordinary nature). Consequently the Jeremy Thorpe case does not count. Anyway, Thorpe’s difficulties originated not in abuse, but simply in being gay – and ultimately a charge of conspiracy to murder (acquitted, to continuing public suspicion). So, whilst most cases relate to relatively recent years, this is in respect of the accusations, not the alleged incidents. Many of the alleged incidents are historical, in some cases dating back as far as the 1960s – or even 1951 in one case.
I have excluded Keith Vaz. One can question why he deserved to be vilified for his use of rent boys. I believe this was consensual and hence not abusive. There may be other reasons to look askance at Mr Vaz, but they are not relevant here.
I note that accusing the dead is rather a liar’s charter. The astute reader will agree that a dead man is disadvantaged when it comes to mounting a defence. Nor can a dead man instruct a defence team. And a dead man cannot be tried in court, so the allegations will generally have no forum in which to be examined. Put these observations together with “guilty until proven innocent” and an accused dead man is automatically guilty. The IICSA is now providing a forum for examining allegations in many of the contentious cases, though it remains to be seen with what rigour.
Several of the cases reviewed here may be cases of political intrigue, i.e., destroying a political opponent through allegation. Sometimes the attack appears to be upon someone in the same Party as the accuser. It is worrying that we have handed to the unscrupulous a virtually risk-free means of subverting the democratic process by being able to destroy anyone at will. Sorry – that should be any man.
Of the 25 people whose cases are reviewed below, my summary is as follows,
- Only two resulted in criminal convictions (Phillip Lyon and ex-Bishop Peter Ball, both imprisoned);
- A further two remain unresolved currently but are being considered by the IICSA and I expect the outcome to be damning (Lord Janner and Cyril Smith);
- Four cases remain unresolved but my reading of them is that they will ultimately exonerate the accused of criminal wrongdoing, or remain unresolved (Carl Sargeant, Charlie Elphicke, Kelvin Hopkins and Bishop George Bell);
- Four men were sacked for alleged misdemeanours which were not criminal (Sir Michael Fallon, Damien Green, David Meller and Lord Mendelsohn);
- The remaining 13 people have been declared innocent of the accusations.
Of the 13 people declared innocent, only five involved a scheduled trial, resulting in exoneration of the accused or conviction of a false accuser. The remaining eight cases did not involve charges being brought.
In summary, if pushed to judge the 24 men and one woman as either “guilty of a criminal offence” or “not guilty of any criminal offence”, I’d say 4 guilty and 21 not guilty. You may come to your own view.
There may be a temptation to extrapolate from these statistics: that they may imply something about the frequency of false accusations of sexual assault more broadly in the general population. Politicians are, however, clearly a special case. They have a target on their backs. They are potentially subject to politically inspired intrigues. Several of the 25 cases may be suspected of just that.
On the other hand, in May 2015, the Telegraph claimed that the police were investigating 76 politicians for alleged child sex abuse. This contrasts with only 25 cases considered here, many of which are well below the criminal bar and hence below the police’s radar. Possibly the remainder refer to local councillors, of which there are far more cases (see Appendix). Or possibly the excess 50-plus cases have proved insubstantial? If so, what does this imply about the frequency of false accusations? Or do we still await the outcome? Judge for yourself.
The cases are presented in no particular order. Sorry the post is monstrously long. You may wish to use the links in the Contents to pick out just a few cases to read.
- Phillip Lyon
- Nigel Evans
- Neil & Christine Hamilton
- John Hemming
- Jason Zadrozny
- Mark Pritchard
- Samuel Armstrong
- Harvey Proctor
- Lord Bramall
- Leon Brittan
- Sir Ted Heath
- Lord Rennard
- Charlie Elphicke
- Kelvin Hopkins
- Sir Michael Fallon
- Damien Green
- Carl Sargeant
- David Meller and Lord Mendelsohn
- Lord Janner
- Cyril Smith
- Simon Christopher Danczuk
- Bishop Peter Ball:
- Bishop George Bell
Phillip Lyon, a senior Labour clerk at the House of Commons, who used his work computer to download hardcore child pornography, was jailed for one year in 2003. Lyon was also found guilty of using his home computer to collect more than 1,000 images of children – some of whom were toddlers subjected to “disgusting” sexual acts.
The former Commons deputy speaker and openly gay Conservative MP, Nigel Evans, was charged with nine counts of rape or sexual assault by seven men. He was cleared at trial of all charges. By-now-familiar criticisms were raised against the police and the CPS as to why the case was brought at all. Mr Evans endured the usual year or so of hell, and a legal bill of £200,000. Only two of the seven men had actually complained to the police. Several of the men stated that they had not wanted Mr Evans prosecuted and had remained friends with him. In court, the case fell apart as witness after witness – the men supposed to be the victims – testified in court that they didn’t think that Mr Evans had done anything to deserve being prosecuted. Mr Evans’s solicitor, Daniel Berk, said police had gone out of their way to find people with complaints against his client in a way they would not have done had he not been so high-profile. Mr Evans claims that he was the victim of a plot among Westminster workers co-ordinated by a former friend. This former friend had reported an unwanted advance at Evans’s home in 2009 to Tory whips.
The former conservative MP and his wife were the victims of a malicious plot by serial accuser Nadine Milroy-Sloan in 2001 who was later imprisoned for her lies which were motivated by financial gain. After being released from prison, Milroy-Sloan, now under her real name, Emily Checksfield, was sentenced to a long prison term again for a series of malicious and entirely fabricated allegations against another man (see my account here).
Mr Hemming was the Lib Dem MP for Yardley until loosing the election to Jess Phillips in May 2015. In that election month, allegations were made by Esther Baker that Hemming had been involved in sexually abusing her as a girl. Ms Baker claimed that VIPs, including a Peer and a judge, raped her in woods as uniformed police stood guard, in the 1980s and 1990s. Despite her unsubstantiated claims against Hemming, Baker has been invited to give evidence at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). It is known that there has been social media contact between Baker and the infamous fantasist “Nick” (see the Harvey Proctor, Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan and Ted Heath cases below), though it is not clear if this contact was nefarious or benign.
It is also known that Esther Baker and Jess Phillips met in June 2015 and have communicated on Twitter (I make no allegations). Mr Hemming only revealed that he had been under investigation for two years after the 2017 general election when the police and prosecutors finally dropped the case – after Hemming had lost two elections to outspoken feminist, Jess Phillips, with the allegations hanging over him. Ms Baker is a member of the Labour Party.
Hemming had harsh words for his Labour Party election rival: “Some members of the Labour Party, including my opponent in the last two General Elections, have invested considerable time in promoting these allegations. The promotion of the complainant as an expert in this subject area as a consequence of these allegations has caused additional difficulties for my family. I am not myself aware of another situation where members and supporters of a political party have promoted such allegations in such a public manner – essentially arming the villagers with torches and pitchforks and setting off on a lynching. There were public attempts to prevent me from standing as a candidate because of allegations made maliciously by a Labour Party member backed by other members of the Labour Party. Many Labour members will find this unacceptable and it is an issue that needs consideration by the Labour leadership.”
Mr Hemming has spoken recently in an article in the Daily Mail. He has confirmed that the allegations against him were known to the press during the 2015 election campaign. He revealed that he will be giving evidence in court against someone who threatened to kill him while the accusations were current, testament to how serious the consequences of such allegations can be for the falsely accused. Mr Hemming wrote,
“One colleague, a local councillor, told me that he’d heard I had been charged, convicted and imprisoned. That made me angry, but not as angry as I felt when my rival Labour candidate Jess Phillips (who unseated me in Birmingham Yardley in the 2015 election), used the rumours as political ammunition in a nakedly cynical exercise to promote her own interests.
She not only supported Esther Baker on Twitter, calling her ‘brave’, but encouraged others to speak out. That was a cold-blooded attack on me and my family, and she should be held accountable, for assuming my guilt and for inciting hatred.
I could disprove it easily. My diaries, my bank records, my receipts from that period all showed it was nonsense. But the case dragged on for more than two years because of Crown Prosecution Service delays and procedural problems, and it was September 2017 before the case was finally dismissed.
Even today, my accuser is somehow regarded as such a credible witness that she has been awarded ‘core participant’ status at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse — the investigation into historic allegations, set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. (Core participants are individuals or organisations who are given special legal powers and privileges to help shape proceedings.)”
Hemming’s is not the only case in which one might suspect an attempt to pervert the course of an election…
In 2015 Mr Zadrozny was a Lib Dem Nottinghamshire councillor when he was chosen to stand for election as MP in Ashfield. He had failed to win the seat by the narrowest of margins in the previous election. During the election campaign, Mr Zadrozny was accused of historic sex offences against a child, the alleged incidents dating from 2003 to 2007. Upon being accused Mr Zadrozny was suspended from the Lib Dem Party and was obliged to withdraw his candidature in Ashfield. The seat was subsequently won by noted feminist and then Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Gloria de Piero. Mr Zadrozny later stood for election as PCC in Nottinghamshire with the charges still hanging over him (but lost). He claimed the charges were a “politically motivated attack”. (Nottinghamshire pioneered the brave new misogyny hate crime in 2016, under then Chief Constable Sue Fish). After 950 days of being investigated, and after perverting the course of two elections, the prosecution offered no evidence and Mr Zadrony was acquitted. The parallels with the Hemming case are striking.
In 2014, Mr Pritchard, a Conservative MP, was arrested on suspicion of rape but ultimately told he would face no further action. Mr Pritchard accused the woman of “concocting a vindictive and outrageous story” after the rape investigation was dropped. As is very common in these cases, he called for rape suspects to be granted anonymity, adding that MPs “have a target on their backs”. He said the law needed to be reformed “as a matter of urgency” to spare suspects “the full glare of publicity.” Ever compassionate, all a spokesperson for Rape Crisis England & Wales could say after the case was dropped was to complain that Mr Pritchard had dropped hints of his accuser’s identity. All he actually said was, “my accuser is single, well-educated and in her mid-30s….Of course, she remains anonymous.”
A Conservative MP’s senior assistant, Samuel Armstrong (24), was accused of rape in the Houses of Parliament in 2016. Mr Armstrong was alleged to have attacked the woman, who also worked in Parliament, after drinking with her in the Palace of Westminster. He is said to have taken advantage of his victim, who is in her 20s, when they were alone in his boss’s office. A jury of seven women and five men were unanimous in clearing Mr Armstrong of all charges after a seven day trial. It emerged that the woman, in her 20s, had not wanted to release medical records showing she suffered depression and anxiety. Phone records also revealed that hours after the alleged “attack” she tipped off a tabloid newspaper to try to get a sympathetic account published. In the call she made shortly after 2am to the Metropolitan Police Parliamentary Protection Group she sobbed: “Hello, I’ve just been forced upon. I just had sex and I really, really didn’t want to.” Mr Armstrong, who repeatedly texted the woman to find out what was the matter and to check whether she had got out safely, told the jury: “I don’t understand to this day why within a matter of minutes she got upset. I was innocent,” he said. “Were it not for the fact that crucial evidence was disclosed to my defence team just eight working days before trial, there could well have been yet another miscarriage of justice in this case.”
The former Conservative MP had been convicted in 1986 of having sexual relations with males between the ages of 17 and 21, which was still illegal at that time. The sex was consensual and would now not be an offence. The convictions would be expunged ‘on application’. More seriously, in 2015, Mr Proctor was investigated by the Metropolitan Police over false allegations made by the infamous fantasist known as “Nick” who claimed that Proctor had been a member of a paedophile ring that had murdered at least three boys. Nick had falsely claimed that other members of the fictitious ring included Sir Edward Heath, the former prime minister, Lord Bramall, the former head of the Army, Lord Brittan, the ex-home secretary, and the former heads of MI5 and MI6.
“Nick’s” claims focused on two London buildings. The Elm Street Guest House in south-west London was allegedly used in the 1970s and 1980s for parties attended by male government ministers, senior MPs, police officers, diplomats, judges and celebrities; there are even claims of links to royal courtiers. The other location was alleged to be a 1250-flat complex in Dolphin Square in Pimlico, near Westminster.
Nick claimed that cars would pick up boys, sometimes from school, and drive them to “parties” or “sessions” at these venues, or at hotels or private apartments. “They had no hesitation in doing what they wanted to do,” claimed Nick. “Some of them were quite open about who they were. They had no fear at all of being caught, it didn’t cross their mind.” Nick also gave police extraordinary, sensational details of three murders. Nick said he watched a boy being strangled to death by a Conservative MP, another child deliberately run over, and a third killed in front of a government minister. Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald said police believed his story: “Nick has been spoken to by experienced officers from child abuse teams and experienced officers from murder investigations. They and I believe what Nick is saying is credible and true.” That latter phrase has since become notorious.
Mr Proctor’s house was raided by 20 officers as part of Operation Midland. It is now accepted by the police that Nick was a fantasist, despite their former insistence that what the accuser said was ‘credible and true’. After those allegations of child murder were dropped, the police opened an investigation into a fresh allegation of sexual abuse by another man, who claimed Proctor had abused him in a private residence in Rochdale – a town Mr Proctor had never visited. The police eventually dropped that investiagtion too, but did not bother to tell Mr Proctor for a couple of months.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has apologised to Proctor. In 2017 Proctor sued the Metropolitan Police. In November 2017 the Chief Constable who oversaw the inquiry finally stated that there was no evidence Mr Proctor was part of a Westminster paedophile ring.
The infamous “Nick” is due to stand trial, himself accused of child sex offences. Whether he is also tried for perverting the course of justice has not yet been decided, though a more egregious case is hard to imagine. “Nick” remains anonymous.
The 92 year old Peer, Lord Bramall, was another victim of fantasist “Nick”, aided and abetted by the Metropolitan Police. He also was subject to a dawn raid by 20 policemen. The police knew he was innocent for 10 months before letting him know that – by which time his wife had died, with the accusation against him still apparently active. Nice one.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has also been obliged to apologise to Bramall. But his apology has been called a form of evasion. Sir Richard Henriques wrote a report on the police conduct of Operation Midland. Sir Bernard decided not to publish Sir Richard’s report, promising only a summary, so that its criticisms of individual officers could remain private. We are therefore unlikely to know just how insane were the accusations made and just how wrongly the police incited and pursued them. However, we know that the report concluded:
“Those accused remained isolated and uninformed of the progress of these several investigations until finally being informed that there was an insufficiency of evidence against them. In short, these men are all victims of false allegations and yet they remain treated as men against whom there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them. The presumption of innocence appears to have been set aside.”
The Guardian reports this account of police policy: “His (Nick’s) accounts could not be disproved, and police policy at the time was that a victim’s account should be treated as true unless it could be shown to be wrong.” In other words, the accused is guilty unless proved innocent. It’s right there on the page. The feminists, via their DV and Rape activist branches, have brought about this corruption of our criminal justice system. They have been allowed to ‘train’ the police. This must be stopped and its damage reversed.
In September 2017 the Met paid out about £100,000 to Bramall and Lord Brittan’s widow (see below) in compensation for the botched investigations.
In March 2017, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said three detectives who had worked on the case were to be investigated for allegedly misleading a judge to secure search warrants. However, the officer in day-to-day charge of Operation Midland, which promulgated all these false allegations, was one Diane Tudway. As evidence of their contrition, the Met has recently seen fit to promote her from the rank of chief inspector to superintendent working in the Met’s ‘Intelligence’ branch.
Former Conservative Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, was another victim of fantasist “Nick”, amongst other allegations. Accusations against Brittan go back a long way (e.g., this). He was accused of losing a file, when he was Home Secretary, which has been claimed to contain damning evidence of a Westminster paedophile ring operating through the 60s to the 80s. Since he is now dead, it is not clear if all the allegations will be closed out, one way or the other. However, this one has. In 2012 a Labour activist accused Brittan of rape. The case was dismissed for lack of evidence but re-opened largely due to the involvement of then Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson. Mr Watson wrote an article describing how the late peer stood ‘accused of multiple child rapes’ and repeated accusations he said came from victims that he was ‘as close to evil as any human being could get’. Mr Watson, who was a central figure in Parliament, spread claims of an Establishment paedophile scandal. But Brittan was cleared of the charge and his brother demanded an apology from Watson for making unfounded allegations and hounding his brother. Brittan himself died of cancer before being cleared.
Nick Cohen, writing in the Guardian, observed, “The Labour deputy leader’s ill-informed hounding of Leon Brittan was distasteful in the extreme….In authentic paedophile cases, investigators rarely have trouble finding witnesses….After Watson’s allies at Exaro-News “exposed” the murderous cabal of Westminster paedophiles led by Leon Brittan, Harvey Proctor and Edward Heath, and operating from Dolphin Square, the hundreds of witnesses who make authentic accusations of historic child abuse stick have been conspicuous by their absence. Last week’s BBC documentary on the police inquiry was old school: very balanced, very British, very fair – and all the more devastating for that. Hardly any witnesses had gone to the police, it told us. The one checkable fact in the stories, of the handful that did, was that the politicians had organised the murder of a boy in a hit-and-run accident. It was false.”
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont, said: ‘After Lord Brittan’s death came the police raid on his two houses, while his widow was still sorting out his belongings, some of which were carted away. As with Cliff Richard…BBC journalists told people that they had been tipped off by the police.’ In September 2017 the Metropolitan Police had paid substantial compensation to Brittan’s widow for having raided the Brittan’s home “after accepting that the searches had been unjustified and should never have taken place”.
Ted Heath, the former Conservative Prime Minister, was dead before the allegations surfaced. One of the many disadvantages of being dead is that you are not around to defend yourself – or to hire defence lawyers to do so either. It’s rather a good wheeze for the false accuser to pick a dead person. There can be no trial, so there will in generally be no definitive outcome, no closure for the living relatives. Heath famously was a life-long bachelor, and never known to have had an amorous relationship – with anyone, of either sex. Such people tend to generate suspicion. If their sex life is so secret it must be disreputable. But the prurient who think this way fail to appreciate that some people are genuinely asexual. Heath appears to have been one, in the opinion of Lord Armstrong, one of Heath’s closest advisors.
Allegations started in 2015, such as this one. This report in the Mirror deploys pictures of Heath with Jimmy Savile and with Cyril Smith, a crude attempt at guilt by association and illustrative of how the accused get treated. Heath was also accused by the discredited “Nick” and a number of other complainants. But when police trawl for ‘victims’ they tend to flush out some who are willing to make accusations, especially against famous people, and the lure of victim compensation is hardly a deterrent. As late as October 2017 the police were saying that Heath would have been questioned about the allegations had he been alive. This disingenuous statement means nothing whatsoever as regards likely culpability: anyone can be questioned. The statement appears designed as an attempt to exonerate the police from spending 1.5 million pounds on pursuing nonsense.
Heath’s accusers were themselves dubious characters. Among them were two cases where police said there was reason to suspect the individuals “intentionally misled” them. One of the two has been cautioned for wasting police time. In three further cases, the investigation found that those reporting alleged abuse were “genuinely mistaken” in naming Sir Edward as the perpetrator. The original accuser was himself a serial paedophile. I quote from this account,
In a letter, seen by The Daily Telegraph, the man admits he made the claim against Heath in 2015 only as he faced paedophile charges of his own. Written from prison, the man said: “The allegations I made [against Heath] were as part of my defence against false allegations that were made against me.” Dubbed “a born liar” by his sister, the family of Heath’s accuser said they could have provided evidence to halt the investigation if only the police had contacted them. The complainant’s brother, who was ten at the time, said: “He never said anything about being abused by a famous person. You couldn’t hide something like that. If police had asked me about this, I would have told them it didn’t happen.” The paedophile’s sister said: “He is a born liar. I am absolutely shocked the police have wasted public money investigating his claims. If they had bothered to come to me I would have told them not to waste their time. My brother should have been hung, drawn and quartered. At my mother’s funeral he brought along a ten-year-old boy. I left the funeral and phoned the police.” She was shocked police had taken his claims so seriously. “I am not being funny but he is a fraudster. He is trying to manipulate the system. He has dreamed up Ted Heath to find a way out. I can’t believe the police have been so stupid. I am absolutely shocked the police have taken any notice of him. I am appalled at the police wasting public money investigating. His claims are a crock of shit.”
After the original allegation, the police appealed for potential victims and witnesses to Heath’s alleged abuse to come forward. They did. What a surprise. One was Myra Forde who had been in prison twice for operating a brothel. The delightful Forde trained runaway children as sex workers and then pimped them in her brothel. She is reported to have had a prosecution against her dropped after promising to expose Heath as a paedophile. This is how the police construct a case against you, it would appear.
The Chief Constable who oversaw an inquiry into child sex abuse allegations against Sir Edward Heath has been forced to state there was no evidence the former Prime Minister or former MP Harvey Proctor were part of a Westminster paedophile ring.
Chris Rennard had been the chief executive of the Lib Dems, and hence a very influential figure in the Party, at the time of the alleged sexual impropriety. But it was some years later, in 2013, that he was accused by four women, former activists within the Party. The story, such as it was, was broken by Cathy Newman on Channel 4 (you remember her). He was accused of touching the women on their backs or their legs. Hardly the most heinous of assaults, as Shirley Williams agreed. The allegations were made during the Coalition Government, when Nick Clegg was Deputy PM. I wrote an account of the affair four years ago but never published it at the time. It had the stink of political intrigue all over it.
For many months Rennard refused to apologise – not surprisingly if you read my account – and as a result he was suspended from the Party and therefore unable to sit as a Lib Dem peer in the House of Lords. He was universally referred to in the press as the “disgraced” Lib Dem peer. Ultimately he capitulated and apologised and was allowed back into the Party. He then issued this statement, “All allegations made about Lord Rennard have now been investigated thoroughly. This included a seven month investigation by specially trained officers of the Metropolitan Police. The police decided that there could be no charges and did not even a send a file to the CPS. In addition, there was a lengthy investigation by independent QC Alistair Webster. He also concluded that there was insufficient evidence even to proceed to a disciplinary hearing. The Liberal Democrat Party has now dealt with all the allegations and the matter is closed.”
It blows my mind that there can have been so much effort expended on allegations which, even if true, were so trivial. But we are not permitted to think that. We have to agree that the four women were brave at speaking out – very much a forerunner of #MeToo and its fallout in Parliament. In November 2015 Rennard was chosen to serve as the Liberal Democrat Lords’ representative to the Liberal Democrats’ governing Federal Executive Committee. But Rennard was obliged to resign his Committee membership following a public intervention by Tim Farron, who stated “Chris serving on the FE is not in our best interest, as the levels of anger and division have shown. I am therefore asking Chris to step down from the FE in the best interests of the party“.
So, guilty even after being proved innocent, then?
As one of the outfalls from #MeToo as it was manifest in Parliament, Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke was suspended after “serious allegations” were referred to the police. The Party tipped off the press before telling Mr Elphicke of his suspension. At the time of his suspension Mr Elphicke was unaware of the allegations against him. He denied any wrongdoing on Twitter. Seven weeks later he still had no idea what he was accused of, or by whom. Despite the claimed “serious” nature of the allegations, after seven weeks Mr Elphicke had still not been contacted by the police. The expected knock on the door hadn’t happened. That was six weeks ago now and I have not been able to find any subsequent update.
Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins, 76, was accused by Labour activist Ava Etemadzadeh, 27, of sexually assaulting her when they met three years earlier. She claimed, “He hugged me, held me too tight and rubbed his crotch on me, which I found revolting”. Or perhaps he didn’t, and she imagined it because she just finds men – old men anyway – revolting. Hopkins is also alleged to have texted: “A nice young man would be lucky to have you as a girlfriend and lover … Were I to be young… but I am not. Always your friend, and if you ever need a friend you have my number… xxx”.
It’s quite educational compiling these “allegations”. It forces one to accept that a male cannot safely interact with a female now in any way other than at strictly arm’s length – and preferably further – communicating purely transactionally in emotionless computer-speak.
Labour MP Kerry McCarthy, who has known Mr Hopkins for more than two decades, has also lodged a complaint with the whip’s office. Mr Hopkins is said to have sent her a series of letters and cards commenting on her appearance, including one in which he described having a dream about her. One early note to Ms McCarthy dating back to the early 90s called her “attractive, intelligent and charming” before asking her to dispose of the card. A second note which came soon after and included a photograph of Ms McCarthy, said: “I think this does some justice to a very pretty woman. Hope you like it. K x”. In addition a postcard was sent in an envelope to Ms McCarthy’s then workplace, solicitors Merrill Lynch, which included the passage: “If Linklaters employ tall blondes, does Merrill L specialise in pretty, petite brunettes?” Bastard! Flaying alive would be too good for the likes of him.
As far as I am aware at 11/2/18 Mr Hopkins remains suspended and his future as a Labour MP uncertain.
[I don’t normally stray into hard-left Momentum writings, but Tony Greenstein thinks that Hopkins has been framed by the “right” of the Labour Party. You can gauge where Greenstein lies on the political spectrum from the fact that he regards Jess Phillips as right-wing. I kid you not. He refers to Michael Fallon, see next, as a “monstrous lech” despite Fallon’s villainy being no more heinous than that of Hopkins whom he defends. You know, I think he might be biased.]
In November 2017, after various rumours and allegations, Defence Secretary in the Conservative Government, Sir Michael Fallon, resigned. In his brief letter of resignation he wrote, “A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct. Many of these have been false but I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the Armed Forces that I have the honour to represent.”
It had been confirmed the previous day that Fallon had once been rebuked by a journalist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, for putting his hand on her knee during a dinner fifteen years earlier. However, Hartley-Brewer is one of the sensible women and would not dream of making any formal complaint. She said, “If he has gone because he touched my knee 15 years ago, that is genuinely the most absurd reason for anyone to have lost their job in the history of the universe, so I hope it is not because of that.”
There was an assumption there must be more to it. The Guardian announced, with a grand flourish, “Revealed! why Michael Fallon was forced to quit as defence secretary”. In exactly what sort of heinous sex attack did Sir Michael choose to indulge his priapic obsession? The Guardian’s revelation was this: “The cabinet heavyweight’s shock departure on Wednesday followed a phone call from the journalist, Jane Merrick, who informed Downing Street that he had lunged at her and attempted to kiss her on the lips in 2003 after they had lunched together.” Damned monster! Note the “attempted”. One might have thought a military man would have been more successful in pressing home his attack against mere maidenly resistance. Unless, of course, he withdrew as soon as it was apparent that his overture was unwelcome. Merrick, then a 29-year-old junior political reporter at the Daily Mail, said she “shrank away in horror and ran off to my office in the Press Gallery….I felt humiliated, ashamed.”
So this is a resignation offence for a Minister of State? It’s not me that’s gone mad, is it? Is it?
Damien Green’s letter of resignation included the following key points,
“I regret that I’ve been asked to resign from the government following breaches of the Ministerial Code, for which I apologise……From the outset I have been clear that I did not download or view pornography on my Parliamentary computers. I accept that I should have been clear in my press statements that police lawyers talked to my lawyers in 2008 about the pornography on the computers, and that the police raised it with me in a subsequent phone call in 2013. I apologise that my statements were misleading on this point. The unfounded and deeply hurtful allegations that were being levelled at me were distressing both to me and my family and it is right that these are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s professional standards department…..I deeply regret the distress caused to Kate Maltby following her article about me and the reaction to it. I do not recognise the events she described in her article, but I clearly made her feel uncomfortable and for this I apologise.”
The post #MeToo pogrom was already in full swing when Maltby made her accusations. She wrote in a Times article, “He offered me career advice and in the same breath made it clear he was sexually interested. It was not acceptable to me at the time and it should not be acceptable behaviour in Westminster in the future…..He steered the conversation to the habitual nature of sexual affairs in parliament….. He mentioned that his own wife was very understanding. I felt a fleeting hand against my knee — so brief, it was almost deniable. I moved my legs away, and tried to end the drink on friendly terms. I then dropped all contact for a year. I wanted nothing to do with him.”
One wonders just how low the bar can go and still destroy a man’s career. Is a “fleeting hand against my knee – almost deniable” an even lower bar than an “attempted kiss”? Andrew Pierce in the Daily Mail painted Maltby as a desperately ambitious political groupie on the make. You will come to your own judgment as to who was the victim of whom.
The Labour member of the Welsh Assembly killed himself four days after being sacked from his role as communities and children secretary in the Welsh Government. After his death his family issued the following statement, “Up to the point of his tragic death, Carl was not informed of any of the detail of the allegations against him, despite requests and warnings regarding his mental welfare. The family wish to disclose the fact that Carl maintained his innocence and he categorically denied any wrongdoing. The distress of not being able to defend himself properly against these unspecified allegations meant he was not afforded common courtesy, decency or natural justice.”
At the time of his death all that Sargeant knew was that he was facing allegations of “unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping”. As far as I am aware, that is all we know to this day.
The Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, was criticised for prejudicing the ongoing enquiry by his media appearances and by briefing Assembly Members whilst leaving Sargeant, his family and the public in ignorance. A Guardian report quotes former Welsh minister, Leighton Andrews, as claiming that there had been “deliberate personal undermining of Sargeant from within the Welsh Labour government over several years”. He said he made a complaint to the first minister about an aspect of this in the autumn of 2014, adding, “An informal investigation was undertaken. I then asked for it to be made formal. I was told it would be. I was never shown the outcome. There was no due process.” Sargeant’s family, friends and solicitor believed due process had not been followed over the current harassment claims.
More than a month after his death, the Labour Party announced that Sargeant’s alleged inappropriate behaviour would not be investigated by the Labour Party. With incisive judicial insight, Labour AM Mike Hedges said “the investigation should not continue because Mr Sargeant’s death meant it was no longer possible for the party to take action against him”. No kidding, Sherlock. But what about exonerating him? That possibility never enters their heads, does it.
Spokesman Iain McNicol stated that Labour “rejects any liability for costs in this matter“. Well, heaven forbid that driving a man to his death should leave you out of pocket.
As if to out-do her Labour rivals in compassion, Plaid Cymru leader and feminist Leanne Wood said it was necessary to “find justice for all of the people involved“. Ah, yes. We must not forget the abused and traumatised women. Who are they, by the way? And what exactly were their accusations? Knee touching, was it? Or “nearly kissing”, perhaps? Poor dears. But we must not forget that their suffering is at least equal to that of Carl Sargeant’s. Except they are still alive.
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 identifies that companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care. Sargeant’s family have claimed that he died following “abdication of responsibility and duty of care”. Why are the Welsh Assembly and/or the Labour Party not in the dock for Corporate Manslaughter? Perhaps they ultimately will be, we wait to see.
The Presidents Club debacle involved wealthy men voluntarily turning up knowing the sole purpose of the event was to fleece them of (literally) millions of pounds. The women turned up voluntarily to earn money for themselves. It has been called a ‘men only event’, which is palpably untrue or there could not have been any groping of women, could there? This is not pedantry. Some have called for men-only events to be banned. This rather exposes the true agenda, does it not? After all, a genuinely men-only event would be an absolute guarantee that women would not be subject to abuse. One suspects that is not really the objective. It’s really about women having complete control of men, isn’t it? Do recall that this was a premeditated ‘sting’ by Ms Marriage and her team.
The men are now all vilified as loutish misogynistic bores for alleged acts of groping and lewd comments to the ‘hostesses’. The young attractive women, in short, tight black dresses, have been said to be there to act as ‘bait’ for the men. True enough. As far as I am aware every male attendee who has spoken up has claimed not to have seen or heard anything untoward. As far as I am aware, no named man has been accused of harassment. The nearest we get are vague innuendos like: “in the centre of the room, Jimmy Lahoud, 67, a Lebanese businessman and restaurateur, danced enthusiastically with three young women wearing bright red dresses”. Swine! Prosecute him immediately!
It’s a good wheeze to scatter names liberally amongst an account that also contains allegations against no one in particular. Guilt by association whilst safe on the libel front and conveniently free of any possibility of the accused mounting a defence because no individual has actually been accused. But nevertheless sufficient to bring down the organisation with immediate effect. Quite brilliant really, I’m all admiration. It’s a god job women are powerless. I dread to think what the mayhem would be like if they had power. I guess we’ll soon know.
One of the organisers of the event, David Meller, was obliged to resign as non-executive director of the Department for Education Board following the reports. He also quit his role at the Mayor’s Fund for London. Labour peer, Lord Mendelsohn, was also sacked from his role as shadow business and international trade spokesman in the upper chamber. Lord Mendelsohn has said he attended part of the dinner as president of a charity that received support from the event. The Presidents Club, which has raised many tens of millions of pounds for children’s charities over the years, is now being wound up as a direct result of the feminist-driven attack.
Do recall that neither David Meller nor Lord Mendelsohn were even accused of any form of misdemeanor. Nor has any named man at the event been accused of anything specific.
Lord Janner was accused of sexual abuse as long ago as 1991 but not charged. He was investigated again in 2002 and 2007 but again was not prosecuted. Multiple allegations were made again when Janner was suffering from advanced dementia, and also after his death. The former Labour MP for Leicester was accused of sexually abusing more than 30 men and women during visits to children’s homes, schools, hotels and Parliament between the mid-1950s and late-1980s.
Ultimately Janner was charged. In April 2015, Home Secretary Theresa May questioned the decision by the DPS not to prosecute Janner on the grounds of his dementia. The DPP decision was overturned in June after public outrage and threats of legal action, and it was decided that Janner would face trial. As a result he did appear in court in August 2015 – for just 59 seconds. His appearance in court followed the judge dismissing the option of a video link and threatening arrest if he did not turn up. Any suspicion that Janner was not as badly demented as his defence team claimed was dispelled when he did appear. He died that December.
Criminal prosecutions were then dropped – necessarily. But the alleged victims were not happy that their allegations had been left unresolved. Consequently, they initially proceeded with a claim in the Civil Court.
Lord Janner’s son, Daniel Janner QC, said: ‘My beloved father was wholly innocent of any wrongdoing. We will therefore fully fight these allegations in the civil court.’ You can listen to a video of Daniel Janner discussing the issues here.
As late as August 2016, the ongoing independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) declared the Janner case as one of those it intended to investigate fully. (At the time of writing, 12/2/18, this remains the IICSA’s intention). A review of the case by retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques found opportunities had been missed and opined that the Labour veteran should have been charged (meaning ‘charged earlier’ I think).
Daniel Janner said he had been told that, under the terms of the inquiry, the family could only question those who accuse Lord Janner “sparingly”, rather than subjecting them to a full cross-examination. (Recall that Daniel Janner is himself a QC). He remarked, “This process actually discredits the important work of the inquiry. This makes a mockery of justice.” He said the inquiry was “working on an assumption of guilt“. Nothing new there, Mr Janner.
On 28 May 2017 the press were running stories such as this,
“The legal case against Lord Janner has collapsed after six men who claimed the former Labour MP abused them have dropped their claims. Lawyers announced that the claims against the peer’s £2million estate were being discontinued, much to the relief of the Janner family, who have long protested his innocence. Questions had been raised about the accuracy of the accusations and the background of some of the claimants.
In March, lawyers for the estate told Master McLoud at the High Court that three other alleged victims had each agreed to ‘abandon for all time and for all purposes all and any claims’ in respect of any alleged personal injury, loss and damage.”
However, on his blog the next day, Peter Garsden, for Simpson Millar Solicitors, clarified that, contrary to those indications in the press, “we are still pursuing the cases where Simpson Millar are instructed, and have not discontinued them” He added, “the cases which have been withdrawn do not imply that the Claimants can be criticised in any way whatsoever. The victims are clearly hanging their hopes upon the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). Sadly, the Janner family are also trying to demolish that investigation as well.” Tut, tut – he means ‘alleged victims’.
New allegations of rape were emerging from the provisional IICSA hearings just a few days ago (6 Feb 2018). Daniel Janner told the hearing he had never heard these allegations before. Daniel Janner is threatening to sue the infamous “Nick”, now the latter has himself been accused of paedophile charges.
So, we await the outcome from the IICSA. My reading of this one is I’m expecting the outcome of the IICSA to be damning for Janner. And I’m expecting the Janner family to cry foul regarding the nature of the procedure deployed by the Inquiry. We’ll see – maybe.
Smith started in the Liberal Party, but switched to Labour, becoming a councillor in Rochdale and later Mayor. When he entered Parliament as MP he had switched back to the Liberals. Said to be “a friend of Jimmy Savile”, that is almost enough to condemn one in the public mind. However, there seems to be a surfeit of reasons to believe Smith was guilty of habitual physical and sexual abuse of young boys.
The allegations related initially to abuse carried out in care homes, and homes for “difficult” children in Rochdale, namely Cambridge House and Knowl View. Dozens of men have alleged abuse when they were boys by Smith and others.
The CPS admitted after his death that Smith should have been charged, though he never was. Accusations were made at least as early as 1979, relating to incidents in the 60s, and apparently there was a police investigation as early as 1970. Further police investigations in 1989 and 1999 also failed to result in charges being made. Smith died of cancer in 2010 at which point all criminal investigations ceased.
From 2012, Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, Smith’s old seat, started campaigning for an inquiry into Smith’s abuses. Danczuk even wrote a book expounding Smith’s villainy (Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith). Danczuk was convinced that there was a network of paedophiles operating in the House of Commons who helped to protect Smith. But Danczuk himself seems to have been a suspect character – see below.
Allegations were also made that Smith had frequented the now-infamous Elm Street Guest House, where he committed more abuse of boys. The association of these allegations with the discredited “Nick” might lead some to be sceptical about the Rochdale claims. However this would not be a valid conclusion.
In November 2012, Tony Robinson, a former Special Branch officer with Lancashire Police in the 1970s, alleged that a dossier of sexual abuse allegations against Smith which police claimed was “lost” was actually seized by MI5. Robinson said that he was asked by MI5 to send to London a police dossier that had been kept in a safe in his office which he said was “thick” with allegations from boys claiming they had been abused by Smith.
This was part of the mounting pressure to take seriously the notion that there had been a high level cover-up, involving many more perpetrators than just Smith – the “Westminster Paedophile Ring” theory. Danczuk’s book and lobbying, together with the Parliamentary lobbying by Labour MP Tom Watson, poured more fuel on the fire.
In July 2015, Whitehall files were discovered which were previously thought to have been destroyed. According to this report, among them was a November 1986 note from the director-general of MI5 to the cabinet secretary, referring to an MP with “a penchant for small boys”. The MI5 chief accepted the denial from the MP (later identified by The Times as Peter Morrison, who later briefly worked as one of Margaret Thatcher’s aides and died in 1995). However, he added that “the risk of political embarrassment to the government is rather greater than the security danger”. It would be easy to read too much into that latter statement – and, obviously, people have.
Both aspects of the allegations against Smith, i.e., those in Rochdale and those associated with the supposed Westminster Paedophile Ring, are now to be investigated by the IICSA. Details of the former investigation, under the heading “Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale council” can be found here. The scope of the overarching inquiry into allegations of child sexual abuse and exploitation involving people of public prominence associated with Westminster is as follows. “This investigation will consider evidence relating to allegations of child sexual abuse committed by persons of public prominence associated with Westminster and how these came to light; the findings of relevant investigations; whether there is evidence of conspiracy, cover-up, interference or tolerance in relation to child sexual abuse committed by persons of public prominence associated with Westminster; whether governmental, political and law enforcement institutions were aware of and took appropriate steps”.
The IICSA is anticipated to last 10 years and cost £100M. A gravy train for those presiding over the proceedings? I think so. And it may merely collapse under its own weight. Shortly after she resigned, the third of the appointed inquiry chiefs, Dame Lowell Goddard, was reported as follows,
She (Lowell Goddard) is pressing Home Secretary Amber Rudd to put more focus on current issues and the protection of children in the future. At the moment (the IICSA’s) brief stretches back 60 years and covers institutions including the church, schools, councils and Westminster. “With the benefit of hindsight, or more realistically the benefit of experience, it is clear there is an inherent problem in the sheer scale and size of the inquiry (which its budget does not match) and therefore in its manageability,” she wrote. “Its boundless compass, including as it does every state and non-state institution as well as relevant institutional contexts, coupled with the absence of any built-in time parameters, does not fit comfortably or practically within the single inquiry model in which it currently resides.”
Mr Danczuk was Labour MP for Rochdale 2010 – 2017. Apparently a staunch upholder of moral probity and integrity, Mr Danczuk did not only work tirelessly to expose Cyril Smith but he was also instrumental in the Chris Huhne – Vicky Pryce speeding debacle, making a complaint to Kent and Essex Police. A little surprising, then, to find that Mr Danczuk is himself hardly squeaky clean. Make up your own mind as to whether there is a lot of smoke and no fire in the incidents, below – or otherwise – but he seems to have been rather careless.
Danczuk married Sonia Milewski in 1996. The couple divorced in 2010 and subsequently she accused him of emotional and sexual abuse fuelled by alcohol and cannabis. One suspects that drugs and alcohol might have been Mr Danzuk’s problem throughout. He split with his second wife, councillor Karen, who was rather colourful, in June 2015.
In December 2015, Danczuk had split from his girlfriend Claire Hamilton, another Labour councillor in Leyland. Soon after, The Sun published sexually graphic text messages that Danczuk had exchanged with a 17-year-old female job applicant, which the newspaper reported were the cause of the split. Police investigated the matter and concluded no offence had been committed. Nevertheless he was suspended from the Labour Party. He was not permitted to stand as a Labour candidate in Rochdale in 2017, despite being the incumbent MP, and lost his seat.
In January 2016, Lancashire Constabulary confirmed that it was investigating an allegation of rape, dating back to 2006, made against a 49-year-old male. Danczuk confirmed that he was the subject of the allegation, which he denied. He described the allegation as “malicious”. He was not charged.
In the early hours of 15 August 2016, Danczuk was arrested and spent two nights in a Spanish police cell after an alleged incident in Alicante with his estranged second wife. (I cannot enlighten you as to why he was on holiday with the woman he had separated from over a year earlier). Karen Danczuk was taken to hospital with minor cuts and bruises. It was said she had “fallen on glass”. Mr Danczuk was not charged with an offence and was later released.
At the beginning of June 2017, the Metropolitan Police said no action would be taken against Mr Danczuk over allegations that he had raped a woman in the Palace of Westminster in 2016.
Hmm…make of all that what you will.
Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes and Bishop of Gloucester accepted a police caution for gross indecency in 1993 after several complaints had been made, but no more serious action was taken. There have been allegations that the Church closed ranks to protect their own, thus preventing justice taking its proper course in the light of allegations which subsequently transpired to be well founded. One of the complainants subsequently killed himself in 2012. In 2015, then aged 83, Ball was given a 32 month prison sentence after pleading guilty to misconduct in public office and two counts of indecent assault. The offences, all against males, dated from between 1980 and 1991 when Ball was Bishop of Lewes. Ball would invite novices to stay with him for their ‘spiritual education’ but take advantage of them. They would be asked to pray with him whilst naked, shower with him, and endure beatings after being made to confess to masturbation. One of the victims was under 16.
Bishop Bell, who died aged 75 in 1958, was one of the towering figures of the Church of England in the 20th century. He was revered for his role in rescuing Jews from Nazi Germany before the war. He was Bishop of Chichester for 29 years. Strongly tipped to be Archbishop of Canterbury, he was passed over apparently due to his outspoken opposition to the bombing of civilians during WW2.
The allegation was first made by ‘Carol’ (a pseuonym) in 1995, some 38 years after George Bell’s death. It was brought to Archbishop Welby’s attention in 2013. The alleged incidents themselves dated from 1951. No allegations against Bishop Bell were made during his lifetime. No allegations other than those made by ‘Carol’ have ever been made against Bell, either before or after her allegations, despite much publicity.
The Church of England has undergone a process of severe self-examination in relation to having admitted to mishandling (i.e., largely ignoring) the allegations initially made by ‘Carol’ in 1995. The recent handling of this case should be viewed in the context, not only of the post-Savile world, but following years of sexual abuse allegations against priests (of all denominations) – many perfectly true. The review of the Bell case comes shortly after that of Bishop Ball, who was also previously revered but was convicted and imprisoned. The Church, therefore, had been primed for self-flagellation.
There is an air about the Bell case of the Church attempting to vicariously expiate its corporate guilt by sacrifice of the former Bishop’s reputation. The guilt stems from the many priests accused of sexual abuses, and the threat of further exposures during the IICSA hearings. Explicit reference to the case of ex-Bishop Ball by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is an example,
“As in the case of Peter Ball, and others, it is often suggested that what is being alleged could not have been true, because the person writing knew the alleged abuser and is absolutely certain that it was impossible for them to have done what is alleged.”
The Archbishop has provoked a furious backlash by accusing supporters of the highly respected bishop of refusing to believe the historic child sex abuse allegation. The Most Reverend Justin Welby has repeatedly declined to apologise for the shredding of the reputation of Bishop George Bell over a single, uncorroborated claim made by a single woman dating back more than 60 years. The defenders of Bell say,
“We state our position bluntly. There is no credible evidence at all that Bishop Bell was a paedophile. We state this after reviewing all that is known about his character and behaviour over many years.”
Whilst Welby is correct to observe that apparently blameless people can be concealing wrongdoing, he omits to take account of a characteristic of paedophilia – namely that paedophiles tend to be serial offenders – especially if their behaviour goes undetected into old age. Welby rather willfully fails to note the distinction between the Ball and Bell cases. Ball was accused by many different men of abuses on multiple occasions over a period of many years. Bell was accused by just one woman of abuse over a relatively short period.
Self-declared ‘rebel priest’, the Rev Jules Gomes, wrote in the Conservative Woman,
“I believe Welby is one hundred per cent sincere. His absolute and emphatic claim to occupy the higher moral ground and to be right beyond the faintest glimmer of doubt is not feigned. It is not a publicity stunt. Welby genuinely believes he is right and everyone else (including seven eminent historians, another group of theologians including heavyweights from the World Council of Churches, and Lord Carlile) is wrong.”
Extracts from the Independent Review by Lord Carlile were as follows;
- ‘Carol’ described the abuse thus: Bishop Bell used to say that he would read her a Bible story. He led her down a long corridor to a room lined with books. He sat her on his lap. He started to read to her, and “wriggled”. This developed on other occasions to touching, including digital penetration of her vagina. On occasions, he made her touch his genitals. On other occasions he attempted to penetrate her with his penis after pulling her underwear aside. He ejaculated.
- During the events she described, she alleged that Bishop Bell said the following to her “This is our little secret: it is God’s wish”; and that when he ejaculated he would say: ‘Suffer little children to come unto me”. He was giving her “God’s love…you are special”.
- In her initial complaint, ‘Carol’ wrote, “Everyone thinks he was a Saint but to my cost I know different. My whole life has suffered because of him and after 40 odd years of keeping it locked up inside me I am going to tell my story and sell it to the highest bidder to gain compensation for something that blighted my whole life.”
‘Carol’ did not ‘sell her story to the highest bidder’ but she was awarded compensation by the Church, without admission of responsibility.
Lord Carlile’s review makes the following observations,
- It was confirmed by the police that the information obtained from their enquiries would have justified, had he still been alive, Bishop Bell’s arrest and interview, on suspicion of serious sexual offences;
- The settlement followed a thorough pre-litigation process during which further investigations into the claim took place including the commissioning of expert independent reports. None of those reports found any reason to doubt the veracity of the claim;
- Carol, and the wider public, were left in no doubt whatsoever that it was accepted that Bishop Bell was guilty of what was alleged against him.
The first of these bullet points appears to lend credibility to the complainant’s account, but in truth it means nothing. The police would be bound to follow up the complaint.
As far as I can see from the Review, there was no evidence of any kind to corroborate the allegations, only the word of the complainant. The statement in the second bullet point, that no reason had been found to doubt the veracity of the claim, is disturbing. It is indicative of the now universal attitude that the accused must prove his innocence. It suggests that the absence of evidence discrediting the allegation should be interpreted as supporting a prosecution case, as opposed to the absence of corroborating evidence being supportive of the defence case. This is the pernicious shift in mindset at work.
The third point is, I suspect, a correct statement – though the absence of doubt regarding Bell’s guilt is unjustified and is symptomatic of a prejudice which is now endemic. This is illustrated by another extract from Lord Carlile’s review,
- Strong views have been engendered by the case. It is asked whether she (Carol) could or would have made up such detailed and awful allegations. Why would she put herself in the position of possibly having to be cross-examined and accused of lying in court? Would she have invented such detailed and graphic evidence, including the words set out above?
These questions reveal a naivety born of ingrained gynocentrism and an ignorance of the plethora of answers to these questions which commonly lead to false accusations of sexual assault – as amply illustrated by my previous 146 case histories.
Appendix: Local Councillors Convicted of Sexual Offences, 2007 – 2014
There are a large number of web sites listing people in politics, virtually all local councillors, guilty of sexual offences. Most are of dubious reliability. The most reliable I found was this one. I checked a number of its entries against news reports and they seemed accurate, so I decided to trust this site though I did not check all cases. There may be errors but I think it gives a broadly accurate picture. I have no way of knowing whether some of the accused may have been falsely stitched up.
I have confined attention here to the eight years from 2007 to 2014, inclusive (the latter being the latest listed in that source). In those eight years the number of guilty men were respectively 9, 15, 11, 3, 14, 15, 8 and 6 – a total of 81 in 8 years. Two or three were referred to as “activists”, and one as a “preacher” with political affiliations. But virtually all were local councillors, with a handful being former mayors.
Whilst it is salutary that there are so many local councillors committing such crimes, it is worth recalling that there are 20,811 local councillors – so 81 cases in 8 years amounts to a rate of 0.049% per year, or one sinner per year per 2000 councillors. The breakdown by political party was,
|Party||Number of cases in 8 years||Rate per year|
58% of those convicted were sent to prison.
46% of those convicted had committed child porn offences (only).