In the wake of Leon Brittan’s death, Theresa May needs to act and act quickly
Last week, we lamented how the alleged victims of the alleged paedophile John Stingemore have been left without the chance to see him proven either innocent or guilty after he died before brought to court. Now, with yesterday’s announcement of the death of the former home secretary Leon Brittan, it is time that Theresa May actually heeds the advice we previously offered and speeds up the inquiry into alleged historic abuse by high profile individuals ranging from politicians to personalities.
Lord Brittan, who was named under parliamentary privilege by Labour MP Jim Hood three months ago as being linked to alleged child abuse, may have been an entirely innocent man. He was never arrested, charged or tried and though questioned under caution with regard to an alleged rape in 1967 last year, the peer was also suggested to be the “former Tory cabinet minister” linked to allegations relating to “a depraved orgy organised by a paedophile” as well as home secretary at the time that a dossier alleging the existence of a paedophile ring at Westminster disappeared in 1984.
‘Dark rumours’ are often nothing but ‘rumours without substance’ but with Brittan’s passing, we will now likely never know whether he was innocent or guilty. What has become clearer though is that Theresa May has to put right the calamitous mess that she has presided over and show she is serious about justice for the alleged victims.
It is especially ironic that The Times – prior to the announcement of Lord Brittan’s death – yesterday printed the following:
“Abuse inquiry halted – The government’s inquiry into historical child sexual abuse has been suspended. A statement on the website of the inquiry, from which two chairwomen have resigned amid suggestions that they were too close to figures likely to be involved in its investigation, said it would not meet again until Theresa May, the home secretary, either appoints a new head or says if the panel will continue”.
The Steeple Times was amongst the first to report the allegations that ultimately lead to the conviction of high profile abusers including Max Clifford and Rolf Harris – and given that others such as Jimmy Savile and Sir Cyril Smith (whom some still bizarrely advocate as innocent) were never brought to book, it is a disgrace that this important inquiry has slipped and slipped again. Now, it is essential that Theresa May puts a stop to the excuses: The investigation into alleged abuse by high profile individuals must be carried out with urgency.
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