Tessa Munt calls for inquiry into historical child abuse cover-ups by local authorities

P1010059Tessa is one of a cross party team of seven MPs which has called on the Home Secretary to hold a national inquiry into historical child sex abuse, exploring alleged cover-ups by the authorities.

The seven MPs have written a joint letter to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, urging her to set up “a full, properly-resourced investigation into the failure of the Police, HM Customs & Excise and other agencies to follow up on evidence in a number of historical cases of child sex abuse, some dating back to the 1970s and said to involve paedophile rings consisting of leading politicians, celebrities and other figures of the establishment.

Worrying patterns have emerged whereby evidence has been ‘lost’ or ‘destroyed’, which has stifled investigations to date.

The inquiry being proposed by the seven MPs would involve an independent panel with powers to demand the release of documents from every agency involved in investigating claims of child sex abuse.

Tessa said: “Child sexual abuse is abhorrent.  Victims must and will be heard, and justice must be done, however many years have passed.

If it proves to be the case that investigations have been stalled or abandoned over the last thirty years because influential or famous people were involved, or if evidence which could have been used to convict abusers was knowingly ‘lost’ or destroyed, this is completely unacceptable and should be addressed through the Courts.

Victims of child sexual abuse are entitled to justice and it’s never too late for that.  The Government should enable victims to be heard, and must ensure those who had responsibility for protecting the vulnerable explain their actions and omissions.

It seems to us that a ‘Hillsborough’ style inquiry has the potential to call all those involved to give evidence and account for their actions.  I await the Home Secretary’s reply.”

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, said: “Tessa and I agreed there can’t be many crimes more serious than child abuse, and yet the evidence tells us that extreme abuse has gone unchallenged for decades. With so many unanswered questions, and so many institutions potentially involved, it is time for an all-encompassing, properly resourced and independent inquiry – one in which everyone can have confidence.”

Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, said: “Child abuse is a very serious issue and needs to be tackled on a cross-party basis. The work that Tessa and colleagues from all the political parties have done to bring this issue to prominence and build a consensus for action has been vitally important. I hope the Government listens and acts on our proposal.”

Tessa Munt

25th June 2014

4 Responses to “Tessa Munt calls for inquiry into historical child abuse cover-ups by local authorities”

  1. The phrase ‘tip of the iceberg’ often crops up in this context. Defenceless, unrepresented, poor victims at the mercy of the rich and powerful, protected by public servants. In this country, it has the potential to make the Profumo affair seem like a fuss about nothing at all. Internationally, it merges with people trafficking across borders and sex tourism in poor holiday destinations. So, it’s not only the Home Secretary who has to force MI5 to open its files in the UK, the foreign secretary must make MI6 open up about sexual predation around military bases and within NATO. I hold out little hope in the latter case.

  2. frank smith says:

    Just heard you on 5 Live…well done for taking a stand. You are a brave lady.

  3. I have just heard your interview on Radio 4, and felt compelled to write and congratulate you for making a stand.

    The tales of child abuse at the very top of society amongst the ‘elite’ have been an open secret for many years. Until the top lawyers, judges, politicians, celebrities, police, private schools, children’s charities stop protecting these people, and start to hold them accountable, we cannot even begin to stop such heinous crimes.

    As you said, it may take years, but as long as these people know they are not untouchable, and that at some point they will be caught, then we will be going a long way to eradicating such horrors from our society.

    It is a public disgrace that so many MPs have chosen to stay silent.

    I wish you all of the very best with your campaign, and I admire your bravery in what is clearly a difficult topic to discuss so publically.

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