Tim Tate Comments On The Exaro ‘Audio Tape’ Story

Tim Tate has been making documentaries, writing books and campaigning on this issue for more than 25 years. His commitment to exposing the truth about child abuse is unquestionable.
So, by all means doubt me but I hope you’ll pay more attention to Mr Tate who as you’ll read has actually listened to the audio tape.
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“Unless there is another recording, I have heard this encounter between Mr Solanki and an unnamed reporter in its entirety (18-plus minutes).
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Nothing in the recording I have heard (and listened to extremely carefully) supports or justifies Exaro’s story.  Mr Solanki refuses throughout to discuss the allegations made by the reporter, referring him constantly to Customs & Excise in Dover.
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Nor does he name the ex-cabinet minister: only the reporter does so, repeatedly pressing Mr Solanki to confirm.  Mr Solanki does not do so.
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There is a reason (other than the fear of breaching his duty of confidentiality) why Mr Solanki does not confirm the reporter’s allegations concerning the Tricker tapes.  That reason is that Mr Solanki has given a formal statement to the police telling the true story of what he does know about the ex cabinet minister: I wrote that story for the Daily telegraph: it can be viewed here.
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If Exaro has heard the recording as it claims then it must know that it’s allegations are false.  This is not the first time that Exaro has over-egged the pudding and published wildly inflated (and downright inaccurate) stories.  Doing so damages the credibility of those campaigning for proper investigation into this country’s shameful record of covering up child sexual abuse.”
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49 Comments

Filed under Abuse, Fernbridge, News

49 responses to “Tim Tate Comments On The Exaro ‘Audio Tape’ Story

  1. Anon

    Given the choice between the Telegraph and Exaro, I would choose to rely on Exaro. Perhaps there are two sets of allegations here.

    Let’s wait for Exaro’s Monday update and see if their server goes down again.

  2. gw

    I’ve been somewhat of a cheerleader for exaro but recently I feel like they have over-egged things – not to mention the AA stuff…

    Once again “freinds of the customs officer” appears which is somewhat dubious.

    They are still doing a great job which I wont’ lose sight of, but yes, pinch of salt required.

    If Mr Tate does read this, I hope he passes on his concerns to the 7 MPs.

  3. Well having made my mind up!!! GO GOJAM…

  4. GMB

    It really does not matter what TT says or thinks. Wait and See or Better Come nad Listen.

    • Ye, it only matters what the police think.

      I’m not allowing links to comments that you’ve made elsewhere GMB. Make it here if you want but I’m not following links.

  5. Actually, it does matter what Exaro puts out as alleged investigative journalism.

    There is a sad and miserable history in relation to reporting of child sexual abuse: one of its key features is a wave of careless or over-hyped/inaccurate reporting followed by a very nasty backlash when the ‘shocking revelations’ turn out to have been exaggerated.

    Those backlashes have led to the undermining of child protection work. And that’s why Exaro’s behaviour matters.

  6. bowled0ver

    Tim Tate. What firm evidence do you have that the incident referred to in the Daily Telegraph took place? I refer to the 1988 incident. Do you have definitive proof that it happened? Or do you only have your inside source’s word (it seems evident that is a police officer)?

    These are fair questions for you.

    Finally does anybody from Exaro post on here? We could ask the same.

  7. bowled0ver

    There was nothing insulting about it. People I know rejected projects from Tate. They were deemed risky and full of holes.

    Tate is far from perfect and yet you swear by him. One wonders why, that is all. Or is such thinking not allowed?

  8. bowled0ver

    Thank you! A small victory for free speech!

  9. Whoever Bowledover might be (hiding behind a pseudonym is a little juvenile, don’t you think ?), I’m sure he does know people who have rejected projects of mine. Like most working documentary producers, journalists and authors, the vast majority of projects don’t get commissioned.

    That said, I seem to have managed to make more than 70 films – almost all investigative – published 11 books and had my work honoured by a number of international awards bodies (including Amnesty International). So all in all, not too bad a lifetime’s work.

    Perfect ? Of course not. Never claimed to be. But at least I’ve worked to make a difference.

    • tdf

      I had never heard of Tim Tate until this blog started shilling for him recently – I had heard of the Cook report, and can remember seeing Cook’s rather dramatic, tabloidesque and rubbishy “exposes” as a teenager. Even then, I didn’t take them seriously.

      Tate is very concerned that we recognise and applaud his record of doing blah blah blah number of exposes and being nominated for some awards a quarter century ago and Gojam is very concerned – indeed, DEMANDS, that we worship at the altar of Tate.

      I think most objective observers can draw their own conclusions at what is going on here.

      • tdf

        Speaking of “altars”, a poster on another forum ( who is no particular friend of mine, and has been rather nasty to some of my friends on that forum) but I must go with my moral conscience and do my best to follow the evidence trail where it leads – drew my attention to the Cook report’s shilling for the SRA hysteria back in the late ’80s/ early ’90s.

        Tim Tate, seeing as you were a former researcher with the Cook report programme, I have to ask you, did you go along with the SRA hysteria yourself?

  10. Jawatech

    Tim.
    Nice defense of your record – although I read that IMDB lists you as having won zero awards from one nomination. So the “honoured” claim might need fleshing out.
    More specifically, you have not answered the question asked by “Bowled Over”. In the States we are wondering about these English stories. Is this scandal for real or imagined? I livein the States so I don’t know about England’s journalists.
    Btw, most bloggers use pen names. I sure expect “gojam” is a pen name and hesupplies this blog. Don’t take them personal.

  11. Happy (though slightly embarrassed) to correct ImDb.
    Awards include:
    Amnesty International,
    UNESCO, Royal Television Society,
    Association for International Broadcasting,
    New York Festivals
    National Academy of Cable Broadcasting (US).

    Hope that helps

  12. Hogotheforsaken

    I say go for it Exaro. I haven’t seen or heard anything that suggests they make things up or “over egg” their stories, yet I keep reading Tim Tate making this sort of unsubstantiated claim.

    Peter McKelvie certainly rates Exaro. He credits them with getting this story into the spotlight after decades of it being ignored, denied and covered up.
    I haven’t heard him – or anyone actually – say the same about the Telegraph.

  13. Hogotheforsaken: just as one example – several months ago Exaro reported (and hyped up their story) that Operation Fernbridge had formally interviewed an ex cabinet minister about alegations that he has abused a boy at Elm Guest House. The story was simply untrue – as Exaro would have discovered if it had bothered to check: it didn’t – instead it promoted itself on the back of this false story. (For clarity – Exaro now acceps it got this wrong). Just one example.

  14. Little Oboe

    All the posturing over journalists’ credentials is a distraction.

    Tim Tate – you still haven’t answered a key question somebody put to you.

    Do you have proof that the 1988 incident at Customs took place? From what I can see, only the Daily Telegraph has reported this. It seems to be based on a chat with a police officer from the Met and, let’s face it, that is not always a good starting point. Stephen Lawrence, shredding etc.

    It is getting silly right now. Us readers have to ask questions of the journalists and the police, and not the abusers. But right now we don’t know what or who to believe. Please focus on the abusers and help the victims.

  15. Little Oboe: like any journalist I can’t and won’t discuss my sources. I appreciate that is frustrating for readers but I’m afraid it is at the heart of what we do.

    I’m curious about your suggestion that the Customs incident I reported in the Telegraph took place in 1988. I didn’t ate it, for the very simple reason that – to the best of my knowledge – the Customs officer himself can’t put a precise date on it, and the only person to claim to be able to do so is serial-fantasist Chris Fay. Any connection there ?

    I agree, though, about journalists posturing. It’s unseemly and not the issue at all. (Memo to Exaro). However, should any reader need to choose between two journalists with conflicting stories, my suggestion would be to plump for the one with a quarter of a century of investigating paedophilia, getting child pornographers convicted and – yes – helping victims.

    Just a suggestion.

  16. Little Oboe

    I don’t know who Chris Faye. Is he that guy who worked for Mary Moss? I saw a bizarre interviewer with that guy – it was something out of the X Files.
    But Tim it seems to me that your article in the Daily Telegraph is based on discussions with the Met or somebody close to them. You may know different. But you have produced no evidence that the “Tory MP” was stopped at Customs and let go despite the claim that there was illegal material in his vehicle. Your article struck me as a casual reader as devoid of evidence.
    It looks like you have not spoken to the Customs official. That seems poor, to me, because he appears to have spoken to almost everybody else.
    I’m afraid that chats with a police officer doesn’t wash if that’s what you had. The north Wales case shows how much spin there has been from the police for decades on abuse. If your best sources are police I would be very worried about your work.
    Please don’t be offended when I say that you all in the media have a lot to prove still. I want evidence and I want to see a focus on abusers and justice for victims. Victims will be very let down if you all have been publishing articles without evidence.

    Thank you gojam I have said my piece.

  17. Geoff

    Never met Tim Tate myself and he may be on to something here. But given his long history of not always first-rate work I am unsurprised by the tone of this discussion. Those in the trade with long memories know to be wary of hacks who polished their skills on the Cook Report. The spectrum goes from, at best, sensationalist and simple-minded, to credulous (see Tate’s discredited and rather stupid book “Children for the Devil”) to – as per various Cook Report “stories” exposed over the years – downright dodgy. Caveat emptor.

  18. I’ve never met Geoff either, so I have no idea whether he has ever produced any work at all (first-rate or otherwise).

    A question, Geoff: did you actually read Children For The Devil – or just decide it was stupid without bothering to open it ?

    I leave others to judge whether the list of awards I’ve received (plus 11 published books) justifies Geoff’s description of my work; but for the record, I left the Cook Report in 1990 after just three series. If there were problems in successive series you might tale those up with those who were actually there (a couple of them now work for Panorama).

    That said, films such as Roger’s incredibly brave films about UDA and IRA racketeering (praised in court when some of those he exposed were sent to prison), child pornography (we helped get the law changed to outlaw possession), ‘canned’ lion hunts in South Africa, and his remarkably courageous confrontation with the Serb mass killer Arkan don’t seem to me to be worthy of your rather sweeping dismissal.

    • A lot of people now ‘playing the man and not the ball’

      No one seems to actually be looking at the points that have been made.

  19. Tim Tate do stop knocking Exaro. The worst you can find to accuse them of seems to be “over egging” their stories.
    Why not confine your critical commentary to knocking the perpetrators of abuse and those that connive to cover up the abuse?
    Slagging off Exaro, one of the biggest forces in the recent reawakening of this hushed up scandal, is so not helpful.

    • I could name 3 or 4 stories that are wrong.

      You really shouldn’t comment on things you know nothing about.

      • The point I made above is – let’s all concentrate on coming together to beat the abusers and those who are covering up for them, and stop knocking Exaro who have done and are doing a fantastic job uncovering the whole scandal.
        You may be right, some of their stories may be wrong (your word only though).
        But for sure, lots of their stories are right. And they’re dynamite.

  20. dpack

    im not playing the man or the ball i cant even see the pitch for the smoke so until it clears or the fire is visible i await developments.
    imho the role of righton’s “landlord” needs as much examination as possible and focussing on a few disputed”headline”issues might be arguing about how dead is the fly rather than looking for spiders.

  21. Hogotheforsaken. I have spent a quarter of a century investigating (and getting convicted the perpetrators of child sexual abuse. I have similarly exposed cover ups (Cleveland to name but one).

    Please don’t lecture me on working to protect children from abuse – check my track record and you’ll see just how much I have done (and continue to do).

    The reason shoddy reporting on this issue (above all) matters is that over those 25 years I have seen inaccurate and sensational reporting (aka: over-egging the pudding) cause a vicious backlash which sets back the protection of children by years.

  22. Gojam, above you write back to my request for a link and quotes to Tim’s referenced Exaro story, that “That story is untrue.”
    I am trying to see if Tim is correct in his assertion that “Exaro reported that Operation Fernbridge had formally interviewed an ex cabinet minister about alegations that he has abused a boy at Elm Guest House”
    Please provide link and quotes to the story which Tim is referencing, as all the relevant articles on Exaro contradict Tim’s assertion.
    Without a link and quotes as evidence, I am afraid it looks like it is not Exaro that have got their facts wrong. It is Tim Tate – and you.

  23. Hogotheforsaken: I’ve dealt with this as clearly and as patiently as I can. The assertion by Exaro that Fernbridge (which is the police squad investigating EGH) “spoke to” the ex cabinet minister is simply untrue. You appear to be attempting to draw a distinction between “spoken to” and interviewed: if so, you plainly have no knowledge of police procedure and jurisprudence – they are one and the same thing.

    By all means persist in trying to muddy the waters: those of us who actually care about getting the facts right will somehow manage to plough on without you.

  24. Pingback: Transcript Of Audio Tape | Desiring Progress

  25. GMB

    What had been arranged was for an independent group to listen to the evidence behind closed doors. That group were invited to ask any questions of the presenters. What they may do, either individually or collectively, will be up to them. A meeting should have taken this week but several individuals who were due to attend were unable to make the date. No alternative date has yet been arranged.

  26. Pingback: A new transcription of the audio tape of the interview with the customs officer – and some comments on the recording | Desiring Progress

  27. Pingback: Elm Guest House: Vigil, September 15th, 2014, and Links to Newspaper Reports | Desiring Progress

  28. GMB

    Exaro like digging on others but who digs on them? Wots the link between Exaro and Leon. Dinner parties? On noooooooooo a lot jucier than a steak meal.