Q ~ What do you do when an Anglican Bishop is found to be sexually abusing young boys ?
A ~ Cover it up and move the problem as far away as possible.
Luckily the Establishment have plenty of ways of achieving this. So when in 1974 the Bishop of Stepney, Trevor Huddleton, then a shortlisted candidate to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, was accused of sexually abusing young boys at his house, 400 Commercial Road, London E1, it posed few problems.
Interviewed by police at the time over the sexual abuse of four boys, Huddleston told officers: “I sat them on my lap, touched their bottoms and pinched them but there is nothing indecent.”
Nothing indecent ?
Yet the description on the file relating to this case at The National Archives alludes to accusations of “gross indecency with young boys”.
But there is no need to worry as far as the Establishment are concerned because as we have explained before HERE following Leo Abse MP’s amendment to the Sexual Offences Act 1967 and the 1968 Appeal Court judgement, Regina V Robert Charles Angell, every allegation of homosexual paedophilia had to get the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) before proceeding.
The DPP and paedophile gatekeeper at the time was Sir Norman Skelhorn, who a few years before had helpfully ensured that allegations of ‘gross indecency’ related to Cambridge House against Cyril Smith had been dropped was again on hand to rescue the Bishop of Stepney, declaring that doing so was “for the public good”.
Public good, or Establishment good ? It certainly doesn’t seem to have been a decision taken in the interests of local children and parents.
However, that still left the thorny problem with what to do with a paedophile Bishop but fortunately, the Anglican Church is worldwide. You can almost imagine the church’s hierarchy wracking their collective brains until suddenly an opportunity presented itself and he was packed off to become the Bishop of Mauritius in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
It is unknown if any allegations have been made regarding the then Bishop of Mauritius before his retirement in 1983 but what I think is clear is that it was entirely irresponsible of the Church of England to send Trevor Huddleton there knowing that there were serious allegations of sexual impropriety hanging over him.
As a footnote I thought I’d add that Peter Mandelson described Bishop Trevor Huddleston as “one of the most inspiring people of my life.” The Bishop of Stepney seems to have been something of a father figure in the young Peter’s life. He helped organise Mandelson’s gap year stay in Tanzania and even paid for his board and lodging.