Key Westminster Figures in Child Abuse Papers

Peter Morrison, Leon Brittan, William van Straubenzee, Peter Hayman The Cabinet Office apologised for the ‘flaw’ in the way they responded to a request for information during the Wanless-Whittam Review.  A supplementary report to the review was released on the government website today and can be found here.

The Government reveals that unreleased files relating to child abuse allegations do exist which name key Westminster figures.

19:29, UK,Wednesday 22 July 2015

Clockwise from top left: Morrison, Brittan, Van Straubenzee, Hayman

Key Westminster figures from the 1970s and 1980s have been named in a series of Government child abuse documents.

After months of requests from Sky News the Government has revealed that papers exist that relate to Margaret Thatcher’s former parliamentary secretary Sir Peter Morrison, former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, former diplomat Sir Peter Hayman and former minister Sir William van Straubenzee.

All four have passed away and the contents of the papers have not been revealed.

Sky News 22/07/15

Extract from the letter from Richard Heaton, Cabinet Office, 5th May 2015 to Peter Wanless and Richard Whittam:

As you know, there was a flaw in the way in which the Cabinet Office initially responded to your call for a search of departmental papers. I am writing with an explanation for that error, and an apology.

The additional papers that Roger Smethurst showed you when you visited the Cabinet Office on 16 February and 24 March, and which had not been earlier identified, fall into three categories.

The first is the PREM file about Sir Peter Hayman. This file was held by the Cabinet Office and it should have been identified as relevant to your review. It was overlooked, and that may have been because it appeared in The National Archives catalogue. In any event, on behalf of the Cabinet Office, I am very sorry for the oversight and for our failure to identify this file earlier.

Second, a PREM file about Sir William van Straubenzee was identified in late January 2015. This file did not meet your search criteria and was part of a batch of files that had been selected for destruction in 2013, before your Inquiry began, as part of our routine records management process: To guard against the destruction of historically important records, The National Archives team checks files selected for destruction. As a consequence, on 22 January The National Archives referred the file to the Cabinet Office to be reviewed. On review my team noted that the file contained references to the Kincora Boys’ Home; Roger Smethurst promptly drew this to your attention.

The final group of papers about Peter Morrison, Leon Brittan, Peter Hayman, William van Straubenzee and Colin Wallace’s allegations about Kincora were found in a separate Cabinet Office store of assorted and unstructured papers. This collection, colloquially known as the Cabinet Secretary’s miscellaneous papers, has accumulated over several decades and was closed in 2007. It was largely uncatalogued and unregistered. We have been aware for some time that this is an unsatisfactory position.


Filed under Abuse, News

33 responses to “Key Westminster Figures in Child Abuse Papers

  1. @Tom Rattigan

    ” One of the longest-running legal cases in UK history, centred on systemic sexual abuse at children’s homes in the north-west of England, is poised to end after a judge found in favour of two men who claimed they had been sexually assaulted while in care.

    A judgment handed down in the high court on Friday determined that the men had been abused while in the care of the Nugent Care Society, formerly Catholic Social Services, in Liverpool. It also cast doubt on the testimony by two former staff members at the homes who had denied the men’s claims.

    The allegations centred on sexual abuse between 1968 and 1982 at two children’s homes for juvenile offenders, St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s, both in Liverpool, which have now closed.

    The homes became notorious following high-profile court cases in the mid-1990s that resulted in criminal convictions for a number of paedophiles who had worked at them. One member of staff, Alan Langshaw, was jailed for 10 years while Colin Dick, a care worker, received four years.

    Following the criminal cases, an action for damages was started that originally featured more than 100 claimants. Some of the claimants have settled and some have since died, while others killed themselves.

    But following Friday’s judgment, lawyers appointed by insurers acting on behalf of the former operator of the care homes announced that they will now seek to settle the 24 outstanding claims.

    “The defendants have indicated they are going to settle this group action, which has been going on for 13 years,” said Paul Durkin, a solicitor with Abney Garsden McDonald, who represented the two men.

    Durkin said the defendants had engaged in “attitritional litigation” and had fought tooth and nail to deny the men’s claims. “They threw much money at their defence,” said Durkin, who acknowledged that the case could offer guidance to other sexual abuse victims.

    The two men received £12,000 and £45,000 respectively in damages, plus interest, but Durkin said the action was not about money. “It was about their need for someone to recognise that as children they were wronged,” he said.

    Legal wranglings over whether the men could bring their claims more than 21 years after the abuse complicated proceedings.

    Durkin paid tribute to one of his clients – a man known only as JPM – whose case had been heard three times in the high court and twice in the court of appeal without any of his abusers being convicted.

    “He is a vulnerable man who has had problems with drink and shoplifting because of what he went through,” Durkin said. “As a child, no one believed what he said. But he stuck with this and has shown incredible endurance. These men suffered the most horrendous sexual abuse. It was systemic and widespread. This will provide them with closure.”

    Guardian 2010

  2. beetroot

    I found this. Hansard 1990. Some in the House of Lords were calling for a National Inquiry into child abuse in “Care Homes”

    Lord Peston
    My Lords, the noble Baroness surely agrees that there are great difficulties with the reported figures. They could be the tip of an iceberg, although our hope is that that is not the case. The problem is that we do not know very much about the scale of this appalling form of behaviour. Is the department financing research, first, into trying to get a clear picture of the extent of child abuse; and, secondly, into factors which might eventually throw more light on the causes of this appalling aberrant behaviour?

    Baroness Hooper
    My Lords, we are looking closely at the situation and monitoring it in the normal way. As I have explained, we have an annual system of returns. The returns are coming to the department in the usual way. However, I point out to the noble Lord that in response to what appears to be an increasing problem the number of field social workers has increased. My figures indicate that it has increased from 24,300 in 1984 to 27,870 in 1988. The Government are making available additional training grants —£19.4 million in grants to support a £27.7 million programme in 1990–91. Since 1979–80 local authority spending on personal social services has increased by 38 per cent. in real terms. If training is the area requiring attention, it seems that we are moving forward.

    Baroness Seear
    My Lords, can the noble Baroness follow up the point made by her noble friend Lady Faithfull about the training together of people —the police, lawyers and social workers —who need to handle together these issues? I understand that the noble Baroness, Lady Faithfull, said the other day that social workers are not taking part in these 1813 training programmes. If that is so, is it not deplorable? Will the noble Baroness see to it that it does take place?

    Baroness Hooper
    Yes, indeed, my Lords, that is an important point. I shall draw it to the attention of my honourable friend who is responsible in the department for that area.

    Lord Harris of Greenwich
    My Lords, the noble Baroness indicated that she did not accept the NSPCC figures and preferred those of her own department. Can she give the figures obtained by her department? She did not tell the House what they are.

    Baroness Hooper
    No, my Lords, I cannot help the noble Lord. All the returns have not yet come in and therefore we do not have the final figures. I indicated that the NSPCC figures were based on 12 out of 109 authorities. Our returns are based on 45 out of 109 authorities. I am advised that there can be a great deal of variety in the returns depending on the geographical location from which they come. It is therefore rather difficult to take a meaningful average if the figures are to be averaged out.

    Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos
    My Lords, the apparent growth of what my noble friend referred to as aberrant behaviour and the publicity given to it has become a matter of acute concern to noble Lords throughout the House and, I believe, to the general public outside. I appreciate the personal concern of the noble Baroness and her right honourable friends. But in view of the continuance of this behaviour and the need to bring in not only the NSPCC but the police, schoolteachers and other groups, including local authorities, is there not a case now for a major inquiry into the causes and the general implications of what has become a matter of national concern?

    • What a brilliant idea let’s get more social workers in. Like the ones who turn out to be offenders themselves that’s like throwing petrol on the fire.

  3. beetroot

    Satanism has been suppressed too. Look at the files in detail.
    File 317/103 dated 9/5/1991
    “Satanism – concerns raised by Lord Ferrers that HO (Home Office) was unaware of the level of satanic activity.”

    File 317/12 dated 4/10/1990
    “Satanism. HS (Home Secretary?) decision not to meet with Dalydd Wigley MP re claims by constituent.”

  4. Reblogged this on adeybob's Blog and commented:
    We always knew this stuff was out there. Documents like this must exist.
    One the main concerns, surely, was that there was a potential for blackmail. We know MI5, etc like to hold such paperwork for ’emergencies’, and we know govt mandarins like to ‘keep tabs’ on people that ‘require’ paperwork like this.
    Oddly, we also know a lot of this information has been given to newspapers in the past….but maybe now we’re closer to the truth than ever.
    We can’t dig the people above up out of their graves, but we can investigate the mechanism that allowed them to stay out of prison…how they were shuffled around cabinet, and sent abroad to obscure places, and who authorised sending them.
    The Aussie media kicked this off PROPERLY, and I am certain they will get to the truth far quicker than the UK MSM will.
    This just shows how bent our whole system of information exchange has become, and how easy it has become for the establishment to make the news agencies and distributors print a false history and truth.
    More trails to follow. Trails that were allowed to go cold, perhaps, but still indelible, nevertheless.

  5. dpack

    the black hamsters at gchq have been on overtime last night deleting and amending online data about stawberrytree.

  6. Tom Rattigan

    And read the last line of the letter from Richard Heaton. ” We have been aware for some time that this has been an unsatisfactory position.” leading to the fact that for some time now people in government were in fact aware of these documents and have been covering up for “Some Time”

  7. Tom Rattigan

    As a survivor of historical sexual abuse by these sort of people it is hardly surprising this information is dripping out as it will keep on doing as each child abuser in government pops off. But it shouldn’t end there. There should be an investigation into which people in the cabinet helped to keep the lid on this and they should be prosecuted.

    • @tom you could start with Thatcher and her cabinet in 1982 and 1983 after all they ordered the cover up

      • Tom Rattigan

        Totally agree with you there Bob. My next book. “In The Name Of The Father & Of The Nun” will be telling about St Vincent’s Approved School in Formby Liverpool run by the perverted Catholic Church and the Nugent Care Society.

    • @Tom Rattigan St vincent de paul and catholic soceity was behind St Edmunds where MJ CARROLL was brought up and offended and returned and offended again
      Are they a religion or a business? it seems they are both. DePaul international
      For example.
      They pretty much ran a lot of care homes at one point

  8. beetroot

    Just looking at the titles. 15 November 1983 … “Vanessa the Undresser”!
    What’s this about … Vanessa Feltz? “They called me Vanessa the Undresser at school.”

    • wiggins

      Perish the thought….

      • beetroot

        Why does the Government have a letter called “Vanessa the Undresser” which was previously withheld, in connection to the Child Abuse Inquiry. This isn’t a joke.

      • “Also in the film, Vera Prentice-Simpson is a wealthy widow and a former stripper (billed as “Vanessa the Undresser”) and thus gets to sing the classic song “Zip”. (As that number required an authentic burlesque drummer to mime the bumps and grinds, the extra playing the drums is disconcertingly switched with a professional musician in a jump cut”

        From the movie PAL JOEY with Frank Sinatra

        Ie vanessa the undresser is a stripper

      • beetroot

        It’s bizarre, and yesterday Sky News commentated. “We now know that various high-profile Westminster figures were the subject of official paperwork, but within the documents is a letter entitled “Vanessa The Undresser” from November 1983.Like many of the other documents we don’t know the contents of the letter or indeed who Vanessa is or was. Perhaps she is no longer with us.A quick, and probably ill-advised, internet search reveals there are quite a few ladies who currently use the pseudonym – but the Vanessa of the early 1980s remains a mystery.”

        Looking at the date of the letter November 1983 …. Leon Brittan was Home Secretary at that time

      • The name vanessa the undresser was appropriated from that Sinatra movie

        His thing was to catch boys dressed in women clothing perhaps he undressed them prior to abusing them

        Also the French costume maid thing with him.

      • Terry B

        @Bobchewie “A six page memo dated September 7, 1998, for Mr Boateng entitled “PAEDOPHILE INVESTIGATION – LAMBETH” stated that government inspectors would maintain “close contact” with detectives.”

        Is this a joke?

        “Mr Boateng said: “I was not aware that any serving Minister had at anytime come under suspicion in relation to child sex abuse at children’s homes in Lambeth.””

        If he was aware I’m sure he would be very, very nervous.

      • @terry b I’ve waded through barret report and countless other documents
        And articles where it was suggested and criticised,for police being too close to council
        At one point a lambeth report didn’t even mention the police at all

        Also odd since operation trawler had already found MJC so what was the point of Middleton
        There were other offenders found but only a few which is odd considering the amount of victims

    • beetroot

      It’s more likely to be a British National. Vanessa Feltz’s father was “Norman the Knicker King” as reported by the Independent. But then again “Vanessa” may be a code name for a man.

      “1962: Born the daughter of a North London Jewish lingerie maker known as “Norman the Knicker King”. Educated at Haberdasher’s Aske School and Cambridge University.”

  9. joekano76

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  10. BarrieJ

    All dead, there’s convenient.

  11. Oh well maybe it’s time to open up all the other National Archives documents like the ones that have 87 and 100 year closure orders slapped on them

  12. Bishop Brightly

    Is anyone surprised these have suddenly been found after the election?

  13. Well then this proves that Thatcher knew all aboit EGH and also the Kincorra enquiry was a sham after all despite their ” silience these vile rumours ” statement
    in cabinet papers

  14. Philip Talbot

    Surprised that a news organisation feels the need to use a euphemism for death – they haven’t “passed away” – they have died for goodness sake. It’s a natural process that come stop us all and it does not help to dress it as some thing other.

    • Tom Rattigan

      We’re talking about the abuse of children and you are worried about the term passed away? Philip. Kicked the bucket. Dropped dead. Wearing a wooden overcoat. Dead is dead so what. This doesn’t detract from the point these were perverted child sex abusers.