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Friday, 6 June 2014
Please contact your MP to ask for their support for a national inquiry into child abuse
By Ian Pace
Following the announcement of the letter by a group of seven cross-party MPs to Home Secretary Teresa May, calling for a national inquiry into child abuse and questions to be answered concerning existing investigations and loss of crucial materials and evidence, I would like to ask all who agree to write to their own MPs to ask them to lend their support to this call. The more MPs who support this, the greater the likelihood of it occurring, and also the greater the media attention it is likely to get. You can write to your MP using the following site – https://www.writetothem.com/ – just by entering your postcode, or if you want to simply find their name and e-mail address, go to this site –http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ .
Below I include a template for a letter, based on part of that which I have sent to my own MP Jeremy Corbyn (Labour, Islington North) (my own letter also included some specific material about work as a campaigner, and about Islington). You may want to send something else entirely, this is just one suggestion for the type of letter. It is especially important to ask your MP that if they do not support this call for an inquiry, to give their reasons. You can also tweet your MP to ask them if on Twitter – to find their Twitter ID, just Google their name followed by ‘Twitter’, and tweet something like ‘@jeremycorbyn Will you support these seven MPs’ call for a national inquiry into organised child abuse?http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5274/mps-call-on-theresa-may-to-set-up-inquiry-into-child-sex-abuse ‘ . Once again, please do let me know any answers (my own Twitter ID is @ian_pace ).
I would be immensely grateful if you could contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you get a reply, to indicate its content, or if you have received no reply within one month of sending your query. I will keep a list on this blog of all sympathetic MPs, and with permission will reproduce replies. Exaro News , who have been the leading organisation pursuing these stories, are also interested in all responses from MPs to this, and I will naturally be drawing their attention to the list as it progresses.
I am writing to you as a constituent to express my grave concerns about the issue of widespread organised abuse of children, in the hope that you will be prepared to support calls for a national inquiry on this subject. Almost every week brings new revelations of horrifying abuse – in children’s homes all over the country, in hundreds of private and state schools, in the Catholic Church, in the Church of England, in the entertainment industry, in the classical music world, and even involving some senior politicians. There has been much evidence to suggest that abuse in different places is linked through networks of abusers, and the complexities of the allegations can only be addressed on a national basis.
Recently a group of seven MPs – Conservatives Zac Goldsmith and Tim Loughton, Liberal Democrats John Hemming and Tessa Munt, Labour Tom Watson and Simon Danczuk, and Green Party Caroline Lucas – have collectively written to Home Secretary Theresa May to express their concern about how investigation of many of these allegations has been slow and seemingly obstructed, with files, videos and other materials going missing, and reluctance on the part of police and other agencies to investigate allegations seriously. Some of these MPs have gone so far as to suggest the sinister possibility that there may have been cover-ups to protect some high-profile individuals. This is detailed in the following article – http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5274/mps-call-on-theresa-may-to-set-up-inquiry-into-child-sex-abuse .
These MPs suggest an inquiry on the model of that conducted into the 1989 disaster at Hillsborough. I am asking you to let me know if you are prepared to support them in this call, and if you would thus be prepared to make public such support? I would respect your decision if you think otherwise, but would be very grateful if you could let me know your reasons.
Supporters of an Inquiry
Conservatives: Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park) Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham) Neil Carmichael (Stroud) Henry Smith (Crawley) Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley)
Liberal Democrats John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley) Tessa Munt (Wells) Annette Brook (Mid Dorset and North Poole) John Leech (Manchester Withington) Adrian Sanders (Torbay)
Labour Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) Simon Danczuk (Rochdale) Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) Steve Rotherham (Liverpool Walton) Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) Stephen Twigg (Liverpool West Derby)
Green Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion)
Alliance (Northern Ireland) Naomi Long (Belfast East)
Other supporters, not sitting MPs Peter Tatchell (former Green Party parliamentary candidate, Oxford East) Mike Parker (Plaid Cymru candidate for Ceredigion at 2015 election)
Comments from Supporters
Zac Goldsmith: ‘We now know of many cases of child abuse that went uninvestigated for far too long, not least relating to Jimmy Savile. But we also know that countless questions remain unanswered, and they must be – in full. The government should establish – and properly resource – an independent inquiry so that a line can be drawn, once and for all.’
Tim Loughton: ‘Virtually every week, the public is bombarded with new stories about sexual abuse of children coming to light, yet they stretch as far back as the 1960s. Few areas have been left untouched with increasingly alarming stories involving schools, churches, care homes, entertainment, sport and of course politicians and celebrities. Most alarming is a consistent theme of the reluctance or, more worringly, seeming complicity of police and other agencies to investigate the allegations seriously, and pursue the perpetrators rigorously. Documents go missing and investigations are curtailed with a chilling frequency, and that now threatens a serious undermining of the public’s confidence in our current child-protection system despite all the progress that has undoubtedly been made in recent years’.
Neil Carmichael: ‘child care is a top concern of @CommonsEd & I am happy to promote a wider inquiry into child abuse’.
Henry Smith: ‘I support independent inquiries into child abuse particularly in light of the horrendous discoveries recently’.
John Hemming: ‘The whole area is still not in any way properly accountable or subject to independent checks. The sagas with Kincora and Cyril Smith do seem to have a pattern of similarities that needs a proper independent investigation. Our system, however, is very tolerant of misconduct in public office’.
John Leech: ‘Support national inquiry into child abuse. Too many mistakes too often’.
Adrian Sanders: ‘Very happy to support’.
Tom Watson: ‘There is a growing consensus among MPs of all political parties that the party leaders should agree to resource adequately searching investigations into historical allegations of child sexual abuse. The failure to act needs to be urgently addressed, and there is a belief that much more needs to be done to uncover what has happened in previous investigations’.
Simon Danczuk: ‘I am pleased that we have politicians from across the political divide who are coming together to try to get to the bottom of what is a murky and nasty abuse of power. As we have seen from the story that we told about Cyril Smith, there was a network at the highest level that was out to protect him at every turn. We now need the home secretary to step up to the mark and instigate an investigation that leaves no stone unturned. I look forward to seeing what her response is’.
Yasmin Qureshi: ‘I have been arguing for long time about how much sexual abuse there is within home and institutions’; ‘In my previous life I saw so much abuse of the young, sexual and physical. Made me cry’.
Steve Rotherham: ‘Worked behind the scenes with Tom Watson on the issue, so happy to support an independent inquiry’.
Barry Sheerman: ‘Yes as long as it doesn’t involve police trawling or destruction of people’s lives bailed but not charged!’
Stephen Twigg: ‘please keep in touch about the campaign & thank you for contacting me’.
Naomi Long: ‘I do support such an inquiry. The Kincora Boys’ Home was in my own constituency’.
No Reply to Query
Conservatives: John Redwood (Wokingham)
Ian Pace http://ianpace.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/please-contact-your-mp-to-ask-for-their-support-for-a-national-inquiry-into-child-abuse/