Simon Danczuk has accused the Government of deliberately undermining the child abuse inquiry Photo: ZENPIX
Courtesy of Rosa Prince @ The Telegraph:
The Government is deliberately sabotaging the inquiry into historic claims of child abuse to protect “high profile figures,” a Labour MP has claimed.
Simon Danczuk, the backbencher who has led the calls for an inquiry into allegations of abuse dating back decades, said the problems which had dogged the probe set up last summer appeared to have been “quite deliberate mistakes by people in central Government.”
A letter leaked at the weekend showed that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is considering abandoning the current panel, amid a catalogue of problems including the resignations of two chairman.
A victims’ representative said the only people who wished to see the inquiry fail were the abusers themselves.
Asked if he thought Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was responsible for a deliberate cover-up, Mr Danczuk said he was confident she wanted to get to the truth.
But he warned that victims could engage in “direct action” unless they began to see justice.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “If Government are set on doing this then it can be achieved, but you can’t help thinking that they aren’t intent on getting this right.
“There’s a catalogue of mistakes that have been made, some of them fairly basic, and you can’t blame the survivors of child abuse for wondering, because of the allegations of high-profile figures involved in the abuse, you can’t help thinking that some of this is quite deliberate mistakes by people in central government.”
Asked why the Government would want to sabotage the probe, he went on: “Well, because they don’t want to get to the truth. That would be the allegation. And you can’t help people for thinking that, you can’t blame people.
“The Home Secretary in this process is in complete disarray and what you have to think about are the survivors of child abuse, some of the people who have been abused by – the allegation is – some fairly high-profile figures in our society. They must be utterly dismayed by this lack of process and lack of progress.
“We’re not getting any satisfaction from Government because we’re not moving forward and it’s been six months now, one mistake after another … I think that people will turn to more direct action and you can hardly blame them.”
Asked what form the direct action could take, Mr Danczuk made clear he wasn’t calling for violence.
“I’m talking about a more coordinated campaign, survivor groups coming together in a more coordinated way, perhaps more and bigger peaceful protests, more challenging of ministers, more challenging of the police to take action and I think that has to be the route in which we go because there’s very little faith in the Government in delivering this,” he said.
Peter Saunders, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, welcomed Mrs May’s suggestion that the child abuse could be scrapped and replaced with one with stronger powers, saying that victims had lost confidence in the current inquiry.
He said: “The only people who want to see this fail, to not get off the ground and to not do the work that it potentially would be able to do are abusers themselves or those people who have covered up in the past.
“I have yet to encounter any survivors themselves who have any confidence in the process and in the panel as it is currently constituted.
“And really what this is about, it’s about having the confidence of the people who are at the heart of this inquiry, which is the survivors/victims themselves. Without that, it becomes a meaningless exercise.”
However Tim Loughton, a Conservative MP who serves on the Home Affairs Select Committee, warned against scrapping the current inquiry, saying the panel needed to “get on with it.”
He said: “I know there are question marks about how the panel members were appointed, there is a lot of distrust out there – not surprisingly, given the many years and decades survivors had to suffer in silence, not being believed. But that has all changed.”
He criticised Mr Danczuk for suggesting that the Government had deliberately undermined the inquiry.
Saying Mrs May was instrumental in setting up the inquiry in the first place, he went on: “She wants it to succeed, she wants it to get to the bottom of the truth.”