Category Archives: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – IICSA [formerly The Goddard Inquiry]

May 9 2019 – “IICSA publishes report on Chichester and Peter Ball” [and Terence Banks and Bishop George Bell] – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

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Chichester Cathedral [from George Bell House, 4 Canon Lane]

IICSA publishes report on Chichester and Peter Ball

IICSA publishes report on Chichester and Peter Ball

IICSA has published its report on the Chichester diocese and Peter Ball investigations.

Full Text of Report: Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball Investigation Report

Executive Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

Press release: Inquiry publishes report into the Diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball

The Church of England has published this: Publication of IICSA report into Anglican Church 

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, IICSA, has today published its report into the Anglican Church  based on its case studies last year of the Diocese of Chichester and the response to allegations against the former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball.

The 252-page report makes 5 recommendations about a range of issues. These will now be studied in detail and a full response released at a later date. The Inquiry’s third and final hearing in the  Anglican church case study  will start on Monday 1 July 2019 and run for two weeks. This will focus on both the Church of England and the Church in Wales in the context of their responses to allegations of child sexual abuse. The Inquiry notes that further recommendations directly relating to the findings in this report will be made following the hearing in July.

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock, the Church’s lead bishop for safeguarding, said:

“We thank the Inquiry for the report and note the findings and recommendations which we will now study in full. The report states that the Church of England should have been a place which protected all children and supported victims and survivors and the Inquiry’s summary recognises that it failed to do this.  It is absolutely right that the Church at all levels should learn lessons from the issues raised in this report.

“Whilst the report acknowledges the progress the Church has made in safeguarding, we recognise that our work must continue at pace in order that we can ensure that the Church is as safe as possible for all. We are committed to working to bring in specific changes that will help us better protect children and vulnerable adults from sexual and all other forms of abuse. If anyone is affected by today’s report I would urge them to come forward. Details of how to do this can be found on the Church of England website.

“We are  immensely  grateful to survivors for their courage in coming forward to IICSA to share their experiences of how they were treated by the Church, knowing how difficult this would have been; their testimonies have made shocking and uncomfortable listening. Since the Archbishop of Canterbury asked for the Church of England to be investigated by IICSA as a matter of priority, we have sought to help the Inquiry  in every way that  we can  and  we will now fully consider the report.”

COMMENT BY RICHARD W. SYMONDS

Initial reflections regarding the IICSA Report – as they relate to the Chichester Diocese and the Bishop Bell case:

Para. 434. “In 1995, some 37 years after Bishop Bell’s death, a letter was sent to his [Bell’s] successor as Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp. The author of the letter is known by the pseudonym ‘Carol’. Carol alleged that when she was aged between five and eight years, she was sexually abused by Bishop Bell. The abuse occurred every few months during visits to the Bishop’s Palace in Chichester. It included digital penetration, forced masturbation and attempted rape. The [IICSA] Inquiry cannot determine the truth or otherwise of these allegations”

Nobody can determine the truth or otherwise of these allegations by ‘Carol’, but if the ‘exclusive’ in the Brighton Argus [giving a detailed analysis of Carol’s abuse] – and the detailed analysis of her allegations by the George Bell Group – are accurate, her account simply doesn’t add up.

Para. 454. “It seems to be acknowledged by all that the process was significantly flawed, particularly in its failure to establish at the outset who should be responsible for managing the civil claim. In its response to the Carlile review, the [Chichester] Diocese suggested this should be a separate ‘litigation group’ which should consider whether the claim was proven on the balance of probabilities. We [the IICSA Inquiry] agree that this would be a sensible course of action”

A “litigation group” is a very good suggestion by the Chichester Diocese, and it would be a very sensible course of action.

But has the suggestion been followed by action? No.

Para. 460. “In a document produced to the Synod by the National Safeguarding Steering Group in June 2018, the Church itself recognised that there may need to be independent investigation of complaints against senior clergy. This would include posthumous allegations [eg Bishop Bell – Ed]. The Church is to undertake a scoping exercise, during which it will consider the appointment of an independent ombudsman to deal with complaints about safeguarding management. Both of these issues require serious consideration. They may present a practical solution to the concerns raised in the Carlile review” (eg regarding Bishop Bell – Ed].

A “scoping exercise” (?) by the Church and an “independent ombudsman” are very good practical solutions to the serious problems.

But isn’t this too little, too late? These solutions to such problems should have taken place at least four years ago.

Jan 13 2019 – From The Archives [The Bishop Bell – IICSA Transcripts – March 2018]

March 5 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Monday March 5]

cw1_5427 - edited (2)

Chair Alexis Jay (leaning forward) – Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – IICSA

March 16 2018 – IICSA Highlights – March 5 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Monday March 5

Page 129 -Paras. 2-19 – Richard Scorer [Counsel for the complainants, victims and survivors represented by Slater & Gordon]: “…this is not simply an issue of attitude but of competence too. This is a point which has been made powerfully by Martin Sewell, who is both a lay member of the General Synod and a retired child protection lawyer. He points out that diocesan staff are typically trained in theology and Canon law, not in safeguarding or child protection law. As a result, he says, many of those making a decision about safeguarding in the Church of England have no credible claim to expertise in this increasingly complex situation. Interestingly, Mr Sewell makes that point both in relation to the treatment of complainants of abuse, but also in regard to the mishandling, in his view, of the George Bell case. He sees the failings on both of those aspects as two sides of the same coin, a fundamental problem, in his view, being a lack of competence and specialist knowledge, particularly legal knowledge and experience gained in a practical safeguarding context”

March 9 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Thursday March 8

Page 154 – Paras 1-25 – Roger Meekings: There are one or two things I would like to say, chair. I think there have been a number of crises and difficulties that the Church of England have experienced, and I think it probably is time for some fairly radical action to be taken by the church, and I know they are thinking carefully about that, but I think my problem is the amount of time it does seem to be taking. I would like to ask a question, really, about whether they should be stripped of their exemption under the Equality Act to help stamp out a culture of abuse and homophobia and sexism, because under the 2010 Act, the church, as a religious institution, has special permission to insist that those it appoints are Christians, but it can also discriminate over sex, sexuality, marital history and gender identity if they conflict with strongly held religious convictions.
Secondly, I would probably support the development now of an independent safeguarding body. Operationally, I’m surprised that the church has not already set up a national database to record cases of concern and to upload case notes and allow a proper audit trail. I think I said in my witness statement I think that the Clergy Discipline Measure does require a complete overhaul to be able to hold people to account.

March 15 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Wednesday March 14

“The area which he [Lord Carlile] has rightly…identified is that there was nobody there [in the Core Group] to speak for Bishop Bell, and that, again…is something that I think was wrong…” ~ The Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner – Day 8 IICSA Inquiry – Chichester 14 March 2018 – Page 21 Paras 14-18

Fiona Scolding QC and Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner

Q. Can I turn now to the allegations made against
3 George Bell. An independent review was published
4 in December by Lord Carlile of Berriew. Paul, would you
5 mind getting that up? It is not in your bundle, chair
6 and panel, so we will get it up on screen. ANG000152,
7 Paul. Then we need page 64, which should be section K.
8 This is some conclusions that I am going to ask you
9 to comment upon that Lord Carlile made in respect of
10 the core group.
11 Maybe if I explain, what happened in respect of
12 the George Bell case is that something called a core
13 group was set up, which was a group of individuals. Did
14 that include you? I can’t actually remember?
15 A. I was present at some meetings, but not at others.
16 Q. So there were a number of people — so Colin Perkins was
17 involved, and we will hear some quite detailed evidence
18 from him about his view about the Carlile Report. So
19 I am not going to take you through it in any detail.
20 I just want to deal with this bit, as you were a member
21 of the core group at some point in time.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. They met regularly in order to, firstly, investigate,
24 and, secondly, to reach conclusions.
25 There is criticism of the core group. It is
Page 20
1 described by Lord Carlile as “unmethodical and
2 unplanned” and “it was a confused and unstructured
3 process at which members had no coherent notion of their
4 roles and what was expected of them”. Would you like to
5 comment upon that? Is that your understanding?
6 A. These are stringent and harsh observations which largely
7 we accept. We were in a situation here of breaking new
8 ground. The formation of a core group was something
9 which we were unfamiliar with, which has subsequently
10 been regulated for us, and we were also, of course, very
11 aware of working in the context of a serious criminal
12 allegation against a person of a massive international
13 and national reputation.
14 So I think the failures of consistency, of sense of
15 purpose and how we were to function, those
16 allegations — those criticisms are valid against us.
17 I don’t think, however, that that means we were
18 cavalier or unaware of the seriousness of
19 the responsibilities that we were trying to carry out.
20 Q. Paul, could we turn to the next page, because that’s in
21 fact where my quotation comes from. Yes. So we have
22 254(i). The other matter I want to put to you is, it
23 further comments down at (v):
24 “There was no organised or valuable enquiry or
25 investigation into the merits of the allegations, and
Day 8 IICSA Inquiry – Chichester 14 March 2018
6 (Pages 21 to 24)
Page 21
1 the standpoint of Bishop Bell was never given parity or
2 proportionality.”
3 What is your response to that?
4 A. The question of an organised or valuable inquiry is
5 something of a value judgment, I think, and we certainly
6 didn’t feel that there was no serious inquiry into that
7 which was undertaken through our insurers and their
8 legal representative in whom we had considerable trust
9 and regard and who Lord Carlile also recognises as
10 a responsible and able person.
11 I see him to say that the standpoint of Bishop Bell
12 was never given parity or proportionality. It was
13 certainly given proportionality. We understood
14 absolutely that was the case. I think the area which
15 he’s rightly also identified is that there was nobody
16 there to speak for Bishop Bell, and that, again, with
17 the benefit of hindsight, is something that I think was
18 wrong and we have welcomed —
19 Q. That’s (ix), chair and panel, just so that you know.
20 A. We would recognise it would represent best practice now
21 in the ways in which we have outlined our procedures.
22 Q. Can I ask, why was the decision taken to issue a public
23 statement about the George Bell case, because that’s
24 something that Lord Carlile does also critique?
25 A. Yes.
Page 22
1 Q. Perhaps you would like to explain?
2 A. We were very aware of working in the light of
3 the recommendations in the interim report of
4 the archbishop’s commissaries, which had been very clear
5 that no settlement with a survivor should include
6 a gagging clause. Of course you could say there’s
7 a difference between a gagging clause and making
8 a public statement, but it was very strongly felt that
9 to settle and to write a letter of apology and to make
10 no public statement, with no indication as to whether or
11 not those actions would become public, would look very
12 quickly like cover-up. Therefore, we felt that there was
13 an obligation on us to be open about what it was that we
14 were proposing to do.
15 Q. If I can just identify that Lord Carlile at
16 paragraphs 267 and 268 of his report — ANG000152, Paul,
17 at page 68, says:
18 “I am sure that the archbishop does not think it
19 appropriate to support the publication of what may be an
20 unjustified and probably irreparable criticism of
21 anyone, whether a celebrated bishop or not.”
22 And at 268:
23 “I regard this as a case, perhaps a relatively rare
24 one, in which steps should and could have been taken to
25 retain full confidentiality, with a clear underlying
Page 23
1 basis for explaining why it was done. For Bishop Bell’s
2 reputation to be catastrophically affected in the way
3 that occurred was just wrong.”
4 Do you have any comment you wish to make about that?
5 A. The first comment I would want to make is that, I think
6 we have learnt a painful lesson about the difficulty of
7 communicating through the media a very fine legal
8 nuance, and it’s recognised by Lord Carlile that we
9 never asserted the guilt of Bishop Bell, but to
10 communicate that in terms that the general public are
11 going to understand through the media is a very
12 difficult thing to do. Therefore, I think he does raise
13 an important question here about dealing with posthumous
14 cases, but also about being fair, I think, and
15 recognising the legitimacy and substance to an
16 allegation which we certainly felt was necessary with
17 Carol, the name that’s used for the person who brought
18 the case.
19 Q. Can we turn now, if we may, to another topic…

March 15 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Thursday March 15

Q. [to Colin Perkins) Can I ask you now — I think begin to ask you — about
25 the situation in respect of Bishop George Bell. You
Page 184
1 have provided a — you provided some details about it
2 within your first witness statement. But you also have
3 a supplementary statement in which you comment upon your
4 views about the report of Lord Carlile of Berriew.
5 I want to mainly take you, because I will say again, as
6 I have said several times, we are not interested in the
7 truth or otherwise of the allegations concerning
8 George Bell. I also understand from information which
9 has been — which is in the public domain that there is
10 another allegation. I will not be asking you about
11 that.
12 So if I can just identify, what happened in respect
13 of the George Bell case is that there was a core group,
14 you were part of that core group, consistently, which
15 was set up. What was your understanding of the purpose
16 of the core group?

17 A. If I may, I should say that the core group first met
18 13 months after the first email from Carol came in. She
19 emailed initially to Lambeth Palace April 2013. That
20 was forwarded to me.

21 Q. I think you set out — I don’t think we need to turn it
22 up, but paragraphs 392 to 398, chair and panel, of
23 the statement deal with what steps were taken.

24 A. Exactly. So the steps were essentially to offer support
25 and Gemma Wordsworth was the person who was doing all of
Day 9 IICSA Inquiry – Chichester 15 March 2018
Page 185
1 that throughout the rest of 2013, and actually
2 throughout.
3 A civil claim was entered in I believe it was early
4 2014 and the core group was essentially — I think it
5 met in early — in May 2014, essentially to respond to
6 the matters arising from that. I don’t think we
7 initially called it a core group, because practice
8 guidance was still emerging at the time. So it was
9 effectively a meeting between key diocesan and national
10 personnel. It became called the core group because that
11 was the term in the emerging guidance. But I don’t
12 think it was initially called one.

13 Q. At paragraph 6 of your supplementary witness statement,
14 which is, just for the record, ACE0262843_003, chair and
15 panel, of that document, you refer to three documents:
16 a briefing note; a George Bell review timeline of key
17 decisions; and a safeguarding timeline overview.
18 Now, if we could get the first one of those up,
19 ACE026290. So this is the briefing note that took place
20 prior to the first core group meeting, which, as you
21 have said, wasn’t actually called that, in May 2014, and
22 this was just to inform everybody about the nature of
23 the case?

24 A. Yeah, myself and Gemma wrote this to make sure that
25 everyone in the meeting had an appraisal of where
Page 186
1 things — where we were at.

2 Q. Just to — I mean, I think everyone is familiar probably
3 in this room with the allegations in respect of
4 George Bell, but there was an allegation made by Carol
5 of inappropriate touching in the late 1950s. It would
6 appear that the complainant wrote to Eric Kemp in 1995.
7 That letter was on a file. That was then not
8 discovered. Then she then wrote again in 2013 to
9 Lambeth Palace and it was then discovered that the
10 letter had taken place in 1995 and that matters then
11 progressed from there. But it does appear that the file
12 had not been subject to the 2008/2009 past cases review.

13 A. That’s so.

14 Q. I understand there is some reference in one of
15 the documents — and I’m afraid I couldn’t find it —
16 that somebody called it — it was found in the “naughty
17 boys’ cabinet” or something like that. What is that?

18 A. Gosh, that’s an unfortunate phrase, isn’t it?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. In the corridor in Bishop’s Palace, there is a cabinet
21 to the right which is effectively closed disciplinary
22 cases, so that’s — someone has called it the “naughty
23 boys’ cabinet”. So that’s what’s in there.

24 Q. I understand the reference, if we want to see it, is
25 ANG000030_017 to 018. Thank you, Mr Greenwood.
Page 187

1 A. Opposite that is a cabinet of largely administrative
2 files that are nothing to do with personnel; maybe to do
3 with a particular trust or a particular building. Upon
4 receiving Carol’s letter, Gemma and I went to the palace
5 to see if we could find, well, anything on George Bell,
6 and so we happened to look in that cabinet, not really
7 expecting —

8 Q. Is that the “naughty boys’ cabinet” or the trust deed
9 cabinet, so to speak?

10 A. No, I would have already seen it if it was in the
11 disciplinary cabinet, because I’d gone through that when
12 I first arrived —

13 Q. Right.

14 A. — for obvious reasons. The administrative cabinet, we
15 found just a loose manila folder of — that contained
16 almost all correspondence about George Bell. It was
17 things to do with the 50th anniversary of his death. It
18 was largely people writing in, “I was visiting the
19 cathedral. I was thinking about George Bell and his
20 work in World War II”, et cetera, et cetera. It was
21 that kind of material. We really therefore had no
22 expectation of finding anything, and then we did find
23 this letter from 1995 and the associated material.

24 Q. So this briefing note was given to everyone. Could we
25 just look briefly through the briefing note. Can you
Page 188
1 just talk us through it. I don’t think you need to talk
2 us through — could we go to — is it just one page or
3 does it go over to the next page? It goes over to the
4 next page. Right. It sets out basically the
5 chronology, what’s happened when and the fact that there
6 have been some difficulties. Is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. There is then a timeline of key decisions. So this was
9 prepared in advance of a review meeting held
10 in June 2016. This is ACE026297, tab 50.
11 I’m assuming that this is prepared for
12 Lord Carlile’s benefit?

13 A. Not — sorry, not at that point, no. This was the
14 meeting at Lambeth Palace, as far as I remember, this
15 was the meeting at which it was decided to commission
16 a review which then was the review that Lord Carlile was
17 asked to do. So this was that meeting. He hadn’t been
18 asked.

19 Q. Do you mind, Paul, if we just switch forward slightly on
20 this. There is more than one page. In other words,
21 it’s a chronology which says what happened when. So
22 you’ve got “Email” and then “Detail and comment” and
23 then where it comes from; is that right?

24 A. Exactly.

25 Q. Thank you very much. The third document is
Page 189
1 “Safeguarding timeline overview”, which is, again,
2 another summary also produced for the June 2016 meeting.
3 That’s ACE026288, please, Paul. Again, what’s this?

4 A. I think it — I believe it was a summary of the previous
5 documents.

6 Q. So this is kind of, “We know that some people are not
7 going to read the entire document, so I’m going to give
8 you the headlines”?

9 A. Essentially.

10 Q. An executive summary, I believe is the word that’s
11 usually used?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. That’s fine. Can you describe the approach that you
14 considered what then became known as the core group were
15 taking when they were looking at the situation in
16 respect of Carol? I mean, you detail this in your
17 submission to Lord Carlile in July 2017, but it would be
18 useful to have that precised, really?

19 A. Yes, I’m trying to think how to precis it. The approach
20 of the core group was — it was effectively to — or the
21 approach of the meeting that became the core group was
22 effectively to decide how to respond to the perhaps
23 fairly unique situation we were presented with. As
24 I said, by that point, support to Carol had been offered
25 for over a year. She’d spoken to the police. There’d
Page 190
1 been some counselling provided, and so on and so forth.
2 But I suppose it was the situation that really arose
3 from the receipt of the civil claim, and it was — we
4 were very mindful of —

5 Q. Can I just check. In fact, the civil claim — one of
6 the difficulties with the Carol situation is the fact
7 that the church is not insured in claims against
8 bishops — well, I think it probably is now but it
9 wouldn’t have been at the relevant time that the
10 insurance arose?

11 A. Yes, and that was, I think, one of the prompts for that
12 meeting. I think that for me that is an essential part
13 of understanding what happened here, that we were in
14 a very unusual situation of a civil claim coming in that
15 was uninsured, and, therefore, it wasn’t clear to whom
16 that effectively — to whom the liability belonged.
17 I should say, as I think I allude to in my
18 supplementary statement, there was a backdrop here, and
19 the backdrop was that we would also — well, the church,
20 that any civil claim with regards to Peter Ball would
21 have been in that same position.
22 I wasn’t involved in any of the discussions around
23 this, but I was aware that discussions were taking
24 place, that there could have been a very —
25 a potentially large number of civil claims coming in
Page 191
1 from around Peter Ball that would have also been
2 uninsured. So I think — as I said, I wasn’t involved
3 in any of those conversations, but there was an
4 awareness that any decision made around the George Bell
5 claim, there was a wider context.

6 Q. The approach that you have taken may — some people may
7 perceive it as a “believe anyone” approach. What were
8 you trying to do, or what do you think the core group
9 was trying to do? Because obviously Lord Carlile
10 thought that you were approaching it in the same way as
11 you would approach any other civil claim, so you were
12 trying to make a decision, you know, “Should this
13 individual be believed on the balance of probabilities
14 or shouldn’t they?” Was that the aim and objective of
15 the core group?

16 A. If I could just take those points in order?

17 Q. Of course.

18 A. In terms of the “believe anyone” approach, that’s
19 actually never been the approach that — I can only
20 speak for my team, but that — said in those terms, it
21 sounds quite pejorative. It sounds quite —

22 Q. That’s —

23 A. No, no —

24 Q. I’m saying it to challenge you.

25 A. I understand.
Page 192

1 Q. Because that’s what critics of it would say?

2 A. Exactly. So I understand the caricaturing of that kind
3 of approach is a sort of naive, believing anyone no
4 matter how fantastical the allegation, that has never
5 been the approach of my team. But the approach of my
6 team has very much been a willingness to take very
7 seriously anyone making an allegation and to offer the
8 support that would be offered essentially if the
9 allegation is true. So it’s not assessing the
10 allegation before support is offered, but it’s
11 essentially offering the support on the assumption that
12 it could be true. I’m probably articulating that quite
13 badly, but that’s the approach of my team.
14 In terms of, by the time the core group met, we were
15 aware that the civil claim would have to be assessed, so
16 almost by definition, the core group didn’t meet with
17 that kind of “believe anyone” approach because it was
18 meeting to start thinking about how were we going to
19 assess that claim.

20 Q. But was it meant to be an investigative process, kind of
21 a way of saying — or was it — I mean, please explain?

22 A. Yes. The first meeting, May 2014, was essentially, how
23 are we going to proceed? The second meeting, I believe
24 it was in July 2014, was — the advice received from the
25 lawyer who — the lawyer who was acting in the civil
Page 193
1 claim, although by that point it wasn’t entirely clear
2 who was instructing her because of this concern about
3 with whom did liability rest, but the lawyer acting in
4 that situation effectively — we were quite soon getting
5 into conversations about, should there be some kind of
6 publicity, should there be some kind of, you know,
7 acknowledgement that this claim or this allegation has
8 been made against this huge historical figure, and her
9 advice was very clear: you don’t have much ability to
10 test the claim, because it’s so old, but you do have —
11 sorry, to test the allegation, but you do have a civil
12 claim, so if you were to go public in any way before you
13 have tested that claim, before that claim is settled or
14 resolved, then you will be open to, you know, exactly
15 the kind of allegation of, “Well, you just — you know,
16 you jumped the gun”. So her advice was, allow this
17 claim to run, effectively; let’s do all of the things we
18 normally do in civil claims, instruct psychiatrists and
19 verify what can be verified and so on and so forth.
20 Once that is done, if the claim is settled, then
21 consider what to do about publicity.
22 So that’s what happened. Really, looking back, we’d
23 all acknowledge that I think this was where the problem
24 arose, that at that point, very unusually indeed, the
25 core group became quite intricately involved with the
1 civil claim and the response to the civil claim —
2 perhaps not quite that they became synonymous, but it
3 was getting there. I think we’d all look back and say
4 that should have been held much more separately.

Page 94

5 MS SCOLDING: I don’t know whether, chair, this might be an
6 appropriate moment to break, because I’m about to start
7 on the response to the Carlile Report which I think will
8 take us past a reasonable hour. So I don’t know whether
9 now might be an appropriate moment?

10 THE CHAIR: Yes, thank you very much. Thank you very much,
11 Mr Perkins.

12 MS SCOLDING: Don’t forget, Mr Perkins, you are under oath.
13 Thank you.
14 (4.24 pm)
15 (The hearing was adjourned until
16 Friday, 16 March 2018 at 10.00 am)

March 16 2018 – IICSA Transcript – March 16

Page 30

Fiona Scolding QC – Q. He [Lord Carlile] identifies that one of the other issues is that
24 there wasn’t adequate engagement and involvement of
25 Bishop Bell’s family or people speaking on Bishop Bell’s
Page 31
1 behalf. I think you accept that critique, don’t you?

Perkins – 2 A. I accept that critique,

Page 24

15 Q. Was it the situation that there was scant, if any,
16 regard to Bishop Bell’s good character? Because that
17 comes out of this at various other points in his
18 conclusions? Paragraph 56 of Lord Carlile’s conclusion,
19 he says:
20 “… scant, if any, regard to … Bishop Bell’s good
21 character [was paid].”
22 Again, he also argued that there was deliberate
23 destruction of the reputation of George Bell. What do
24 you say to those two things?
25 A. In terms of the regard given to his good character, the
Page 25
1 esteem, he also talks about that —
2 Q. You deal with this at paragraph 70 and onwards of your
3 witness statement. Maybe if you would like to turn that
4 up for your own benefit. Chair and panel, that’s
5 page 25 of Mr Perkins’ supplementary witness statement?
6 A. We were very mindful indeed of the reputation of
7 George Bell, and in many ways the reputation of
8 George Bell is why we were holding the core group in the
9 first place. I have just mentioned a number of other
10 allegations we’d received about deceased clergy. Most
11 of those are obscure clergy, and didn’t generate this
12 level of action. Because we were aware of the weight of
13 his reputation and the likely impact of people reacting
14 to any actions we took, to some extent that was the
15 reason that we were having this nationally chaired
16 meeting involving staff from both the national church
17 and Chichester.
18 But I am very surprised at the extent to which,
19 certainly throughout the last two and a half years,
20 there have been many calls, and I am concerned that some
21 of those calls have correctly or otherwise perceived
22 a high level of support from within Lord Carlile’s
23 report for the suggestion that a great man such as Bell
24 cannot possibly have also been an abuser.
25 As I outlined in my statement, that runs against
Page 26
1 a lot of the evidence that I’m aware of internationally
2 with regards to child sexual offenders within
3 institutions. If I may, I think there’s one other point
4 that I particularly want to make on that, and for me
5 this is quite an important point: Carol gave an
6 interview to the Brighton Argus in February 2016 —
7 sorry, 2014 — no, I’m getting my dates wrong, it was
8 2016, in response to the controversy. In that interview
9 she said, “I know that George Bell was a man of peace,
10 but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do these things to me”.
11 It always struck me as very powerful that, of all of
12 the people in this narrative, she has managed to keep
13 the balance and she has managed to articulate very
14 powerfully that it’s possible that he was both.
15 Q. I think at paragraph 70 of your witness statement you
16 identify some research that the NSPCC did in educational
17 settings which often found that those who sexually
18 abused students are often the most competent and popular
19 of staff and are often — I think the word used by the
20 NSPCC is “adored”?
21 A. Yes. The evidence — much of the evidence this inquiry
22 has heard, much of the academic evidence throughout the
23 world, suggests, again, going back to Nigel Speight’s
24 quote, that people find it extremely difficult to
25 believe that especially their admired leaders, or
Page 27
1 admired teachers within that educational setting,
2 sometimes the teachers that are the most popular could
3 also be guilty of abuse. We know that’s worldwide
4 research.
5 Q. There are two technical issues I want to raise.
6 Lord Carlile criticises the core group, and this is at
7 paragraph 167 of his report, page 044, chair and panel,
8 if you want to get it up, B47. He identifies — he says
9 that one of the things that you got wrong was not
10 understanding that he wouldn’t — had he been alive, he
11 wouldn’t have satisfied the arrest conditions, is what
12 he says.
13 So you mistakenly — what I think he indicates is,
14 having read the minutes, he believes that what happened
15 was, you all thought he would be arrested, he would have
16 been arrested, and therefore that was something which
17 fed into your consideration of whether or not the civil
18 claim should be settled?
19 A. Firstly, I’m not sure that he’s correct about that,
20 having worked with Sussex Police on a large number of
21 cases. I’m actually just not sure that he’s correct.
22 I think he may well have been.
23 But he largely suggested that we were so
24 inexperienced within the criminal justice system that we
25 conflated arrest with charge with conviction. As I say
Page 28
1 in my statement, that is simply not the case. There
2 were plenty of very experienced safeguarding
3 professionals with, between us, decades of experience
4 within the criminal justice system who were perfectly
5 capable of separating those things out.
6 Q. Thank you. He also identifies that you hadn’t followed
7 the basic prosecutorial process of looking at whether or
8 not something had happened and whether or not — you
9 know, the two-stage test which the CPS identified. Do
10 you have any comment that you wish to make about that?
11 A. Well, he specifically criticises that Sussex Police
12 hadn’t communicated properly to us that process. He
13 identifies Detective Inspector EF as the person who
14 should have, but didn’t, correctly communicate that to
15 us. He identifies that from one email exchange in 2013,
16 right at the start, when we were arranging Carol’s
17 interview with Sussex Police.
18 As I say in my statement, between certainly myself
19 and Gemma, we probably had weekly contacts with DI EF
20 across a five-year period between Operation Perry and
21 Operation Dunhill, and I think it highlights my point
22 that making that conclusion based on one email exchange
23 rather than discussing that with us, where we could have
24 explained that level of contact, is one of my concerns
25 about the process of the report.
Day 10 IICSA Inquiry – Chichester 16 March 2018

Page 29
1 Q. He also recommends, Lord Carlile, at paragraph 170, that
2 there should have been specialist criminal law advice
3 provided to the group. What’s your view about that?
4 A. If I can just —
5 Q. It is page 44 of B47, chair and panel. Thank you very
6 much, Paul.
7 A. I’m just trying to find within my own statement —
8 Q. Oh, you deal with it at paragraph 57, Mr Perkins.
9 A. Thank you.
10 Q. Paragraphs 56, 57 and 58.
11 A. Thank you. Firstly, this was a civil claim, so tested
12 to the civil standard. So it’s still not clear, and
13 I believe not clear to others who are responding to
14 this, why a comment about whether or not it could have
15 been proved to the criminal standard would necessarily
16 help us in deciding whether it could have been proved to
17 the civil standard.
18 But, again, that comment seems to have ignored my
19 submission from July 2016, where I make really clear,
20 and the minutes make really clear, and the legal advice
21 provided to the core group makes really clear, we were
22 making a choice to believe.
23 There was — never at any point, in my recollection,
24 at any point in the core group, did anyone say, “He
25 would have been convicted for this, so we have no
Page 30
1 choice”. That just wasn’t part of the discussion, which
2 I say in that paragraph.
3 Q. Which, again, Lord Carlile in his report at
4 paragraph 171 seems to identify that one of
5 the criticisms of the core group is they didn’t think
6 about whether or not he would have been prosecuted had
7 he been alive, and he identifies that the prospects of
8 successful prosecution were low. I think at
9 paragraph 57, you say —
10 A. Thank you.
11 Q. — “Well, we wouldn’t necessarily have asked ourselves
12 that question”?
13 A. We were fully aware that the chances of a conviction,
14 were he alive, were low, and, as I say at the end of
15 paragraph 57, external advice on that particular point,
16 was a criminal conviction likely, was not sought, not
17 because it never occurred to us to ask, but because the
18 answer was relatively obvious.
19 Q. Can I ask you just about two further points that he
20 raises at paragraph 155, if we can go back to that,
21 please, chair and panel, 038, please, Paul. Page 38,
22 chair and panel, of B47.
23 He identifies that one of the other issues is that
24 there wasn’t adequate engagement and involvement of
25 Bishop Bell’s family or people speaking on Bishop Bell’s
Page 31
1 behalf. I think you accept that critique, don’t you?
2 A. I accept that critique, although in the submission from
3 the National Safeguarding Steering Group, I would also
4 emphasise the separation in that submission from the
5 action — between the actions of the core group, the
6 work of the core group, and the work of — I think it’s
7 called — a group — a body thinking about the
8 litigation. I am not sure that there should be within
9 the core group a person doing that, because the core
10 group is really managing a different situation. I think
11 that obviously and clearly should happen, but perhaps
12 within that different body. I think that’s the advice
13 from — or that’s the response from the National
14 Safeguarding Steering Group, which I would agree with.
15 Q. Two further issues: one about limitation; the second
16 about non-disclosure agreements. Obviously you are not
17 a lawyer, so I’m not going to ask you this. One of
18 the points that Lord Carlile raises is that nobody
19 seriously considered the limitation issue and/or that
20 the limitation issue should have been considered. Just
21 for the public, the usual rule is that such claims have
22 to be brought within — well, actually, in cases of
23 sexual violence, it is six years, but in cases of breach
24 of duty, ie negligence, it’s three years but with an
25 equitable time limit under section 33 of the Limitation
Page 32
1 Act, which involves, in effect, looking at all the
2 circumstances and saying, is it there or isn’t it there.
3 Now, we understand from the Ecclesiastical Insurance
4 Office’s guiding principles that in an insured claim —
5 we dealt with this with Professor MacFarlane earlier in
6 the week — they only raise limitation exceptionally, so
7 to speak?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was limitation something which was considered and
10 discussed within the context of the group?
11 A. It was —
12 Q. Just to say, “It was just too long ago. We can’t
13 possibly settle a claim on this basis”?
14 A. It was considered and discussed extensively in the
15 second core group, July 2014. The minutes make that
16 very clear. In fact, the explanation you’ve just given
17 is possibly almost verbatim the explanation that was
18 given to that core group, and, as the minutes show,
19 there was then an extensive discussion.
20 I think, again, that goes back to my problem about
21 the process of the Lord Carlile review.
22 What the minutes do not say is, “The purpose of
23 limitation was clearly explained”, largely because
24 everyone was fully aware. They were clearly explained
25 but the minutes don’t clearly say that.
Day 10 IICSA Inquiry – Chichester 16 March 2018

9 (Pages 33 to 36)
Page 33
1 Q. Of course, the issues of vicarious liability have
2 changed markedly over the past 10 years in respect of
3 cases of sexual violence against individuals?
4 A. Exactly.
5 Q. To make them a lot more generous than they were, shall
6 I put it that way?
7 A. Yes. But, as I say, the very fact that we had an
8 extensive discussion suggests that that — the point of
9 limitation was fully understood. That is certainly the
10 case: it was fully understood.
11 Q. Non-disclosure agreement. The other significant
12 criticism that Lord Carlile makes is, why wasn’t there
13 a confidentiality agreement put to this in order to
14 avoid what he considers to be unfair besmirching of
15 Bishop Bell’s reputation. I mean, that’s probably
16 putting it slightly higher than Lord Carlile puts it in
17 his report, so I’m slightly overegging that, but he
18 considers that it’s unfair. I think the church has
19 responded and said, “We think it was right that there
20 wasn’t a non-confidentiality agreement and we don’t
21 agree to — confidentiality agreements, I think, rather
22 than non-confidentiality agreements — think about NDA,
23 the US word for them. What’s your view about that, if
24 you have any?
25 A. As you said, the church has already rejected that
Page 34
1 proposal. I was very glad to see that. As you said,
2 I’m not a lawyer, so I possibly shouldn’t stray into
3 this, but my understanding of —
4 Q. Well, from the perspective of somebody — you’ve
5 identified that you started this process trying to work
6 from the perspective of providing compassionate support
7 to victims and survivors?
8 A. Exactly.
9 Q. From that perspective, that’s your view?
10 A. From that perspective, my understanding of
11 Lord Carlile’s recommendation with regards to the
12 non-disclosure agreement or the confidentiality
13 agreement, he also suggests — my understanding of his
14 report is — that we should have settled the claim
15 with —
16 Q. Sort of no admission of liability?
17 A. No admission of liability. From my point of view, from
18 the perspective you just described, that would have
19 effectively been saying, “We are not accepting your
20 claim. We are not going to apologise. We are going to
21 perhaps provide some monetary settlement and we are
22 going to require you to sign a non-disclosure
23 agreement”. That is exactly the opposite of where
24 I think the church should be on this issue, from my
25 perspective.
Page 35
1 Q. Can we now — that’s been very helpful, and I think we
2 have got a very clear view from you of your critique of
3 that, which I know you were very clear that you wanted
4 to give to this inquiry.
5 Can we now turn to the more mundane topic, or maybe
6 more exciting topic, of what you actually do on
7 a day-to-day basis?….

March 19 2018 – IICSA Reflections – Richard W. Symonds

 
Page 25
“…I am concerned that some 
21 of those calls have correctly or otherwise perceived 
22 a high level of support from within Lord Carlile’s 
23 report for the suggestion that a great man such as Bell 
24 cannot possibly have also been an abuser. 
25 As I outlined in my statement, that runs against 
Page 26 
1 a lot of the evidence that I’m aware of internationally 
2 with regards to child sexual offenders within 
3 institutions. If I may, I think there’s one other point 
4 that I particularly want to make on that, and for me 
5 this is quite an important point: Carol gave an 
6 interview to the Brighton Argus in February 2016 — 
7 sorry, 2014 — no, I’m getting my dates wrong, it was 
8 2016, in response to the controversy. In that interview 
9 she said, “I know that George Bell was a man of peace, 
10 but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do these things to me”
11 It always struck me as very powerful that, of all of 
12 the people in this narrative, she has managed to keep 
13 the balance and she has managed to articulate very 
14 powerfully that it’s possible that he was both.
 
Ignoring the fact Mr Perkins was mistaken on the Argus dates – it was December 16 2017 when ‘Carol’ made that statement – how could he say she “has managed to keep the balance…”! Incredible. ‘Carol’ was five years old at the time! How could she have known it was definitely Bishop Bell at that age! 
 
May I also suggest Mr Perkins reads the book “Catholic Priests Falsely Accused” by David F. Pierre, Jr. – especially page 150 – before pontificating about the John Jay Report [Page 11 & 12 IICSA March 16].
CORRECTION
I stand corrected on the Argus dates – my apologies:
The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood reported this on February 3 2016:
“Because he did good things, they automatically assume that he couldn’t do anything wrong, which was rather hurtful because a lot of men who have done good things have also done very evil things. He might be a man of peace but that doesn’t take away the fact of what he did to me,” said the woman, using the pseudonym ‘Carol’.
I confused this quote above with the quote made by ‘Carol’ on December 16 2017:
“He (Lord Carlile) can say Bishop Bell wouldn’t be found guilty, it doesn’t change the facts”
But neither quote helps the Diocesan Safeguarder Colin Perkins. It just confirms he might be seriously mistaken about the “balance” of ‘Carol’.
Also, Mr Perkins shows a serious lack of understanding of False Memory Syndrome (FMS) – “One of the features is that over a period of time – in this case a considerable time – the false accuser has convinced herself that her memory was correct”
Personally, I have little to no doubt ‘Carol’ was sexually abused. What I seriously doubt is that it was Bishop Bell. In other words, a case of mistaken identity.
‘Carol’ is an unreliable witness, and for Colin Perkins to put such faith in her recollections is not just seriously unprofessional for someone in his position, it is also seriously misplaced.
~ Richard W. Symonds

March 19 2018 – IICSA Reflections – David Lamming

“While IICSA should be given full marks for the production of the daily transcript (available to download from about 6 pm each day), the website is both woeful and impenetrable. There is no easy way to find a document, since they are indexed only by the URN allocated to them by the Inquiry. More seriously, witness statements and documents referred to by witnesses (and appended to their statements) are not uploaded in advance, which makes it difficult to follow the oral evidence.

A prime example is the evidence given on 15th-16th March by Colin Perkins. At the beginning of his evidence last Thursday, counsel to the inquiry, Fiona Scolding QC, asked that Mr Perkins’s three witness statements be “placed upon the website at a convenient and appropriate moment.” (Transcript, 15 March 2018, page 82). That moment should have been no later than when Mr Perkins took the oath, yet now, Sunday lunchtime, 18th March, they are still not available for the public to read.

“An illustration of the need for the statements to be published in advance is in the evidence Colin Perkins gave to the Inquiry about the Carlile report on Friday morning (Transcript, 16 March 2018, pages 1-34). Ms Scolding refers to certain passages in Mr Perkins’s witness statement in which he criticises aspects of Lord Carlile’s review. Those criticisms (at least so far as they appear from the extracts set out and commented on in the transcript) are selective and self-serving. One must ask whether Lord Carlile was done the courtesy of bring provided with a copy of the statement, or even being warned that he would be criticised at a public inquiry where he is not represented. One sentence in Mr Perkins’s evidence is telling: “… it is my job to try and articulate these things from the perspective of the victim.” (Transcript, 16 March 2018, pages 15-16) Where is the necessary objectivity, when Carol is regarded as victim, not complainant? No wonder one of Lord Carlile’s conclusions was “… the clear impression left is that the process was predicated on [Bell’s] guilt of what Carol alleged.” (Carlile Review, para 254(vi), page 65.)

~ David Lamming

March 20 2018 – Peter Hitchens – The Mail on Sunday – March 18

“The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, admitted last week it had been a mistake not to give the late Bishop George Bell a defending counsel at the kangaroo court which wrongly convicted him of child abuse. When will he admit that he has made a similar mistake by refusing to allow Bell’s niece, Barbara Whitley, to pick a lawyer to defend him against the mysterious second allegation now levelled against him in secret? Too late, for sure” 

March 20 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Tuesday March 20

DAY 12 IICSA INQUIRY – CHICHESTER – 20 MARCH 2018 – DEAN PETER ATKINSON ON DEAN TREADGOLD, TERENCE BANKS ET AL

14 Q. Before we move on, we should deal briefly with one other 15 matter touching on Dean Treadgold. Is it right that at 16 the time of his retirement, or thereabouts, there came 17 a time when he burnt a number of files held within the 18 cathedral? 19 A. Yes. He had retired in the autumn of 2001 and moved 20 a short distance away. What I remember of the episode 21 is that he returned to the deanery, which then was 22 empty, this was long before Dean Frayling arrived, 23 removed a number of files from the deanery basement and 24 had a fire in the garden. 25 I don’t know what the files were. I think there is Page 151 1 some indication that they might have been old chapter 2 files, but they may well have been his own. It’s a bit 3 odd that he’d moved away and then came back to do this, 4 and it was sufficiently troubling for us to mention this 5 to the police, which happened. 6 Q. And the police subsequently investigated it, including 7 interviewing, I understand, Dean Treadgold under 8 caution? 9 A. They took it very seriously, yes. 10 Q. But no further action was ultimately taken? 11 A. Ultimately, no further action was taken. 12 Q. Did anybody within the cathedral or the chapter think to 13 get him back in, have a word with him and say, “What 14 were you burning and why were you burning it?”, because, 15 in theory, there’s a potential hole in your record 16 keeping now? 17 A. I don’t remember that happening. I think the person who 18 spoke to the police, as far as I can remember, was 19 Canon John Ford, who by then was the acting dean between 20 the two deans, and I can’t remember that we took further 21 action ourselves, knowing that the police were involved. 22 I think we took the view that that was police business. 23 Q. Once they’d taken no further action, why not then? Why 24 not then say, “Hang on a minute, somebody who has moved 25 away from the cathedral, who has retired, has come back, Page 152 1 potentially taken chapter files and burnt them. We need 2 to find out why and what they have burnt, if for no 3 other reason than to find out where we have now got 4 record gaps, or even take disciplinary action”? 5 A. I’m not sure what disciplinary action might have been 6 taken against a retired dean. The answer to your 7 question is that I don’t remember that kind of internal 8 investigation happening. 9 Q. If we can move forward to the Carmi Report…

March 21 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Tuesday March 20

Graham Tilby (National Safeguarding Adviser)
Page 98
6 Q. Do you agree with the conclusion that Lord Carlile
7 reached that you put the reputation of the church as
8 a whole above the untarnished reputation of Bishop Bell?
9 A. I don’t agree with that. I think this was always about
10 trying to come to a process with objectivity. When
11 I arrived, I didn’t actually know who George Bell was,
12 and that’s actually important on one level because that
13 brings an objectivity to the process, but also it is
14 about gathering evidence and making — and forming
15 a judgment based on a balance of probabilities.

March 21 2018 – “Clergy burnt file after being accused of covering up abuse, inquiry hears” – Christian Today – Harry Farley

 

March 22 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Wednesday March 21

Archbishop Justin Welby

Page 119-120 [Paras 21-25]

and at the heart of this has to be justice, and justice is a very, very difficult thing to find, as you know much better than I do, but we have to have a system that delivers justice. That is so important. And if it doesn’t, it’s not good enough.

Fiona Scolding QC

Page 123 [Paras 14-25] Page 124 [Paras 1-8]

Q. One of the points that Lord Carlile makes is that the church didn’t take a good enough account of…George Bell’s reputation. Now, we have heard from several individuals about their views about that. But what he seems to suggest is, you have to start — you know, this was such a Titanic figure that one must assume that his reputation is unblemished and, therefore, that has to be weighed very heavily in the balance. Do you have any response to that?

A. “I think the greatest tragedy of all these cases is that people have trusted, very often, those who were locally, in diocesan terms, or nationally Titanic figures, and have then found that they were not worthy of their trust. The fact that someone is a titanic figure doesn’t tell you anything at all, except that they have done remarkable things in one area. It doesn’t tell you about the rest of their lives. And it is not something that we can take into account” – Archbishop Justin Welby

“‘If Bishop Bell’s good reputation ‘is not something that we (The Church of England) can take into account’, then the Church of England [and Archbishop Welby as its leader] are breaking the law. As Lord Carlile has said, taking someone’s good reputation into account “is the law. In criminal cases especially, but also in civil cases, where the character of an alleged perpetrator is impugned by the allegation made, the court takes into account evidence of his good character. It does not mean that he can do no wrong. It is a factor to be weighed in the balance”‘

~ Richard W. Symonds

March 22 2018 – From The Archives [1988 – “Rumpole of the Bailey” with Leo McKern – Episode: ‘Rumpole and the Age of Miracles’ [Series 5 Disc 2) – Filmed on location at Chichester Cathedral [‘The Diocese of Lawnchester’ – Ecclesiastical Court]

Rumpole: “I happen to have a good deal of faith”

Ballard: “Yes, in what precisely?”

Rumpole: “The health-giving properties of Claret. The presumption of innocence…that golden thread running through British justice”

October 5 2017 – “Did Church keep abuse secret?” – The Argus

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/local/15577806.Did_Church_keep_abuse_secret_/

Did Church keep abuse secret?

download

Former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball

Former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball

THE Anglican Church will be probed for potentially harbouring a “culture of secrecy” surrounding sexual abuse which allowed predators to offend unchallenged, an inquiry has heard.

The public inquiry into child sexual abuse is preparing to scrutinise the response of religious institutions to allegations of exploitation by the clergy.

This will include the disgraced former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball.

Ball was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after pleading guilty to a string of historical offences, including two counts of indecent assault.

Attitudes to sexuality will form part of the investigation into the Anglican Church, due to begin next March, a preliminary hearing of the inquiry was told.

It comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, provoked debate by accusing the BBC of not handling reports of longstanding abuse with the same “integrity” as the Church.

Speaking at the new headquarters of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in central London, counsel to the inquiry Fiona Scolding QC said: “Culture is important because it shapes everything about the way that things are done within the organisation and it is both deeply embedded within an organisation and often difficult to change.”

Outlining the aims of the Anglican Church investigation, she said: “This will involve examining how far was there or is there a culture of secrecy within the Church.

“How far the Church’s approach to sex and sexuality contributed or contributes to difficulties with cultural change.

“How far does the hierarchical nature of the Church create a power imbalance which could inhibit the reporting of abuse.”

Ms Scolding said this would not only stretch to attitudes of the past, but also cover the current practices of the Church and any future reforms it has planned.

The preliminary hearing also heard 184,020 pages of evidence had been received for examination.

Around 100,000 have so far been reviewed by inquiry officials with 22,000 of these found to be duplicates and 35,000 deemed irrelevant.

Article of Faith, an independent review of how the Church handled Ball’s case, was published earlier this year.

Chaired by Dame Moira Gibb, the review found “Ball’s conduct has caused serious and enduring damage to the lives of many men”.

October 1 2017 – “Heath ‘abused boys young as 11′” – Mail on Sunday – Oct 1 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4937366/Ted-Heath-abused-boys-young-11.html

Ted Heath ‘abused boys young as 11’: Bombshell police report details 42 assault claims and one ‘rape of underage male’ with two cases linked to ex-premier’s interest in sailing

  • The controversial report into paedophile allegations against Sir Edward Heath includes claims he sexually assaulted boys as young as 11 
  • Some of the more serious allegations are linked to the sailing world 
  • The report will say that seven of the allegations are sufficiently credible to justify questioning Sir Edward under caution were he alive today

The controversial report into paedophile allegations against Sir Edward Heath includes claims that he sexually assaulted boys as young as 11, it emerged last night.

Some of the most serious allegations, which include at least one rape and span his five decades as an MP, are linked to the sailing world. The former Prime Minister was a skilled yachtsman.

The report will say that seven of the allegations are sufficiently credible to justify questioning Sir Edward under caution were he alive today. One of the seven is said to involve the rape of an underage boy. Two were linked to his interest in sailing and allegedly occurred in Guernsey and Jersey.

The sailing connection: The former Prime Minister was a renowned yachtsman, and even won races on board his vessel Morning Cloud. Two of the abuse allegations against Heath - pictured on the yacht in 1975 - are linked to his love of sailing and are alleged to have taken place in the Channel Islands

The sailing connection: The former Prime Minister was a renowned yachtsman, and even won races on board his vessel Morning Cloud. Two of the abuse allegations against Heath – pictured on the yacht in 1975 – are linked to his love of sailing and are alleged to have taken place in the Channel Islands

It is thought that at least two of the other seven most serious allegations occurred in Wiltshire, where Sir Edward lived at Arundells, a mansion in Salisbury. It is not known if the alleged crimes happened there.

Two separate allegations are said to have been made by individuals in ‘prominent’ positions today. It is thought they were reporting the alleged abuse of others.

The Mail on Sunday has been told that at least one allegation relates to a boy younger than 11 but we have been unable to confirm this.

And according to one unconfirmed report, some claims refer to the music world – Heath was known as an orchestra conductor.

Ready for a backlash: Chief Constable Mike Veale

The astonishing disclosures come just four days before the findings of Operation Conifer – a two-year, £1.5 million investigation into Sir Edward – are made public by Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Mike Veale.

Mr Veale has faced fierce criticism from those who claim the allegations are fantasy.

Crucially, the inquiry does not prove Sir Edward’s guilt: its remit was limited to saying if the claims justified questioning him.

It is understood that the report rejects three of the main arguments used by Sir Edward’s friends to combat the allegations: that he would have few opportunities to commit such crimes because he couldn’t drive and never owned a car; that for most of his long career he had round-the-clock police protection; and that he was asexual.

The report says Sir Edward’s former police bodyguards said they did not watch him 24 hours a day and that for much of his political life he had no protection at all.

It says he could drive – though bizarrely there is no record of him having had a driving licence – and at various times owned a Rover 2000 and Vauxhall Viva.

And it says former aides said they were certain he did have consenting sexual relationships with adults.

STORY THAT’S DIVIDED WESTMINSTER

COMMENT By Simon Walters 

There is a sense of incredulity at Westminster as the clock ticks down to Thursday’s publication of the findings of Operation Conifer.

It appears we will officially be told there are genuine grounds to believe Sir Edward Heath may have been a paedophile. The report is to be unveiled by Mike Veale, Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police at its HQ in Swindon – a town better known for its ‘Magic Roundabout’ junction than cracking Watergate-style scandals.

If Mr Veale has been duped by fantasists, North Wiltshire Tory MP James Gray will be the first Westminster figure to call for him to quit. Mr Gray told me: ‘I knew Ted Heath and don’t for a minute believe he was a paedophile. If he was it would have come out long ago. If he produces firm evidence, I will be the first to apologise. If he doesn’t, he must go.’

Mr Gray can expect strong support from Sir Edward’s No 10 private secretary Lord Armstrong and ex-Tory Chancellor Nigel Lawson who have been just as scathing about Mr Veale.

But Mr Veale has backing from key police figures, including Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who is in charge of all UK historic child sex investigations, and Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton, who supervises national police operations. Both men have seen his report.

Separately, he receives support today from Tory Minister John Glen, MP for Salisbury in Wiltshire – Sir Edward’s home city. Most assumed Mr Veale would abandon Operation Conifer after an inquiry into claims of a Westminster paedophile ring involving Home Secretary Leon Brittan collapsed over bogus claims.

When we reported that he pressed ahead because he thought some allegations against Sir Edward were ‘120 per cent true’, some asked: how can Heath have committed such crimes when he had police bodyguards?

If, when Mr Veale makes his statement in Swindon on Thursday, it is all fantasy like TV’s Magic Roundabout, he can expect to depart the police force at the first exit.

But if it contains solid facts, few will be laughing.

Furthermore, the report says:

  • 42 claims of child sex abuse include at least one rape of an underage boy. Most alleged victims were boys aged 11 to 15;
  • Some were rent boys or from ‘low-life’ backgrounds. Others were boys he encountered elsewhere. Nine of the 42 claims were already on police files, in some cases for decades, but had been dismissed;
  • Allegations date from the mid- 1950s when he was Chief Whip to the 1990s when he was in his 70s;
  • Places where alleged crimes occurred are generally referred to as ‘public places’. At least one is said to have happened in a hotel. Two allegations were made by ‘senior professionals’. Mr Veale is expected to say that he went to great lengths to avoid errors made by other police investigations into historic sex abuse allegations, such as being taken in by ‘fantasists’.

Riddle: Heath outside his Rover - he owned cars despite not having a licence

Riddle: Heath outside his Rover – he owned cars despite not having a licence

One accuser is said to have made three bogus claims and faces being prosecuted.

Nor has Mr Veale shied away from examining his own force’s record. The inquiry was told by a retired Wiltshire policeman that plans to prosecute an individual in the 1990s were dropped when the person threatened to claim in court that they had procured rent boys for Sir Edward.

KEY QUESTIONS FACED BY THE POLICE INQUIRY

Why haven’t the 42 allegations come to police attention before?

A Several did but were dismissed as bogus. Mr Veale reopened complaints buried in police files. The report says some did not complain at the time because they feared they would be ignored in an age when such complaints against VIPs were rarely investigated.

Q If only seven ‘victims’ would warrant police action, are the others bogus?

A Not necessarily. Police erred on the side of caution, and at least two were left out of the top category at the last minute.

Q Since Heath had police protection for much of his life, how could he abuse young boys without police knowing?

A Police who guarded Heath said that they did not always watch him 24 hours a day. There were lengthy spells when he had no protection.

Q Some of Heath’s friends said he never owned a car.

A Heath owned two cars – a Rover 2000 and Vauxhall Viva.

Does the report prove Sir Edward was guilty of anything?

A No. The inquiry did not have the power to do that and would need more evidence even to consider recommending prosecution.

Q What happens now?

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said last month it is to study whether the report has any relevance to claims of an historic Westminster child sex ring and allegations of a cover-up involving Government Whips.

Mr Veale recruited eight of Britain’s most senior retired detectives to boost the 24-strong Wiltshire Police inquiry.

Mr Veale is expected to give a robust response to those who say it is pointless to investigate a dead man on the grounds that he can never be put in the dock, arguing that police have a special duty to probe alleged corruption in high places. Conifer was set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

No victims are referred to by name in the 100-page inquiry summary to honour a pledge of lifetime anonymity – although they are included in the full 350-page report given to the Home Office and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

This newspaper has been told the report lists the allegations against Sir Edward, who died aged 89 in 2005, in five categories:

1. Seven ‘victims’ whose accounts would warrant interviewing him under caution, including the alleged rape of a boy.

2. Sixteen ‘vulnerable’ cases whose accounts fall just short of similar action due to an ‘element of undermining evidence’, including fading memory.

3. Ten cases including ‘third parties’ – complainants who said others had been abused by Sir Edward but not themselves. When police tracked down the alleged victims in these cases they gave the same account, but named other individuals as being the person who had been abused. It is thought that they wanted to expose Sir Edward without admitting he had assaulted them. It includes people who are married with children and want to put the matter behind them but felt compelled to act as well.

4. Six cases including one individual who is to be prosecuted over three bogus claims. Three others withdrew complaints.

5. Three complaints were made anonymously.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘If this report shows there were serious grounds for believing Edward Heath was involved in the sexual abuse of children, it will cause a huge shockwave and it could indicate that claims of an Establishment cover-up of paedophiles in Westminster have been true all along.

‘When Theresa May was asked about the inquiry last week she said it was vital that all child sex abuse allegations are investigated properly. She is right.

‘The public need to be reassured that no one is above the law whatever their position in public life. It is interesting that some MPs and parts of the media appear so keen to vilify Mr Veale without knowing what is in the Conifer report.’

Friends of Mr Veale say he is ready to face down an anticipated hostile reception to his report from Sir Edward’s defenders. One said: ‘Mike’s view is that although Sir Edward is dead and cannot be prosecuted, the nearer you are to power, the more important it is to investigate alleged wrongdoing.’

Police chief has been pilloried… simply for doing his duty: MP JOHN GLEN defends the man who launched the Heath sex abuse inquiry 

If Sir Edward Heath were still alive today, I would be his local MP. His famous former home, Arundells, lies in the very heart of my Salisbury constituency.

So I was as appalled as anyone else at the manner in which the inquiry into sex abuse allegations against him began in 2015.

For a Wiltshire Police officer to stand outside Arundells to appeal for witnesses was insensitive.

Guard: An officer on duty outside Sir Edward's Salisbury home on the day the abuse inquiry was launched

Guard: An officer on duty outside Sir Edward’s Salisbury home on the day the abuse inquiry was launched

 

But over the past year, my anger at that ill-judged approach has given way to greater concerns.

I have watched with increasing disquiet as the inquiry has been subjected to repeated attacks seemingly designed to discredit it before it even sees the light of day.

And the man who took the difficult decision to launch it, Mike Veale, has been pilloried, his competence and professionalism questioned.

As someone who knows and respects Mr Veale, I find this deeply unfair.

In my constituency dealings with him, I have found him to be a dedicated and principled police officer.

In deciding to proceed with this inquiry, Mr Veale faced a profoundly difficult decision.

Sir Edward’s friends are understandably concerned that his reputation is not destroyed when he is no longer here to defend himself.

Given how other high-profile political sex-abuse inquiries collapsed, Mr Veale could have been forgiven for ignoring the allegations concerning Sir Edward.

Scotland Yard’s disgraceful hounding of former Tory Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan will have borne heavily on his mind.

I suspect that if Mr Veale’s main concern was his own future career prospects, he would never have launched this inquiry. Instead, he did what I think was the right thing and decided that every allegation of such a serious crime must be judged on its own merits, however unpleasant and controversial.

If there are victims of historic child sex abuse in this case, they deserve to be heard and have their allegations properly investigated.

Sadly, critics of Operation Conifer have casually conflated it with previous discredited inquiries, as if one set of unfounded allegations automatically disproves others in perpetuity.

Nothing could be more damaging to public trust in our police and political system.

Of course some mistakes will have been made in Operation Conifer, such as its launch. And in any such complex investigation, unfounded claims will have been made and unreliable witnesses spoken to.

But Mr Veale has made extraordinary efforts to ensure this inquiry is proportionate and appropriate.

This inquiry was never going to ‘prove’ Sir Edward’s guilt one way or the other.

Only a court of law can do that and obviously the former PM can no longer face trial. But Operation Conifer may at least shed some light on whether he should have done.

 

Police chief has been pilloried… simply for doing his duty: MP JOHN GLEN defends the man who launched the Heath sex abuse inquiry

If Sir Edward Heath were still alive today, I would be his local MP. His famous former home, Arundells, lies in the very heart of my Salisbury constituency.

So I was as appalled as anyone else at the manner in which the inquiry into sex abuse allegations against him began in 2015.

For a Wiltshire Police officer to stand outside Arundells to appeal for witnesses was insensitive.

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale's competence and professionalism has been questioned after launching the Heath sex abuse inquiry

But over the past year, my anger at that ill-judged approach has given way to greater concerns.

I have watched with increasing disquiet as the inquiry has been subjected to repeated attacks seemingly designed to discredit it before it even sees the light of day.

And the man who took the difficult decision to launch it, Mike Veale, has been pilloried, his competence and professionalism questioned.

As someone who knows and respects Mr Veale, I find this deeply unfair.

In my constituency dealings with him, I have found him to be a dedicated and principled police officer.

In deciding to proceed with this inquiry, Mr Veale faced a profoundly difficult decision.

Guard: An officer on duty outside Sir Edward's Salisbury home on the day the abuse inquiry was launched

Sir Edward’s friends are understandably concerned that his reputation is not destroyed when he is no longer here to defend himself.

Given how other high-profile political sex-abuse inquiries collapsed, Mr Veale could have been forgiven for ignoring the allegations concerning Sir Edward.

Scotland Yard’s disgraceful hounding of former Tory Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan will have borne heavily on his mind.

I suspect that if Mr Veale’s main concern was his own future career prospects, he would never have launched this inquiry. Instead, he did what I think was the right thing and decided that every allegation of such a serious crime must be judged on its own merits, however unpleasant and controversial.

If there are victims of historic child sex abuse in this case, they deserve to be heard and have their allegations properly investigated.

Sadly, critics of Operation Conifer have casually conflated it with previous discredited inquiries, as if one set of unfounded allegations automatically disproves others in perpetuity.

Nothing could be more damaging to public trust in our police and political system.

Of course some mistakes will have been made in Operation Conifer, such as its launch. And in any such complex investigation, unfounded claims will have been made and unreliable witnesses spoken to.

But Mr Veale has made extraordinary efforts to ensure this inquiry is proportionate and appropriate.

This inquiry was never going to ‘prove’ Sir Edward’s guilt one way or the other.

Only a court of law can do that and obviously the former PM can no longer face trial. But Operation Conifer may at least shed some light on whether he should have done.

 

BREAKING NEWS – OCTOBER 5 2017

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/10318089/bbc-news-channel

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41503143 (Seligman)

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-abuse-heath/late-pm-heath-had-questions-to-answer-over-child-sex-abuse-claims-police-idUKKBN1CA101

http://news.sky.com/story/sir-edward-heath-would-have-been-questioned-over-child-sex-abuse-claims-say-police-11067641 (Seligman)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/sir-edward-heath-report-child-sex-abuse-allegations-investigation-inquiry-grounds-interview-caution-a7984256.html (Seligman)

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/sir-edward-heath-faced-investigation-claims-raped-young-boys-102557704.html

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/05/ted-heath-would-have-been-questioned-over-seven-abuse-claims-police-say (Guardian)

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/edward-heath_uk_59d5eca1e4b0becae80271dc?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D544576591_uk (Huff Post)

 

https://twitter.com/WillBlackWriter?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Will Black)

https://twitter.com/glindsay34?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (“Sir”)

https://www.davidicke.com/article/430937/sir-edward-heath-report-finds-grounds-investigate-former-prime-minister-child-sex-abuse-allegations (Icke)

 

September 30 2017 – “Archbishop of Canterbury accuses BBC of failing to show same ‘integrity’ over child abuse as the Church” – Christian Today [Ruth Gledhill]

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/archbishop.of.canterbury.accuses.bbc.of.failing.to.show.same.integrity.over.child.abuse.as.the.church/114954.htm

Archbishop of Canterbury accuses BBC of failing to show same ‘integrity’ over child abuse as the Church

The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised the BBC over its response to Jimmy Savile

The BBC has defended itself against criticism from the Archbishop of Canterbury that it lacked ‘integrity’ in its response to the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal.

Archbishop Justin Welby said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the corporation had not shown the same integrity the Anglican and Catholic churches had.

Invited to reflect on the programmes 60th anniversary of being on air, he said: ‘I think we are a kinder society more concerned with our own failures, more willing to be honest where we go wrong in most of our institutions.’ But there were still ‘dark areas’. 

He continued: ‘If I’m really honest, I’d say the BBC is one. I haven’t seen the same integrity over the BBC’s failures over Savile as I’ve seen in the Roman Catholic Church, in the Church of England, in other public institutions over abuse. We may be proved wrong about that but you know that’s one area.’

The Archbishop also referred to the dispute over the pay gap between men and women at the BBC, and said that in the church, male and female bishops received exactly the same stipends.

Archbishop Welby was speaking just weeks before Lord Carlile publishes his review into how the Church of England handled a claim by ‘Carol’ into allegations of abuse by the late Bishop George Bell of Chichester, who died in 1958.

In Australia, where the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches have been under investigation by a royal commission into institutional child sex abuse, and the Catholic Cardinal George Pell is facing multiple historic child sex abuse charges, only yesterday it emerged that one victim was forced to take the Anglican Church to court over failure to pay a $1.5 million settlement.

The BBC, Church of England and Roman Catholic Church will all be examined soon in the UK’s own version of the Australian commission, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay.  This December, the UK inquiry will look at the English Benedectines and next March, at the Church of England’s Chichester diocese.

Meanwhile six church sex abuse survivors silence condemned the Archbishop’s attack on the BBC.

In a statement they said: ‘Speaking from our own bitter experience, we do not recognise Archbishop Welby’s description of the integrity with which the Church of England handles cases of abuse in a church context.

‘Far from the ‘rigorous response and self-examination’ he claims, our experience of the church, and specifically the archbishop, is of long years of silence, denial and evasion. The Church of England needs to confront its own darkness in relation to abuse before confronting the darkness of others.’

Matthew Ineson, who as a teen was raped by a C of E vicar, Trevor Devamanikkam, who killed himself just before he was due to appear in court to answer to the charges, told The Guardian: ‘I know from my own experience, and the experience of others, that safeguarding within the C of E is appalling.

‘The church has colluded with the cover-up of abuse and has obstructed justice for those whose lives have been ruined by the actions of its clergy. I have been fighting for five years for the church to recognise its responsibilities and I’m still being met with attempts to bully me into dropping my case.’

A BBC spokesman defended the corporation. He said: ‘This isn’t a characterisation we recognise. When the Savile allegations became known we established an independent investigation by a High Court judge. In the interests of transparency, this was published in full. We apologised and accepted all the recommendations.

‘And while today’s BBC is a different place, we set out very clear actions to ensure the highest possible standards of child safeguarding.’

Regarding the Archbishop’s comments on the gender pay gap, the BBC added: ‘Gender pay is a challenge for all organisations not just the BBC. The national gender pay gap is 18 percent. The BBC’s is under ten percent and we have committed to closing it in 2020. We know we have to go further and faster. We are not unique in this. The Church of England’s own published pay gap for non-office holders is 41 percent. We all collectively have more work to do, to sort an issue that is a problem across the vast majority of organisations.’

Lambeth Palace said: ‘We fully accept the failures of the Church of England in the area of safeguarding.

‘Since the Archbishop took up his role, he has been very clear that the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults should be the highest priority of all parts of the Church and was one of the first to call for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

‘The Church’s National Safeguarding Team was created in 2015 and there are now robust House of Bishops safeguarding policies in place along with independent audits for all dioceses and dedicated training on hearing disclosures for all senior clergy.

‘The Archbishop fully supports the Church’s commitment to develop a stronger national approach to safeguarding to improve its response to protecting the vulnerable.

‘The Archbishop believes this level of rigorous response and self-examination needs to extend to all institutions, including the BBC.’

September 24 2017 – “Police: If Heath was alive today we’d quiz him under caution on child abuse” – The Mail on Sunday – Page 12

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4913910/If-Ted-Heath-alive-today-d-quiz-child-abuse.html

Police: If Ted Heath was alive today we’d quiz him under caution on child abuse claims

  • Operation Conifer inquiry into Edward Heath will be made public on October 5
  • Findings will reveal about 40 people made paedophile claims against Sir Edward
  • Chief Constable Mike Veale’s report will say seven of which are ‘credible’ claims
  • Sir Edward died in 2005 aged 89 – if alive today he’d be interviewed under caution, says the MoS

Child sexual abuse claims made against Sir Edward Heath by seven of his alleged victims are serious enough that police would have questioned him under caution if he were still alive.

That is the astonishing verdict of a controversial two-year investigation into the former Tory Prime Minister, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The explosive findings of the Operation Conifer inquiry into Sir Edward, led by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale, will be made public on October 5. It is believed the findings will reveal that about 40 people made paedophile claims against Sir Edward, who died in 2005 aged 89, covering five decades.

Explosive findings of the Operation Conifer inquiry into Sir Edward, led by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale, will be made public on October 5. It is believed the findings will reveal that about 40 people made paedophile claims against Sir Edward, who died in 2005 aged 89, covering five decades

Explosive findings of the Operation Conifer inquiry into Sir Edward, led by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale, will be made public on October 5. It is believed the findings will reveal that about 40 people made paedophile claims against Sir Edward, who died in 2005 aged 89, covering five decades

According to Whitehall sources, Mr Veale’s report will say seven of the alleged victims are ‘credible’ and describe the same pattern of behaviour by their ‘abuser’.

A Government source said an ‘interview under caution’ is, in effect, the strongest action that Mr Veale could recommend with regard to Sir Edward.

After an ‘interview with caution’ police would send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service, which would decide whether to prosecute. ‘It was never the task of Operation Conifer to decide whether Sir Edward was guilty, and clearly there was never any question of recommending prosecution in this case,’ a Government source said.

An ‘interview under caution’ usually takes place at a police station with the consent of the accused. If they refuse to attend, they can be arrested.

Mr Veale’s report will say testimonies by around a dozen more ‘victims’ cannot be relied on because they may have been ‘damaged’ by their experiences; a further dozen involve so called ‘third party’ allegations, where people have come forward to describe the alleged abuse of others.

A number of claims have been dismissed as bogus or fantasy.

Mr Veale has faced fierce criticism from senior Tories and mandarins who worked for Heath when he was in power in the 1970s.

They have accused police of wasting £2 million of public money on the inquiry, claiming the allegations are ‘fantasy’. Others said it would have been impossible for Sir Edward to commit such crimes when for much of his career he was accompanied by police protection. Only last week, former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald said Mr Veale’s investigation was a ‘tragi-comedy of incompetence’.

According to Whitehall sources, Mr Veale¿s report will say seven of the alleged victims are ¿credible¿ and describe the same pattern of behaviour by their ¿abuser¿

According to Whitehall sources, Mr Veale’s report will say seven of the alleged victims are ‘credible’ and describe the same pattern of behaviour by their ‘abuser’

But Mr Veale received a major boost yesterday as two fellow senior police chiefs, who are thought to have been briefed on progress by Operation Conifer, fired a warning shot at his powerful detractors.

Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who supervises all UK historic child sex investigations, and Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton, who supervises national police operations, cautioned against attempts to ‘undermine’ Mr Veale.

In a statement to the MoS they stressed police must be able to investigate ‘without fear or favour’, adding: ‘They should be able to carry out investigations with complete independence without commentary which threatens to undermine the process.

‘While we await the findings of the Sir Edward Heath inquiry, it would be wrong to speculate on its content or the actions of individuals who have conducted the investigation.’

It was vital that police were given the funds ‘to conduct what can be complex and time-consuming inquiries’, they added.

The Mail on Sunday can also disclose that earlier this year a review of Mr Veale’s inquiry was undertaken by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, which ruled it was ‘reasonable and proportionate’.

A Government source said an ¿interview under caution¿ is, in effect, the strongest action that Mr Veale could recommend with regard to Sir Edward

A Government source said an ‘interview under caution’ is, in effect, the strongest action that Mr Veale could recommend with regard to Sir Edward

In another apparent vote of confidence in Mr Veale, Home Secretary Amber Rudd last week signed off a £1.1 million payment to help fund the investigation into Sir Edward – a blow to Tory MPs who wanted her to refuse to pay. Significantly, she signed off the payment shortly after receiving a summary of Mr Veale’s findings.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse also said it would study Mr Veale’s findings after being briefed on his report.

Mr Veale’s view that allegations against Sir Edward would be serious enough to justify interrogation under caution were he alive is likely to spark a major row and calls for him to resign by some Tories convinced Sir Edward is innocent. A similar investigation into claims of a Westminster child sex ring involving 1980s Home Secretary Leon Brittan and others, by the Metropolitan Police – Operation Midland – collapsed last year after it was revealed the key claims were made by a fantasist. But there have also been allegations of an Establishment cover-up.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, who has staunchly defended ‘courageous and honest’ Mr Veale, said: ‘Having set up the inquiry it would have been appalling if the Government had refused to pay for it.

‘Mr Veale must be allowed to present his findings free of abuse or intimidation, and that includes my fellow Conservative MPs. Just because Operation Midland was a failure does not mean Operation Conifer should be ignored.

‘There are powerful forces in the Establishment that always want to cover things up.’

This newspaper revealed in February that Mr Veale believed some of the claims concerning Sir Edward were ‘120 per cent’ genuine.

 

September 10 2017 – “Sex Abuse Inquiry To Probe Ted Heath” – The Mail On Sunday – Front Page

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4869068/Sex-abuse-probe-investigate-Ted-Heath.html

Sex abuse probe WILL investigate Ted Heath over paedophile claims: Public inquiry set to look at explosive report by Chief Constable who says allegations against the ex-PM are ‘120 per cent’ genuine

  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will look at theoutcome of Operation Conifer, a inquiry into Heath by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale
  • His confidential report is due to be published in the next few weeks 
  • The developments came as one Tory MP warned his party not to try to stop Mr Veale from publishing his findings 
  • Findings of Operation Conifer support claims that Sir Edward’s alleged crimes were reported to police years ago but buried by the Establishment 

View comments

The controversial investigation into allegations that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile has been dramatically widened, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Officials at Britain’s biggest ever public inquiry confirmed that they are to study the findings of an explosive police report into claims that the former Prime Minister was a child abuser.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – set up to investigate claims that a Westminster paedophile ring was covered up by the Establishment – will now look at the outcome of Operation Conifer, a two-year inquiry into Heath led by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale. His confidential report is due to be published in the next few weeks.

The controversial investigation into allegations that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile has been dramatically widened, The Mail on Sunday can reveal

The controversial investigation into allegations that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile has been dramatically widened, The Mail on Sunday can reveal

A spokesman for the IICSA told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘In the context of the Westminster investigation, the inquiry will be interested to see and consider the outcome of Wiltshire Police’s investigation into allegations against Sir Edward Heath.’

It is believed to be the first time the inquiry has referred specifically to the Heath investigation.

The statement follows a little-noticed change on the IICSA website on August 30 that the scope of its Westminster inquiry is to be widened to take account of ‘recent police investigations’.

The amendment did not refer to Operation Conifer, but The Mail on Sunday has been told that it was linked to the imminent conclusion of Mr Veale’s probe.

The website added the IICSA would be ‘reviewing, collating and aggregating the work of previous investigations, some of which may not be in the public domain’.

The Mail on Sunday revealed earlier this year how Mr Veale defied pressure to call off his investigations because he believed some claims were ‘120 per cent genuine’.

The developments came as one Tory MP warned his party not to try to stop Mr Veale from publishing his findings.

Several Conservative politicians have called Operation Conifer, which has cost £1.5 million, a waste of time and public money. They say it is pointless because Sir Edward died 12 years ago and could never be prosecuted.

But Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said Mr Veale had been wrongly vilified and there were ‘powerful voices who would like to silence Operation Conifer’.

Mr Veale was a ‘courageous and honest’ policeman and ‘must be allowed to complete his investigation, free of abuse, intimidation or pressure,’ Mr Bridgen writes in today’s Mail on Sunday. There should be no cover-up, regardless of any embarrassment to the Conservatives – or anyone else.

In February, this newspaper reported that more than 30 people had come forward to Wiltshire Police with allegations of sexual abuse by Sir Edward. The alleged victims were said to have given ‘strikingly similar’ accounts of incidents, even though the individuals were not known to each other.

According to some sources, the findings of Operation Conifer support claims that Sir Edward’s alleged crimes were reported to police years ago but buried by the Establishment.

Inquiry One: Wiltshire police probe

Wiltshire Police have been investigating child abuse claims against Sir Edward Heath for the past two years. Led by Chief Constable Mike Veale Operation Conifer has cost taxpayers £1.5 million so far and will finish in the next six weeks.

Led by Chief Constable Mike Veale Operation Conifer has cost taxpayers £1.5 million so far and will finish in the next six weeks

 

Led by Chief Constable Mike Veale Operation Conifer has cost taxpayers £1.5 million so far and will finish in the next six weeks

At one stage there were 20 people working on the case: six detectives, a PC and 13 civilian staff. They have interviewed Heath’s former friends, staff and sailing companions, fellow politicians and civil servants, and even examined his papers in Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

A panel of experts was brought in to provide independent oversight of Operation Conifer following claims that it was a witch-hunt, and a waste of money given that Heath is dead and so cannot be prosecuted. Two people were arrested and questioned following claims made as part of Operation Conifer but in April they were told they faced no further action.

After the investigation is closed, a summary will be published, while a fuller report will be handed to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to consider as part of its investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring in Westminster.

Inquiry Two: VIP sex ring report

The public inquiry into historic child abuse was set up by David Cameron in July 2014 after growing pressure from MPs and campaigners who feared the Establishment had covered up sex crimes by public figures.

Professor Alexis Jay became the fourth chairman last summer but immediately faced a fresh crisis as counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson, was suspended and then resigned

 

Professor Alexis Jay became the fourth chairman last summer but immediately faced a fresh crisis as counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson, was suspended and then resigned

But the inquiry struggled to get off the ground as the first two chairmen, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf, were forced to quit over perceived conflicts of interest.

The inquiry then chose New Zealand judge Dame Lowell Goddard to take over, but she too quit after a year in charge.

Professor Alexis Jay became the fourth chairman last summer but immediately faced a fresh crisis as counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson, was suspended and then resigned.

Several other lawyers left and a series of survivors’ groups severed their links over their concerns about the inquiry’s leadership, scope and lack of progress.

The inquiry finally held its first public hearing in February this year after spending some £20 million, but it could last as long as a decade and cost more than £100 million.

Some of those who said he abused them are believed to have told police they went on to commit sexual abuse themselves as a result.

Operation Conifer was set up in 2015 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, but Mr Veale came under pressure to abandon it last year after separate claims of a paedophile ring at Westminster involving the late former Home Secretary Lord Brittan and ex-Defence chief Lord Bramall were found to be groundless.

The claims investigated by Wiltshire Police, understood to date from the 1960s to 1990s, are not linked to the discredited evidence of the man known as ‘Nick’, who made the false claims against Lord Brittan and Lord Bramall. The Met has now apologised and paid a reported £100,000 compensation.

Allegations that Sir Edward was involved in satanic orgies have been dismissed as fantasy by one expert asked to review the case.

Several senior politicians have dismissed allegations against Heath as absurd and unfounded. Former Tory Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind complained Sir Edward’s reputation was being ‘besmirched’.

Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, who was Sir Edward’s private secretary in No 10, criticised the inquiry in a letter to The Times last week, saying the allegations were ‘totally uncharacteristic and unlikely.’

Lord Armstrong referred to unspecified ‘concerns about the conduct of the inquiry’ and called for ‘an independent review of the investigation by a retired judge’.

And Wiltshire Tory MP James Gray said: ‘I do not believe the allegations against Sir Edward. If Mr Veale fails to justify his inquiry, he will be in serious difficulties.’

Sir Edward’s sexuality has been the source of speculation for decades. Some believed he was gay, others said he was asexual. At one point, he was being investigated by five police forces: the Met, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Kent and Jersey.

The claims, some of which were proved false, include alleged links to a convicted brothel keeper known as Madam Ling-Ling.

A paedophile dossier compiled by Labour peer Baroness Castle, a member of Harold Wilson’s Labour Government in the 1970s, said Sir Edward offered young boys trips on his yacht. In a separate incident, one man claimed Sir Edward picked him up in the 1960s when he was a 12-year-old hitchhiking in Kent and lured him to his Mayfair flat.

A IICSA spokesman declined to say if the change in its official stance, as detailed on the website, was to enable it to consider the findings of Mr Veale’s report.

Wiltshire Police said it had not yet sent its findings to the national inquiry, but expected to do so within the next six weeks.

  • REPORTING TEAM: Simon Walters, Glen Owen, Martin Beckford and Brendan Carlin

Thirty alleged victims and an inquiry mired in controversy 

By Martin Beckford  

The police investigation into Sir Edward Heath was controversial from the very beginning.

Superintendent Sean Memory stood outside the gates of Arundells, the late PM’s home in Salisbury, to declare in a televised statement that ‘anyone who believes they may have been a victim’ should come forward.

Wiltshire Police has since acknowledged this was inappropriate, while Supt Memory is now on sick leave and being investigated for misconduct over an unrelated matter.

FLASHBACK: How The Mail on Sunday has reported the probe

 

The original claim under investigation was that the trial of a brothel keeper had once collapsed because she threatened to reveal how she procured boys for Heath.

But the Independent Police Complaints Commission watchdog later said there was no evidence of a cover-up.

More than a dozen people came forward to make allegations against Heath, who died in 2005 and who had been widely regarded as ‘completely asexual’ by friends.

Detectives were accused of going on a ‘fishing expedition’ by interviewing former Downing Street staff, Heath’s yacht crew and even the editor of Private Eye magazine, which had published jokes about ‘Sailor Heath’.

The most contentious allegation, however, was that Heath was linked to a network of paedophiles who held satanic orgies and stabbed children in churches.

The lurid claims were dismissed as fantasy by an expert in ritual abuse cases. Dr Rachel Hoskins concluded they were false memories unearthed in therapy.

She was also alarmed to discover that detectives were studying the discredited statements made by a man known only as ‘Nick’, who had falsely accused military chiefs and MPs, including Heath, of being part of a murderous VIP sex ring. After The Mail on Sunday revealed the astonishing allegations, Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale strongly defended his investigation, declaring in a rare open letter: ‘This is not a “fishing trip” or “witch-hunt”.’

Earlier this year this newspaper told how Mr Veale is convinced the claims against Heath are ‘120 per cent’ genuine.

The number of alleged victims to come forward has risen to more than 30 and some of their accounts are ‘strikingly similar’.

Because Heath is dead and so cannot stand trial, his guilt or innocence can never be proven, and so the controversy over the accusations will likely continue long after Operation Conifer finishes its work.

My party may not like it, but there must not be a cover-up, says Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire 

I was greatly concerned when I read a letter in the Times on Friday concerning the police inquiry into claims of historic child sexual abuse by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

The letter from Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, who was Sir Edward’s Downing Street private secretary, criticises Operation Conifer, led by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale.

It refers to unspecified ‘concerns about [its] conduct’ and calls for ‘an independent review of the investigation by a retired judge’. In my view this is both unjustified and improper.

Lord Armstrong, who went on to become Cabinet Secretary, has made no secret of the fact that he thinks Sir Edward is innocent. He has described the allegations as ‘totally uncharacteristic and unlikely’.

With all due to respect to Lord Armstrong, I believe he would be well advised not to interfere.

He is not the only one who has criticised Mr Veale: he has been vilified by sections of the media and some of my fellow Conservative MPs.

My message to them is: Leave Mr Veale to do his job.

The timing of Lord Armstrong’s intervention is no coincidence. Mr Veale has indicated that he intends to publish a summary of the findings of Operation Conifer shortly. It would be wholly wrong if the Establishment had any part in this investigation.

It is natural that some will be sceptical about the investigation into Sir Edward. A separate inquiry by the Metropolitan Police, called Operation Midland, collapsed last year after the main allegations were found to be groundless.

For decades, rumours about Jimmy Savile were dismissed by institutions such as the BBC, terrified about the impact of negative publicity on their reputation

For decades, rumours about Jimmy Savile were dismissed by institutions such as the BBC, terrified about the impact of negative publicity on their reputation

Mr Veale declined calls to abandon his inquiry on the grounds that he believed the allegations concerning Sir Edward deserved to be taken seriously, on their own merit.

I congratulate him for doing so. I believe he is an honest, courageous and diligent police officer who deserves the chance to complete his investigation and announce his findings in public.

There are powerful voices who would like to silence Operation Conifer. My own party will be severely embarrassed if it transpires the claims against Sir Edward were true. But that is no reason for covering it up.

We have been here before. For decades, rumours about Jimmy Savile were dismissed by institutions such as the BBC, terrified about the impact of negative publicity on their reputation. It seems we have not learned our lesson. Sometimes the unthinkable does occur, and our knee-jerk reaction should not be to put a lid on it.

A brief period followed during which the chastened forces looked into historic allegations of abuse. But the process was tainted by a few bad apples who spotted the chance to revel in the limelight – and possibly make some money in the process.

But that should not be used by the Establishment as an excuse to shelve the entire process.

For all the problems associated with investigating these historic allegations, we have learned the hard way the perils of sweeping them under the carpet.

If we assume that all accusers are fantasists, we compound the distress of genuine victims who have carried their burden in secret for years.

As an MP, I have taken a close interest in trying to help these victims – the powerless against the powerful, battling to be heard when the weight of the state is lined up against them.

That is why Chief Constable Veale must be allowed to complete his investigation, free of intimidation of any sort.

Referring to the inquiry, set up when she was Home Secretary, Theresa May said last week: ‘If we turn a blind eye to this abuse, as has happened too much in the past, more crimes will be committed and more children will be suffering in silence.’

The Prime Minister is right.