New probes into UK children’s homes sex abuse
British interior minister Theresa May launched a new police probe into allegations of abuse in children’s homes across north Wales after claims that a senior politician was involved in a paedophile ring.
Keith Bristow, director-general of the National Crime Agency, will review the original police investigations, dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, and examine any fresh allegations.
The original police work saw seven former care workers convicted.
Meanwhile, Downing Street named High Court judge Julia Wendy Macur to lead a review of an original judge-led inquiry into the scandal, investigating its terms of reference after some victims said the probe ruled out many of their claims.
The public inquiry was carried out in 2000.
May said Bristow would “assess the allegations recently received, to review the historic police investigations and investigate any fresh allegations reported to police into the alleged historic abuse in north Wales care homes”.
“The government is treating these allegations with the utmost seriousness,” the home secretary added.
“Child abuse is a hateful, abhorrent and disgusting crime and we must not allow these allegations to go unanswered.”
Bristow will produce his initial report by April.
An inquiry into the claims of abuse in north Wales care homes was previously led by former High Court judge Ronald Waterhouse in the 1990s and reported its findings in 2000.
Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday announced an urgent probe into the way the allegations were originally dealt with after claims in a BBC report that an unnamed senior Conservative politician from Margaret Thatcher’s premiership (1979-1990) was involved in the abuse.
May warned lawmakers not to use parliamentary immunity to try to name the alleged suspect as it could jeopardise the prospect of any future criminal trial.
The publicly unidentified politician has told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that the allegations were “totally untrue” and threatened legal action had his name appeared in the BBC report.
May said she would also consider calls for a wider, over-arching inquiry into child abuse -- including the mountain of allegations involving the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile – if the evidence was shown to justify it.