5 Nov 2012

Cameron moves to clear up north Wales abuse scandal

Downing Street looks like it’s moving towards deciding that there will probably need to be two fresh investigations into how the North Wales care home scandal was handled. 

There’ll be a review of the original Waterhouse Inquiry which will look amongst other things at the terms of reference which the original judge said prevented him looking at the claims of abuse off the precincts of the care homes and which therefore left the claims of farming out to paedophiles uninvestigated. Was that a mishap or something more suspicious? Why were names redacted from the victim statements to the police? Separately the Home Office may be tapping up a former police chief to look into whether possible leads on paedophile sex crimes were properly investigated at the time.

It sounds like the justice department is being tapped for a judge willing to do the job. The areas for investigation could include the question of why the original terms of reference for the Waterhouse inquiry didn’t allow the judge leading it to look into alleged paedophile crimes committed against children living at the care home while they were outside the care home.

The Prime Minister  broke into his middle east trip in Abu Dhabi to promise that the man at the centre of the allegations, former care home resident Steve Messham, will be given an opportunity to make his case directly to the secretary of state for Wales. Mr Messham will also meet with a representative of the Home Office tomorrow.

Mr Messham was told all this in a phone call from No. 10 this morning. He  was also told that he could expect to meet with David Cameron personally in the future. It’s all a great neon glaring sign that David Cameron wants to be seen to have done everything possible to clear up what happened and get things pursued further where necessary … to avoid any future claim of a cover-up and put vast distance between himself and any damaging headlines alleging paedophile activity by a former senior Tory aide.

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