16 Oct 2015

Goddard abuse inquiry: Peter McKelvie quits

Former child protection officer Peter McKelvie has resigned from his role as an adviser to the Goddard child abuse inquiry.

Mr McKelvie is seen as a key figure in the events leading up to the launch of the controversial police investigation into allegations of a Westminster paedophile ring.

He claimed last year that at least 20 prominent paedophiles, including former MPs and government ministers, abused children for “decades”.

In 2012, he contacted Labour MP Tom Watson, now deputy leader of the party, with his concerns. Mr Watson subsequently told the Commons that the police should investigate “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No. 10”.

Channel 4 News revealed on Thursday (watch video below) that just eight weeks after Mr Watson’s statement to MPs, police had dismissed the key allegation, which relates to a current government minister.

In May of this year, Mr McKelvie wrote to Downing Street repeating the claim and saying the minister should not have been appointed.

‘Utter contempt for survivors’

In an email he sent to Mr Watson on 19 May, he said: “I met with Justice Lowell Goddard last week and made a formal complaint regarding the appointment of (Minister X).

“This appointment represents utter contempt for the survivors of child sexual abuse. I have today written to the prime minister giving my reasons for contacting Tom (Watson) , which led to the PMQ (parliamentary question) of the 24th of October 2012.”

Mr McKelvie said today: “I have today been advised that I am likely to be required as a witness in the inquiry’s investigations, and that the inquiry may need to examine my work in pursuing allegations of CSA (child sexual abuse).

“In those circumstances it would not be right for me to continue to act in a consultative capacity, providing advice to the chair and the inquiry panel.”

Mr McKelvie was named as a member of the Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel after the inquiry finally started earlier this year following a string of delays.

‘Only one component’

Inquiry chairwoman Justice Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand judge, said that “allegations concerning child sexual abuse related to Westminster are only one component of the inquiry’s work”.

She added: “As I said in my opening statement the Inquiry’s terms of reference go far broader than this and encompass all institutions within England and Wales. This important work continues.”