Thursday, November 27, 2014

Simon Danczuk and Sir Edward Garnier

Back in July, after Simon Danczuk (the Labour MP for Rochdale who exposed Cyril Smith) appeared before the Commons home affairs select committee.

The following week a mysterious report appeared in the Telegraph:
A campaigning MP was warned not to challenge Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary, about what he knew about an alleged Westminster paedophile ring and was told he could be responsible for the Conservative peer’s death. 
Simon Danczuk said a Conservative minister stepped in to warn him not to name Lord Brittan in a Parliamentary committee last week. 
Mr Danczuk said that members of the Home Affairs select committee received similar phone calls ahead of his appearance on Tuesday.
Today a sparsely attended backbench debate on historical child sex abuse was held in the House of Commons and it may have provided a solution to this mystery.

In the course of his speech in the debate, Danczuk said:
Earlier this year, I told the Home Affairs Committee that a dossier containing allegations about child abuse by politicians had been handed by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens to the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan. That revelation helped lead to the Wanless and Whittam review and to the establishment of the overarching inquiry, but not everybody was pleased with the idea that I might challenge Lord Brittan. 
The night before my appearance before the Committee, I had an encounter with the hon. and learned Member for Harborough (Sir Edward Garnier). After the 10pm vote, he drew me to one side outside the Chamber and warned me to think very carefully about what I was going to say the following day. He told me that challenging Lord Brittan on child abuse would not be a wise move and that I might even be responsible for his death, as he was unwell. 
I understand that people are cautious about naming parliamentarians, but I think that people who might know about child abuse allegations should answer questions, whatever their position. We should not shy away from that.
Sir Edward Garnier (despite my best efforts) has been my MP here in Market Harborough since 1992.

Later. Sir Edward Garnier has replied via the Leicester Mercury.

2 comments: said...

When has 'being unwell' been an excuse to escape questions? This excuse has allegedly trotted out for Greville Janner too. Now according to your report the same is true for Leon Brittan . Lest we forget Janner pursued holocaust perpetrators whatever their state of health. If this story is true then lack of confidence in over-mighty parliamentarians is fully justified and anarchy rules - OK?

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how people become unwell when the net starts to close in.

The mystery is why other Labour (or indeed Liberal) MPs are not speaking out more on this. Brittan was very strongly condemned on child abuse in a recent debate on the Miners Strike but that is the worst Labour have unleashed. I suspect both sides might suffer if the full truth comes out. I am sure the security service have files that might suddenly become public.