Child abuse ‘took place at golf clubs’

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams November 5, 2012 11:59

A senior MP has alleged that famous and powerful people abused children in golf clubs’ car parks in the 1970s and 1980s.

Deputy chair of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, has made the allegation two weeks after he asked Prime Minister David Cameron about the existence of a paedophile ring in the Houses of Parliament more than 30 years ago, which the prime minister said he would investigate. Watson made the claim after being given evidence from a retired child protection professional in light of revelations about Jimmy Savile.

Two days later, Rod Richards, the former leader of the Welsh Tories, said that he had seen evidence that Sir Peter Morrison, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party who died in 1995, abused children at the Bryn Estyn care home in Wales in the 1980s.

This led to BBC Newsnight running a report last week in which Steve Messham, who was a child at that care home, and another victim, stated that an unnamed leading Thatcher-era Conservative politician abused them.

The following day the Daily Telegraph revealed that two senior Conservative figures were named during a 1997 official inquiry into widespread child abuse at children’s homes in Wales, but that a judge ruled that the media could not report their names. One of them, claims the newspaper, ‘is a former confidante of Margaret Thatcher who is still alive but retired from public life’.

As a result of this, Keith Towler, the children’s commissioner for Wales, has called for an inquiry into the allegations, which Home Secretary Theresa May has granted.

However, Mr Watson now says he has been contacted by more than 50 people, including former police officers, child protection officers and victims, since he first brought up the issue, and that the scale of abuse goes beyond the Bryn Estyn care home, including into some golf clubs’ car parks.

“These allegations go way beyond the claims made on BBC Newsnight,” he said.

“Two former police officers have raised their concerns of cover-ups. Child protection specialists have raised their fears that the network was wider than first thought. Others have identified a former cabinet minister who regularly abused young boys.

“They speak of golf course car parks being the scenes for child abuse after an 18-hole round. They have named powerful people – some of them household names – who abused children with impunity.

“I’m not going to let this drop despite warnings from people who should know that my personal safety is imperilled if I dig any deeper. It’s spooked me so much that I’ve kept a detailed log of all the allegations should anything happen.”


Emma Williams
By Emma Williams November 5, 2012 11:59
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  1. Sean Mysel November 6, 05:36

    Google “jerry sandusky” and watch how ugly these things can get.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Martin James November 5, 18:43

    The US International Business Times site ( contains two words missing from all the UK sources I have seen on this story. They refer to a “senior Conservative politician FROM WALES” (my empahsis). Now, this may be due to some common US confusion about Wales, but all the UK sources refer to children being taken from Wales to Chester, London, Brighton and other places in England as well as to Wrexham, where they were abused by people not involved in the care system.

    If the words “from Wales” are accurate, that narrows the field considerably. There are not, and were not then, many senior Tory politicians from Wales and I can think of only two who would fit the description. Where did IBTimes get their information or did they just assume it? Perhaps the politician concerned was not as senior as suggested, but several UK sources say he was of cabinet rank.

    Inquiries need to be made as to IBTimes’ source for “from Wales”, otherwise one of two former senior Welsh Tories comes wrongly under suspicion.

    Reply to this comment
    • Stu W November 5, 18:53

      Martin – the politician has been named extensively on Twitter and on other websites.

      He’s not from Wales.

      Reply to this comment
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