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Carl Beech, Vicious Liar & VIP Paedophile Accuser Jailed for 18 Years

Story Update: July 26, 2019

Carl Beech Jailed for 18 Years

Judge tells Carl Beech that he is a “manipulative” and “devious” person, who carried out online research to help fabricate his story, “It was all a fabrication… Your actions traduced reputations.” and “you have maintained your lies and false accusations in this court.”

Judge does not accept that Beech has shown any remorse for his offences.

Judge tells Carl Beech to stand up: he sentences Beech to 18 years in jail. He sets the tariff at half that time.

Carl Beech sentenced to 18 months consecutively for fraudulent compensation claim to Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Carl Beech sentenced to 18 months consecutively in total for the four charges of downloading/posessing indecent images of children and one of voyeurism.

Carl Beech sentenced to two months concurrently for breaching bail conditions by absconding.

This sentence for Carl Beech includes: 15 years concurrently for each of the 12 charges of seeking to pervert the course of justice, meaning 15 in total.

In summary, the judge has handed Carl Beech a prison sentence of 18 years, of which he must serve at least 9.

“Take him down,” judge added.

The End.

Story Update: July 22, 2019

Carl Beech is Found Guilty on All 13 Counts

Carl Beech, a compulsive liar, convicted paedophile and fantasist has been found guilty on all counts at Newcastle Crown Court today.  Beech will be sentenced for these counts and previous counts relating to child porn images offences on 26th July, 2019.  The prosecution is seeking to freeze Beech’s assets and obtain a confiscation order relating to the fraudulent compensation claim.

The guilty counts :

  1. GUILTY – Made a false allegation of witnessing the child homicide of an unnamed boy committed by Harvey Proctor
  2. GUILTY – Made a false allegation of witnessing the homicide of a boy called Scott
  3. GUILTY – Made a false allegation of witnessing the homicide of another boy
  4. GUILTY – Falsely alleged that he had been sexually and physically abused by a paedophile ring, with senior military officers, military intelligence, a TV presenter and other unidentified men accused as members
  5. GUILTY – Falsely alleged that he had been sexually and physically abused by a paedophile ring, with politicians accused as members
  6. GUILTY – Provided a list of sexual abusers and locations falsely alleging he had been physically and sexually abused by said abusers at said locations
  7. GUILTY – Provided sketches of locations at which he claimed he had been abused, falsely claiming he had produced them from memory
  8. GUILTY – Provided the name Aubrey, falsely alleging Aubrey had been present and subjected to physical and sexual abuse when with him
  9. GUILTY – Provided a pen knife and two military epaulettes falsely alleging he had retained them from when he was abused as a child
  10. GUILTY – Falsely claimed that he had been seriously injured by sexual and physical abuse inflicted as a child
  11. GUILTY – Falsified a ‘Proton’ email account, and provided false information purportedly sent from ‘Fred’, an individual he had claimed was present when he was abused
  12. GUILTY – Went together with investigators on site visits and falsely alleged that it was at locations identified by him during those visits that he had been subjected to physical and sexual abuse by a paedophile ring
  13. GUILTY – Falsely claimed £22,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority saying he was subjected to abuse by a paedophile ring, knowing this to be untrue and intending to make a gain for himself

The man formerly known as ‘Nick’ who claimed he was a victim of an alleged “Westminster Paedophile Ring” had his real identity revealed as Carl Stephen Beech, after a judge lifted reporting restrictions.

Beech triggered Operation Midland, a huge Metropolitan Police investigation costing £2.5 million (US$3.2 million) in the UK after alleging MP’s and others had run a VIP paedophile ring, making allegations against politicians Sir Edward Heath, Lord Brittan and Harvey Proctor and the ex-chief of the defence staff, Lord Bramall.

Ordinarily UK victims of rape and sex crimes are guaranteed anonymity for life from the date of complaint but in some circumstances, judges may lift these restrictions, such as when the complainants themselves are charged with an offence.

In July 2018, Beech was charged by the Crown Prosecution Service and is now accused of lying about witnessing former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor murdering a child, as well as lying about two other killings of young boys and denied a total of 12 charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice, as well as one count of fraud, when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, December 3.

The fraud charge accuses Beech of making a £22,000 (US$27,677) fraudulent Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claim.

No pleas were entered and Beech will stand trial on May 7, 2019. The hearing will take place at Newcastle Crown Court and is likely to last six to eight weeks.

Beech’s trial will follow the public Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) hearings related to “Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse linked to Westminster” that are scheduled to be heard throughout March, 2019.

Carl Beech Trial Updates

Mr Beech, formerly from Gloucester and known as “Nick” when he first made the claims, was in Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday for the start of his trial.   Beech is accused of lying about “three child murders, multiple rapes, kidnapping, false imprisonment and widespread sexual abuse”.

He claimed that he was first sexually abused by his stepfather, Major Ray Beech, when he was seven years old and went on to allege abuse by a group of public figures, including from politics and the military.

Among those he accused was former Conservative prime minister Sir Edward Heath, ex-Tory home secretary Lord Brittan, former head of the armed forces Lord Bramall and former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor.

The jury was told Mr Beech picked his “targets” after browsing the internet.

Detectives investigated Mr Beech’s claims until 2016 when they asked another police force – Northumbria – to investigate the accuser himself.  Northumbria Police found his story to be “totally unfounded, hopelessly compromised and irredeemably contradicted”, the court heard.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC told the jury: “It is quite impossible to conceive of allegations of a worse kind to be made.”

He said “immeasurable distress” had been caused to those accused and those close to them – and they had suffered “obvious reputational damage”.

Mr Proctor has spoken freely in public to defend himself against the allegation that “he is a sadistic child killer and that he committed other serious sexual offences”, the court heard.

Jurors were told that, as an entirely innocent man, Mr Proctor was “still enraged”.

Both Mr Proctor and Lord Bramall had their homes searched as a result of the allegations.

Lord Bramall’s wife died during the police inquiry – codenamed Operation Midland – and Lord Brittan died while under investigation.

Parties where abuse happened

Mr Beech claimed the abuse happened after school, when he was picked up by a driver and taken to “parties” where there were 10 to 15 men and around seven or eight boys.

Mr Beech “claimed that he was the victim of much of the abuse and he was a direct witness to the killing of three young boys”, the court was told.

Mr Beech told police that he witnessed Mr Proctor killing a boy.

Jurors heard how Mr Beech alleged that at an army location, the former head of MI5, Michael Hanley, and the former head of MI6, Maurice Oldfield, subjected him to torture.

Mr Beech claimed he had spiders tipped on him, electric shocks and darts thrown at him.

The prosecutor said Mr Beech had described to police “the most horrific sexual and physical abuse”, but that his medical records could not substantiate the claims.

Carl Beech Trial
The jury was shown sketches of the alleged crime scenes, which Mr Beech drew for detectives

And the court heard that the defendant’s ex-wife, whom he married in his early 20s, did not notice any marks on his body and saw nothing physical that supported his claims of electric shock treatment nor any savage abuse.

The court was played a video interview Mr Beech had given to the Met Police in November 2014, during which he cried as he described details of the first alleged murder.

He claimed a schoolmate called “Scott” was deliberately run over in Kingston-upon-Thames in 1979.

The court heard Northumbria Police concluded “there is no supporting evidence whatsoever” to support Mr Beech’s account about Scott.

Prosecutor Mr Badenoch told jurors: “There was no such homicide. No missing boy.”

Carl Beech Trial
Jurors were shown photos of Carl Beech as a child

Mr Beech also claimed that one of the boys he witnessed being murdered was Martin Allen, a 15-year-old boy who went missing in London in 1979 and has not been seen since, jurors heard.

Martin Allen’s brother Kevin was contacted by Scotland Yard in 2014 and told his brother may have been linked to a VIP paedophile ring.

Mr Badenoch said: “The source of that false hope to Kevin Allen, 35 years after his brother went missing, was ultimately the false allegations of this defendant, Carl Beech.”

And jurors were also told that Mr Beech had claimed he had a lifelong fear of water and could not swim, because aspects of the alleged abuse involved being held underwater and thrown in a pool.

But, the prosecutor said, police found photographs and videos of him swimming all over the world over several decades, ranging from with children at theme parks, to honeymoon snorkelling for shells, and at a pool with flippers, mask and snorkel.

It was “an adult lifetime of swimming memories”, Mr Badenoch said.

Carl Beech Trial
Photographs of defendant Carl Beech in or near water were shown to the jury

Beech Fled to Sweden

The court heard how the Met Police spent £2m on their investigation into Mr Beech’s claims and described them publicly as “credible and true”.

He first contacted Wiltshire Police in 2012 with allegations of abuse by his stepfather as well as Jimmy Savile. Between 2014 and 2016 he made further allegations to the Met Police, with a list of alleged abusers.

In 2016, when that investigation ended with no further action, police began investigating Mr Beech himself.

Police searched Mr Beech’s Gloucester home in November 2016 and seized several electronic devices.

During their investigation, a number of Mr Beech’s claims “were found to be provably false”, the court heard.

“He had lied about the content of these allegations, taken active steps to embellish a false story, and then cover his tracks when challenged,” Mr Badenoch said.

When questioned by police about this, he “fled the country and lived overseas as a fugitive” before being located in Sweden.

The jury also heard that Mr Beech’s former teachers had said he had good attendance – contrary to his claims of being taken out of lessons to be abused.

Sports Car Purchased With Fraudulent Funds

Newcastle Crown Court heard today that a white car was found at Beech’s home in Gloucester, the deposit paid directly from cash he received from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) after falsely claiming he’d been abused.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said Beech’s motives for purchasing the flashy car were unclear but “others have said that he craves attention”.

He said Beech got £22,000 in April 2015 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority following his false claims and the £10,000 cash deposit for the sports car “identifiably came from that fraudulent claim”.

He added that Beech was “heavily indebted and spending beyond his means” with holidays to Sweden and America, and that he intended to become an international speaker on the subject of abuse survivors.

He told the court Beech was an attention seeker who “liked an audience”, saying “This may be a useful starting point in this case. Carl Beech spent around twenty hours making these allegations in recordings with the Metropolitan Police. He therefore had an audience”.

Fictitious Fred

The jury also heard Beech invented a witness with the codename Fred and produced a string of bogus emails to support his false claims.

Beech, said Fred suffered abuse alongside him, but Fred was actually a figment of his imagination, according to prosecutors, and his email account originated with Beech.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Beech agreed to act as an intermediary between investigating officers from the Metropolitan Police and Fred.

Officers received emails from the bogus witness on an encrypted account, which appeared to support Beech’s claims.

But 18 months later when Beech himself became the focus of an investigation they were found to be an elaborate sham, jurors were told.

When Northumbria Police were called in to investigate Beech as a suspect in 2016, their detectives traced the email account to Proton Technologies in Geneva, Switzerland, encrypted email account software which Beech knew how to use.

They quickly discovered the account was registered with the address [email protected] and realised it was Carl Beech who had created the Fred email address, the court heard.

During the correspondence Fred revealed himself as being called John. Mr Badenoch said Beech had modeled Fred on John Prance, who was best man at his wedding.

Beech’s wife Dawn left him before the police investigations began, the court heard.

Mr Badenoch said Mr Prance matches the description of the person being given the pseudonym ‘Fred’ but had never witnessed any abuse nor been the subject of any abuse.

Badenoch said: “This of course all adds up to a straightforward conclusion. There was no John abused with “Nick” in the way he alleged. He was a fabrication from beginning to end.”

VIP Accuser is a “Committed and Manipulative Paedophile”

VIP sex ring accuser Carl Beech is “a committed and manipulative paedophile, capable of deceit to investigators and limitless manipulation” the jury at his trial were told today.

The court heard the former nurse pleaded guilty at a separate trial after Northumbria Police seized devices at his home and found indecent images of young boys, covert images of boys taken by him, and recordings.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch said: “These child sex offences were committed whilst he was speaking to investigating police officers.”

Referring to the alleged crime of making and possessing indecent images of children and voyeurism, based on indecent images of children found on devices in Beech’s Gloucester home, prosecutor Tony Badenoch said: “At the same time as he perpetuated these lies about Harvey Proctor and so many others, he was also viewing indecent images of the gravest kind and spying on small boys.

“He had installed on his iPad a secret App in the form of what looked to all and intents and purposes like a calculator.

“Only it wasn’t. Two codes led investigators to the content behind the calculator image. What was that? Indecent images of young boys of the most serious kind.”

He said Beech had been prosecuted for this crime separately, pleading guilty after initially contesting the charge and attempting to blame someone else. The process took 18 months, including the time Beech was a fugitive abroad.

He said: “This evidence demonstrates that Carl Beech is a committed and manipulative paedophile, capable of deceit to investigators and limitless manipulation when required.

“The sort of individual concerned only for himself, unconcerned with the impact on others; whether it is falsely accusing them of heinous crimes or seeking to attribute blame to another for child pornography.

“It also demonstrates that Carl Beech has an interest in child pornography. Not something which is learnt behaviour from something which happened, but quite the reverse.

“He watches child pornography concerning boys, possesses it, records young boys covertly, and writes about it over hundreds of pages. It all suggests that he also wants to be a part of it, and so he also talked about it to the Metropolitan Police, intending for them to take it seriously and enable him to continue to do so.”

Beech Named Suspects “after he saw reporter’s photos”

The former nurse met the Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, a retired social worker, Peter McKelvie, and a journalist, Mark Conrad, in the months before he came forward to the Metropolitan police in October 2014, a court heard.

Beech emailed Detective Sergeant James Townly, of the Met’s specialist operations unit, in October 2014 claiming he could help with the force’s investigation into high-ranking paedophiles operating out of Dolphin Square in London.

Beech asked if they could meet with Conrad present as he was nervous and needed to feel safe. The court heard they met at a Gloucestershire police station for up to 30 minutes where Beech said he had been undergoing therapy since 2012 and was ready to speak again to police. Beech gave the detective a list of typed names, some of which were underlined.

In a recorded police interview conducted later that month, Beech said he had learned of a survivors website, The Tangled Web, and had begun blogging about his own experiences. He said he had been careful not to “name names”.

Conrad had seen the posts and contacted the site to obtain Beech’s details, and the pair had met in London after Beech had read previous Exaro stories. He wanted to know if there were other victims, Beech told police.

“Peter McKelvie and Tom Watson also formed part of a little group that was supporting me and put my information out there to encourage other people to come forward, hence the piece they did on Dolphin Square,” he said.

Beech said he met Watson in his office and spoke to him at length. Though he described the experience of dealing with Conrad as positive, Beech found it “incredibly frustrating” as the reporter was aware he could not share certain information with him, the court heard.

The detective agreed with Beech that journalists had to protect the integrity of the investigation, adding: “It’s quite lucky someone like Mark is aware of that.”

Conrad showed Beech photographs of people “to see if there was anyone that I recognised”, the former health worker explained in the interview.

Beech told Townly: “He did not go into any detail and the fact that there would be lots of them, but it was something they had to do in a particular way, that he couldn’t be there whilst I did it.

“Then I was just asked to mark on them if I recognised them, and if I did recognise them and they took part in the abuse. Then he had a whole bunch of photos that I just looked through.”

Beech added: “I picked them out, I didn’t know either their first name or their surname, some of them I knew what they did. That made a difference. He [Conrad] has not told me how he has found out who they were.

“It really helps me because it fills another blank, it just puts another piece of the jigsaw in place, but it’s annoying and he knows that.”

In his recorded interview with DS Townly, Beech also claimed he was tortured by Savile and the heads of MI5 and MI6.

Beech said his feet were jabbed with sharp objects and burned with a lighter, his head was held underwater and he was given electric shocks. Spiders were also tipped over him during the abuse sessions, giving him a fear of the creatures.

Beech described the gang as “sadistic”, adding: “They were trying to find new ways to inflict pain, terror, fear. Some of them liked to see me and others in pain.”

He said “Michael and Maurice” – who the jury has previously been told were Michael Hanley, the former head of MI5, and Maurice Oldfield, the former MI6 chief – would “instigate things”.

“They would tell the others what to do, but they wouldn’t do it themselves,” he said. “Jimmy Savile was nasty, but I only met him a couple of times.”

The trial has heard how Beech alleged he was abused by a murderous VIP group that included the former prime minister Edward Heath, the former home secretary Leon Brittan, Field Marshal Lord Bramall and the former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, among others.

Sir Edward Heath’s Yacht

Beech allegedly claimed ex-prime minister Sir Edward Heath had sexually abused him on his yacht, and claimed he remembered the vessel Morning Cloud was large and white, but was unsure where it was moored.

He told Detective Sergeant James Townly of the Metropolitan Police that he was sexually assaulted in one of the cabins, which he said were basic and not luxurious. Beech told the detective in October 2014: “He touched me, I didn’t have to do anything to him, I just lay there.”

Beech was able to recall to police that the yacht had a tilting cooker, but could not remember where it was moored or even whether it was in a marina, the court heard.

The court was also told today how Beech claimed Mr Heath had to step in to stop an MP seriously harming him. Beech told the Met Police that ex-Basildon and Billericay MP Harvey Proctor wanted to ‘cut his genitals’ with a knife and liked to ‘strangle’ him while forcing him to perform sex acts.

He also claimed the late former home secretary Lord Brittan was “sadistic” and said the politician would “hold his head underwater” while abusing him.

Beech made the claim a few minutes after telling a police officer his dog had been kidnapped in a plot orchestrated by the former head of MI5.

The interview in October 2014 was filmed with some clips shown to the jury today.

Beech told Detective Sergeant James Townly that Harvey Proctor, now 72, was the most violent of the abusers he called ‘The Group.’

He said: ‘He had a little pen-knife, he wanted to cut my genitals, he was stopped by one of the others.

‘He was not happy, he was so angry, he did not like being told what to do.and he gave me that knife as he left.

‘He put it in my trousers and said: ‘Next time you will not be so lucky’.’

Detective Sergeant Townly asked him: ‘Who is he?’

Beech answered in a low voice: ‘Harvey. Harvey Proctor.’

DS Townly asked: ‘Who stopped him?’

Beech said: ‘One of the others, it was not the only time he was stopped.’

The 51-year-old also alleged Proctor forced him to perform sex acts while being violent.

He said: ‘He was not like the others, it was fun for him to choke you so you just couldn’t breathe.

‘Strangle. He just liked to strangle, he liked to hit. Anything that caused additional pain, physical pain.

‘He liked knives. He was probably one of the youngest of The Group but he did not like being told what to do.’

He was asked again who told him [Proctor] what to do and Beech replied: ‘The only one person I remember was Edward, just him. Harvey wanted to do more and Edward would not let him.’

DS Townly asked: ‘Who is Edward?’

Beech replied: ‘Edward Heath. He told him and he did not question that but I saw what harm he was capable of, I was on his hit list and he did not like me at all.’

Detective Sergeant Townly asked him to tell him more about Proctor but an emotional Beech began to break down and replied: ‘I can’t, I just can’t.’

The trial continues, updates to follow.

The 13 Charges Against Carl Beech

Carl Beech denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and a count of fraud.

The charges allege Carl Beech:

  1. Made a false allegation of witnessing the child homicide of an unnamed boy committed by Harvey Proctor
  2. Made a false allegation of witnessing the homicide of a boy called Scott
  3. Made a false allegation of witnessing the homicide of another boy
  4. Falsely alleged that he had been sexually and physically abused by a paedophile ring, with senior military officers, military intelligence, a TV presenter and other unidentified men accused as members
  5. Falsely alleged that he had been sexually and physically abused by a paedophile ring, with politicians accused as members
  6. Provided a list of sexual abusers and locations falsely alleging he had been physically and sexually abused by said abusers at said locations
  7. Provided sketches of locations at which he claimed he had been abused, falsely claiming he had produced them from memory
  8. Provided the name Aubrey, falsely alleging Aubrey had been present and subjected to physical and sexual abuse when with him
  9. Provided a pen knife and two military epaulettes falsely alleging he had retained them from when he was abused as a child
  10. Falsely claimed that he had been seriously injured by sexual and physical abuse inflicted as a child
  11. Falsified a ‘Proton’ email account, and provided false information purportedly sent from ‘Fred’, an individual he had claimed was present when he was abused
  12. Went together with investigators on site visits and falsely alleged that it was at locations identified by him during those visits that he had been subjected to physical and sexual abuse by a paedophile ring
  13. Falsely claimed £22,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority saying he was subjected to abuse by a paedophile ring, knowing this to be untrue and intending to make a gain for himself

Carl Beech Trial – Press Coverage

One of the first things anti-establishment conspiracy theorists always complain about in a case like this is “lack of media coverage” so let’s put that one to rest, there has been plenty of media coverage:

Daily Mail

Former MP Harvey Proctor weeps in court as he dismisses claims from ‘fantasist’ known as Nick that he murdered and sexually abused children and slams police who called them ‘credible and true’
Dolphin Square swimming pool sketch provided by ‘fantasist’ known as Nick matched location featured in Culture Club video, VIP sex ring trial hears
D-Day hero Lord Bramall slammed the ‘uncorroborated, monstrous’ sex abuse claims made by fantasist ‘Nick’
‘Fantasist known as Nick’ told police ex-PM Edward Heath molested him
VIP paedophile ring ‘fantasist’ brought misery to high-profile political …
Prosecutor slams ‘fantasist “Nick’s” false claims’ of murder …
Detective Kenny McDonald who said VIP sex abuse claims …

BBC News

Abuse claims ‘ridiculous’, ex-Army chief told police
Harvey Proctor: Murder and abuse claims ‘horrendous’, says former MP
Ex-wife of abuse accuser Carl Beech ‘first heard claims on TV’
Child abuse accuser Carl Beech a paedophile, court told
Carl Beech ‘did not know’ alleged abusers’ names
Carl Beech: Accuser of ‘VIP paedophile ring’ named
Carl Beech told ‘extraordinary tale’ of VIP paedophile ring

The Independent

Carl Beech trial: No evidence in Westminster paedophile ring accuser’s first claims, jury told

Evening Standard

Carl Beech trial: Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor condemns VIP Westminster abuse ring accusations as ‘ravings of a fantasist’
Carl Beech trial: First investigation found no lines of inquiry into VIP paedophile ring
Carl Beech trial: VIP abuse accuser ‘Nick’ made ‘totally unfounded claims’

Sky News

Ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor calls child murder claims ‘ravings of a fantasist’
‘Lying’ Carl Beech fed police ‘extraordinary tale’ of VIP Westminster paedophile ring
Westminster VIP abuse accuser Carl Beech ‘is committed paedophile
Westminster VIP abuse accuser Carl Beech claimed he was targeted by Jimmy Savile

The Telegraph

Harvey Proctor says allegations he was part of Westminster sex ring are ‘polluted ravings of a fantasist’
Nick – the man who ‘invented’ murderous Westminster VIP child abuse ring – is a paedophile himself
Man known as ‘Nick’ filmed crying as he falsely tells police of murdered schoolmate

The Guardian

Carl Beech schoolmate says he cannot recall any hit-and-run attack
Carl Beech trial: ex-wife ‘confronted him after Panorama appearance’
VIP abuse accuser gave police list of suspects ‘after he saw reporter’s photos’
Westminster VIP abuse accuser ‘fled to Sweden when story collapsed’
Man who sparked VIP abuse ring inquiry is paedophile, court told

ITV News

Man accused of lying about VIP abuse ring is ‘committed and manipulative paedophile’

The Times

Carl Beech trial: claim that MI5 chief abducted dog

Twitter Hashtags

#NickTrial (Mark Watts – Former Editor-in-Chief of Exaro)
#CarlBeech (Mainstream Media)

Exaro News Archive

‘Nick’, Accused of Lying About “Westminster Paedophile Ring” Allegations, to Appear in Court

The fifty-year-old man going by the name ‘Nick’ for legal reasons, claimed in 2014 that he had been raped and abused for years by an alleged VIP paedophile gang during the 1970s.

‘Nick’ will appear in Newcastle Crown Court on March 5, 2019 accused of multiple counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud where he’s alleged to have fraudulently received £22,000 in compensation.

Mark Watts, Former Editor-in-Chief of Exaro tweeted:

A £2.5 million inquiry into the allegations, called Operation Midland, collapsed in 2016 without any arrests following.

Related Stories: Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread

Exaro News Archive

Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread

Police are investigating former senior politicians and other prominent people over historical allegations of child sex abuse. Exaro has run a series of pieces on the issue since late 2012, as listed below.

The Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit launched an investigation into activities at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, in the early 1980’s.

The Met’s investigation began after Exaro worked with a key source to pass to detectives documents that detail allegations that boys were supplied from the nearby Grafton Close children’s home, which was run by the London borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.

When the Met upgraded the case to a full criminal investigation, it became ‘Operation Fernbridge’. At that point, it was separated from ‘Operation Fairbank’, which is scoping various allegations of child sex abuse against several senior political figures.

Exaro also helped ‘Operation Fairbank’ establish that one set of allegations of indecent assault against a senior Conservative minister was false.

Exaro has also led the way on uncovering documents relating to the case of Sir Cyril Smith, the late former Liberal MP.

The common theme of the pieces below is that they raise questions about how the authorities have tackled the issue of child sex abuse. They led to a call by seven MPs for an overarching inquiry into the organised sexual abuse of children in the UK. It snowballed as nearly 150 MPs supported the inquiry call, which the government eventually granted.

Later, Exaro reported accounts from two people who alleged that they were abused as boys by the ‘Westminster paedophile network’ at Dolphin Square, the apartment complex in Pimlico where many MPs have their London homes. One of the two witnesses says that members of the paedophile network murdered three boys in separate attacks.

Exaro’s reports led the Met to set up a further investigation, ‘Operation Midland’.

Accounts from police whistleblowers, first reported by Exaro, of cover-ups for prominent paedophiles prompted a series of investigations that are being overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The articles are listed in reverse-chronological order.

Court 73: where UK institutions are ‘in the dock’ in CSA inquiry

Harvey Proctor in clear as Yard closes ‘Operation Midland’

CoE finds one million pages of documents about child sex abuse

Smith review finds 72 BBC-linked victims of Sir Jimmy Savile

Smith review: police unearth missing diary of TOTP girl, 15

Met was right to interview Lord Brittan over rape claim – review

Police probe ‘cover-up’ over Peter Morrison, Exaro debate hears

Janet Smith clashes with DJ ‘A7’ over abuse inquiry at BBC

Analysis: why Exaro ran disclosures from leaked Smith review

BBC knew of Savile inquiry’s findings more than a year ago
Judge’s inquiry into Jimmy Savile avoids prejudicing police cases
Janet Smith’s review: key extracts and Exaro story thread

Margaret Thatcher urged knighthood for ‘lurid’ Jimmy Savile
Janet Smith’s review: chapter 4 on society’s lack of alarm

Top of the Pops exposed by Janet Smith’s inquiry into abuse 
Inquiry slams BBC over response to suicide of TOTP girl, 15
TOTP photographer took ‘porny’ pictures of girls in audience
Jimmy Savile hid abuse on Top of the Pops in ‘plain sight’
Radio 1 chief failed to see risk posed by Jimmy Savile in 1973
Janet Smith’s review: chapters 9 and 11 on TOTP and Radio 1

BBC staff to Janet Smith: we heard of Jimmy Savile’s exploits
Many of Jimmy Savile’s sexual attacks linked directly to BBC
Jim’ll Fix It sailed on despite concerns with Sir Jimmy Savile
BBC chiefs oblivious to Jimmy Savile’s damning Sun stories
BBC stars blast Jimmy Savile in damning evidence to inquiry
Janet Smith’s review: chapters 3, 5, 6, 7, 10 on ‘who knew what’

Jimmy Savile: Janet Smith’s damning review leaked to Exaro 
BBC staff feared reporting Jimmy Savile’s activities to bosses
Whistleblowing at BBC ‘worse’ than in Jimmy Savile’s time
Jimmy Savile inquiry reveals BBC’s ‘kid gloves’ for its stars
Another Jimmy Savile could lurk at BBC, warns inquiry report
Janet Smith’s review: chapters 1, 2, conclusions & afterword

Lord Bramall demands apology from police over investigation

Jersey’s former deputy police chief slams island’s abuse inquiry

IPCC probes Panorama source over leaking of CSA survivors’ IDs

Exaro panel debate: ‘Did the UK cover up over child sex abuse?’

‘Jane’: witnesses should come forward despite Leon Brittan row Updated 14 December 2015

Tom Driberg MP ‘escaped prosecution for sexually abusing boys’

Police investigate 300 teachers over claims of child sex abuse

Ex-flatmates support ‘Jane’ over rape claim against Leon Brittan
How police chiefs were split over investigation into Leon Brittan

Jimmy Savile: BBC restricts Smith review’s terms of reference
BBC-commissioned study praises corporation on child protection

CSA inquiry plans to start hearings soon – after series of mishaps

Smith review ‘already avoids prejudicing ongoing police cases’

Police probe 13 more politicians over claims of child sex abuse

Mark Watts on RT’s Sputnik: BBC’s attack on abuse survivors

Met investigates Panorama source over leak of CSA survivor’s ID

Analysis: why I turned down Panorama’s interview request

Revealed: Panorama’s plans to smear survivors of child abuse

BBC seeks to delay Smith review until after renewal of charter

IPCC launches 13 more probes into paedophile ‘cover-ups’

Harvey Proctor’s ex-lover talks to Met’s ‘Operation Midland’

Police ‘betray’ CSA survivor by referring his son to social services

Analysis: why police continue to investigate claims by ‘Nick’

Police investigate senior Labour MP for ‘charging constituents’

Found: more secret files on allegations of sex offences by ‘VIPs’

Police are still sifting items seized from raid on Harvey Proctor
Harvey Proctor: ‘I am a homosexual. I am not a murderer’

German TV runs report about Britain’s ‘politician paedophiles’

Video: Esther Baker on how police have stepped up abuse case Updated 14 December 2015

Sir Edward Heath: dozen police probes across UK become one

Mark Watts returns to RT’s Sputnik: VIPs and child sex abuse

Sir Edward Heath: Met also investigates claims of child sex abuse

Ken Clarke: police assure me that they are not investigating me

Police probe second claim against Ken Clarke of sexual assault

Ben Fellows cleared of attempting to pervert course of justice

Australia’s 60 Minutes makes ‘special’ on UK’s VIP paedophiles

Video: Kincora was used for ‘political leverage’ – Richard Kerr 

Richard Kerr names powerful men who ‘covered up’ Kincora

Roger Cook to testify in trial of Ben Fellows over Kenneth Clarke

Jimmy Savile: BBC fears inquiry indictment over abuse failure

Lord Janner charged with child sex abuse in reversal for DPP

Mark Watts tells RT’s Sputnik about ‘Britain’s biggest scandal’

Police raided this former officer in ‘cover-up’ for Lord Janner
Police seized abuse evidence to protect Lord Janner – ex-officer
Detectives told me all about Lord Janner and boys – ex-officer

Commentary: my frustration over rape probe into Leon Brittan

CPS refuses to advise police on rape case against Leon Brittan
How CPS treated late Lord Brittan differently from Arnis Zalkalns

Police quiz paedophile Charles Napier in prison over new claims

Inquiry into child sex abuse to hire 21 barristers in ‘lawyer-fest’

Mark Watts joins LBC Newsmakers to discuss VIP paedophiles

Revealed: how Lord Janner lobbied for Israel as backbench MP

Kincora staff took boys to Europa for sexual abuse by guests
Richard Kerr: how I was trafficked from Kincora to Europa hotel
Richard Kerr: how Kincora warden fixed a job for me at Europa

Three women name former MP as sexual abuser of children
Former MP in police probe denies claims of child sex abuse

Vishal Mehrotra: Sussex Police refers its murder probe to IPCC
Police investigate 76 politicians over claims of child sex abuse

Online Media Awards shortlists Exaro with three nominations

Lord Janner re-appointed to law committee despite ‘dementia’

Richard Kerr: ex-judge sexually abused me at Elm Guest House

Lord Janner voted 203 times in Parliament despite ‘dementia’
Lord Janner’s voting record since granting power of attorney
Lord Janner’s parliamentary attendance since ‘Alzheimer’s’

New Parliament: DPP has it wrong on Lord Janner, say 78 MPs

Lord Janner: DPP faces fresh doubts about medical evidence 
Pressure builds on DPP to re-think block on Lord Janner case

Met probes ex-MP Lord Janner over ‘VIP paedophile network’

Police reveal fury with CPS for refusing to charge Lord Janner

World’s media focus on scandal of child sex abuse by UK VIPs

Carole Kasir ‘boasted about VIPs who visited Elm Guest House’
Carole Kasir’s past: fractious family life and failed relationships
Revealed: Carole Kasir and her squalid life at Elm Guest House

BBC at war over Panorama on claims of VIP paedophile network

Ministers block move to lift Official Secrets Act for CSA scandal
How MPs voted on move to change Official Secrets Act over CSA

Leon Brittan: IPCC investigates claim of ‘cover-up’ for top Tory Updated 27 March 2015
Scotland Yard’s ‘charge sheet’ for cover-up on ‘VIP paedophiles’

Police see Pimlico property as key to ‘paedophile murder’ case

Press Awards nominates Exaro and Sunday People jointly Updated 10 March 2015

Police raid Leon Brittan’s properties in London and Yorkshire Updated 15 January 2016

Harvey Proctor denies attending Dolphin Square ‘sex parties’ Updated 18 June 2015

Police raid Harvey Proctor’s home under ‘Operation Midland’

Met opens new probe into Tony McSweeney and Grafton Close Updated 27 March 2015

Tony McSweeney found guilty of abusing boy at Grafton Close

Peter Hayman and John Henniker linked to paedophile scandal

Paedophile linchpin Peter Righton ‘carried out sadistic murder’ Updated 14 December 2015
‘Murder at Thornham Magna’: ‘Darren’ relives harrowing scene 

Tony McSweeney on trial for ‘child sex abuse’ at Grafton Close

Leon Brittan faced Met questions over Elm Guest House ‘visits’

Graham Wilmer: CSA inquiry panel to have no abuse survivors

Tory hopeful told speaker’s dinner: Leon Brittan is a paedophile

Leon Brittan buried in unmarked grave in ‘very private funeral’

Theresa May stunned members of CSA inquiry at final meeting

Bid to bar reporting Ken Clarke’s name in sex accuser’s trial fails

Leon Brittan was under Met probe over claims of child sex abuse 
Abuse survivors call on Yard to continue probe into Leon Brittan

Commentary: skulduggery besieges inquiry into child sex abuse

Video: ‘Darren’ calls on police to arrest Dolphin Square abusers Updated 14 December 2015

Commentary: panel for inquiry into child sex abuse must stay

Dolphin Square: third witness tells of child sex abuse by MPs Updated 14 December 2015
Peter Righton ordered teenager to ‘pleasure’ Charles Napier
Ex-minister wanted boys dressed in ladies’ lacy underwear
Darren: my dread of ‘medical room’ at Dolphin Square flat

Home Office mandarins ‘are seeking to subvert abuse inquiry’

Charles Napier jailed in first triumph for ‘Operation Fairbank’

Paedophile operations: ex-police to submit dossier to Met chief
Police discuss submitting statements on paedophile ‘cover-up’

Police to ask ‘Nick’ to try to identify victims from ‘missing boys’

Theresa May to scrap panel for inquiry into child sex abuse

Police privately admit ‘cover-up’ for paedophile MPs and VIPs
Protected: paedophile MPs and ‘prominent people’, say police

Lord Janner faces re-opened police probe into child sex abuse

Exaro and David Hencke up for top awards over CSA inquiry

Buckingham Palace drawn into scandal over ‘paedophile ring’
Revealed: buried files link Buckingham Palace to paedophilia Updated 30 January 2015

MP paedophiles were ‘Untouchables’ – ex-Special Branch officer

Met trawls files on 200 missing boys in murder probe into VIPs

‘Operation Midland’ investigates Tory MP over boy’s murder 
Analysis: what led to ‘homicide’ probe by ‘Operation Midland’

Ex-MI6 chief named as sexual abuser of boys at Dolphin Square
Revealed: Peter Hayman, paedo, spy. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, PIE
How Peter Hayman was linked in Parliament to paedophile ring

Video: ‘Nick’ tells of how MPs ‘liked to inflict pain’ during abuse 

Met starts investigation into child sex abuse at Dolphin Square 
Nick: one MP abuser was ‘sadistic’ – another especially violent

Justin Welby admits: child abuse has been ‘rampant’ within CoE

Fiona Woolf grilled by MPs about her links with Lord Brittan

Lord Brittan leaves vice-chairman job at UBS Investment Bank

Clergy to be given training on ‘safeguarding’ children in CoE

‘Operation Fernbridge’ loses chief as pressure mounts on Met

Graham Wilmer blasts Michael Gove over sex abuse at schools

Catholic school’s child psychotherapist exposed as paedophile

Commentary: how paedophile Peter Morrison escaped exposure

Inquiry head faces calls to declare links with Leon Brittan fully

Fiona Woolf to defend her role as head of CSA inquiry ‘robustly’

Conservative conference faces fresh claims over paedophile MPs

New head of CSA inquiry is cleared to read intelligence papers

‘Only one in 20 victims of child sex abuse likely to win civil claim’

Scotland Yard delays 200 charges over claims of child sex abuse

Rochdale council rejects claim of child sex abuse as ‘out of time’

Police investigate second boys’ school linked to Cyril Smith MP

Church to spend £2m on support for victims of child sex abuse

Prosecutors reinstate key charges after error over Elm Guest House

CPS forced to disclose damning police report on Cyril Smith
Cyril Smith: damning police report on his sexual abuse – in full

Theresa May ‘to consult’ on choice for new head of CSA inquiry

Audio file set to blow lid off paedophile scandal at Westminster

Baroness Butler-Sloss faces another hitch in heading CSA inquiry Updated 14 July 2014

Dolphin Square: MPs threw parties ‘for sexual abuse of children’
MPs took boys to Dolphin Square for sexual assault – and rape 
MPs, celebrities and spies share dark secrets of Dolphin Square

MPs tell Theresa May: abuse survivors must be on inquiry panel

Theresa May orders independent inquiry into child sex abuse Updated 8 July 2014
CSA inquiry: Theresa May’s statement to House of Commons

Baroness Butler-Sloss and bishop of Durham back CSA inquiry: list of Lords who back inquiry call 

DPP forced Scotland Yard to quiz Leon Brittan over rape claim

Theresa May delays decision on call by 141 MPs for CSA inquiry Updated 4 July 2014
Dear Zac, no CSA inquiry yet, maybe later. Yours, Theresa May

Five more Conservative MPs join cross-party call for CSA inquiry
Leon Brittan and Home Office issue statements on missing file

Simon Danczuk asks DPP to review claim over Elm Guest House

Commentary: no MP should name ‘paedophile’ ex-minister yet

Andy Burnham presses Jeremy Hunt for ‘overarching inquiry’

MPs who want inquiry into organised abuse of children tops 100

BASW e-mails 15,000 social workers: lobby MPs for CSA inquiry

MPs tell Tim Loughton: we also want inquiry into child sex abuse Updated 19 June 2014

Every MP asked to back inquiry into organised child sex abuse

David Cameron pressed at PMQs on inquiry into child sex abuse
Pressure builds in Parliament to address child sex abuse in UK: full list of MPs who back CSA inquiry

Met complains about Exaro’s ‘overly intrusive’ investigation

MPs call on Theresa May to set up inquiry into child sex abuse
Police keep failing ‘to follow evidence’ in abuse cases, say MPs

Met ‘breached guidelines’ in rape investigation into ex-minister
Detectives fail to see how ‘Jane’ refused consent in rape case

Police smear woman who alleged rape by ex-cabinet minister

Video: ‘Jane’ gives her account of rape by ex-cabinet minister

‘Rapist’ ex-cabinet minister named in Tom Watson’s DPP letter

Tom Watson asks DPP to review rape claim against ex-minister

‘Ex-cabinet minister raped me when I was 19,’ woman tells Met
Jane: ‘Ex-cabinet minister raped me when I was 19’ – part 1
Jane: ‘Ex-cabinet minister raped me when I was 19’ – part 2
Jane: ‘Ex-cabinet minister raped me when I was 19’ – part 3
Jane: ‘Ex-cabinet minister raped me when I was 19’ – part 4
Jane: ‘Ex-cabinet minister raped me when I was 19’ – part 5

Police pore through council files on Cyril Smith’s special school

Customs seized video of child sex abuse and ex-cabinet minister
Man who tried to import video: ‘I did not know what was inside’

David Hencke nominated for Orwell Prize 2014 for Exaro scoops

Revealed: Whitehall official who blocked objections to fund PIE

Police poised to level charges in paedophile ring linked to MPs

Police and CPS ‘leave survivors of child sex abuse in the lurch’
Commentary: ‘justice’ in UK still fails survivors of child sex abuse

Detectives investigate use of ‘staging post’ for Elm Guest House

Met’s ‘VIP paedophiles’ probe turns into murder investigation

Met’s paedophile unit seizes video of ex-minister at ‘sex party’ Updated 11 January 2014

‘Operation Fernbridge’ releases Elm co-manager without charge

CPS to drop key charges brought under ‘Operation Fernbridge’ Updated 27 June 2014

Revealed: Cyril Smith hoped to help take direct control of school

Police arrest man over false accusation against Kenneth Clarke

Police pursue new leads in paedophile case against ex-minister

Secret files expose Cyril Smith’s ‘special school for child abuse’
Knowl View files: Rochdale council chiefs warned of ‘scandal’
Knowl View files: ‘serious sexual incidents’ logged in report
Knowl View files: staff, governors and authorities failed boys

Priest and ex-manager of Richmond children’s home in court

Revealed: how Cyril Smith denied paedophile claims to police
Cyril Smith told detectives: I never behaved in any indecent way

‘Operation Fernbridge’ arrests ex-manager of Elm Guest House

Church of England considers ‘commission’ on child sex abuse

Ofsted forces private school to close over sexual abuse of pupils

Exaro’s video shows ‘Fairbank’ arrest of Tory MP’s half-brother

Met’s ‘Operation Fairbank’ arrests half-brother of top Tory MP

Kenneth Clarke wrongly accused of indecently assaulting boy
How I helped police clear Kenneth Clarke of ‘sex assault’ smear

MBE for head of project helping sex victims, but funding is axed

Labour urges re-think on reporting by schools of abuse claims

Michael Gove blocks move to force schools to report sex abuse

Met’s ‘Operation Fernbridge’ is ‘going well’, says Boris Johnson

Met investigates Catholic order’s schools over child sex abuse
Operation Torva: ex-pupil joined police and triggered Met probe

MoD policy on claims of child sex abuse at schools ‘stuns’ MPs

Police abandon probe into Cyril Smith’s sexual abuse of boys

Elm Guest House linked to ‘Britain’s biggest child sex racket’

Ex-Richmond boss Louis Minster denies being… Louis Minster

Scene pictured from children’s home in Met’s paedophile case

Richmond files reveal failure to pursue claim of child sex abuse

Met investigates police watchdog over Richmond ‘paedo ring’

Met’s paedophile unit starts investigating Catholic Church in UK

Police commander overseeing ‘Operation Yewtree’ quits Met

Police seek Asbo-style orders against suspected paedophiles

Child sex abuse: groups offering support services face closure

Police re-open files on child sex abuse at Kincora boys’ home

Witnesses in ‘Operation Fernbridge’ plead for support service
Two who suffered sexual abuse make appeal through Exaro

Analysis: we must change how society tackles child sex abuse

Richmond council ‘was alerted to allegations of child sex abuse’
Police gave council advance warning of raid on Elm Guest House

Met paedophile unit prepares to arrest ex-Tory cabinet minister

Met detectives told of Jimmy Savile’s link to Elm Guest House
Analysis: public should know truth about VIP paedophile ring

Co-manager of guest house in police probe plans to leave UK

Claims of child sex abuse haunted Richmond boss for 30 years

Police examine sacking of Richmond’s head of social services
Councillors give contrasting reasons for Louis Minster’s sacking

Richmond’s ex-head of social services ‘unaware’ of ‘paedo ring’

Exaro’s pictures show first arrest in ‘Operation Fernbridge’

‘Operation Fernbridge’ makes first arrests in paedophile probe

Two managers of children’s home named in VIP paedo probe

Files reveal who turned Elm Guest House into paedo brothel
Richmond council made ‘hush payment’ to victim of sex abuse

Police chief warns VIP paedophiles: look over your shoulder

Tory group recommended guest house in Met’s paedo probe
Police investigate Richmond council over ‘VIP paedophile ring’

Detectives set up 30 operations into ‘child sex abuse by groups’ 
Police operations into ‘child sex abuse by groups’ – Exaro’s list

Found: co-manager of guest house at centre of police probe

Met turns ‘Operation Fairbank’ into full criminal investigation

‘Operation Fairbank’ carries out raid to seize files naming MPs

How exposure of high-profile abusers impacts care for children

Revealed: diaries and receipts from guest house in police probe

Locals spoke of ‘the activities’ at guest house in police probe
MPs and judges visited Elm Guest House, coroner’s court told
Detectives who must peer into disturbing case of child abuse

Police investigate top Tories over ‘child abuse at guest house’
Police ‘twice failed to probe paedophile ring at guest house’

Analysis: why media must still investigate claims of child abuse

Audio: investigative journalism’s future after Newsnight fiasco

Investigations, not witch-hunts: David Hencke on BBC R4 Today

Exaro News Archive

Patrick Mahony – Apology

By Exaro Team | 11 July 2016

On 26 April we published an article about Mr Mahony which linked monies received by him to 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”).

We also published private photographs, and confidential material stolen by a third party and assessed by experts as unreliable.

There is no proven wrongdoing by Mr Mahony and we apologise for any suggestion to the contrary in our article.

Exaro News Archive

Was chemical weapons cash used to target coalition in Iraq?

On the eve of Chilcot Report, questions raised over payments to warlord for Sarin

By Nick Kochan and David Hencke | 5 July 2016

Was chemical weapons cash used to target coalition in Iraq?British troops destroyed chemical weapons bought from a warlord suspected of arming anti-coalition militia in Iraq.

On the eve of Sir John Chilcot’s report into the 2003 Iraq war, Exaro has seen documents revealing UK-US reluctance to publish fresh details of operations to obtain and destroy more than 35 tonnes of chemical weapons following the removal of Saddam Hussein.

Information on the operations – designed to keep canisters containing Sarin, a deadly nerve agent, off the black market – was first published by the US media.

But a request sent to the Ministry of Defence under the Freedom of Information Act reveals that the US was consulted on the further disclosure of information on chemical weapons destructions by British and American forces between 2005 and 2006.

A source with direct knowledge of the operations told Exaro that most of the chemical weapons were obtained through payments made by the CIA to a local Iraqi warlord.

US officials have never revealed the identity of the individual who sold them chemical weapons, many of which were degraded and dated back to the Iran-Iraq war.

While the motives behind the US payments are described as “altruistic”, the source explained, the fear is that the cash was used to purchase arms eventually used by the Mahdi militia to attack coalition troops.

“It is possible that western forces were killed by Mahdi army funded by the CIA. Nobody ever identified what happened to the [US] money and what it was used for,” the source claimed.

“The only people who could have moved those sorts of things around that area were involved in many nefarious activities.”

FOI requests for details of three operations – the British-led Operations Bedouin I and II, and the CIA-led Operation Avarice – forced the US and British authorities to release redacted materials in 2015.

More complex chemical weapons operations, such as Avarice, required the co-operation of American and British forces, but the Bedouin operations were handled exclusively by the British.

In 2015, the New York Times reported details of covert operations that involved the CIA, US military intelligence and the British Army. These included Operation Avarice.

The International Business Times, a US-based website, later revealed details of the British-led Bedouin missions.

A request for further details sent to the MoD revealed British “consultation with the US authorities” over whether to release additional information on chemical weapons finds.

After months of deliberations, the MoD said it could not disclose new details. The MoD said that while there was a public interest in releasing some information, sensitive “operational procedures and processes” should remain secret.

There is no evidence that the chemical weapons found inside Iraq after 2003 were there when United Nations inspectors scoured the country for “weapons of mass destruction” before the war.

However, the latest revelations cast new light on a controversial period in Britain’s recent political and military history.

The seven-year Chilcot Inquiry, also known as the Iraq Inquiry, will publish its findings tomorrow (July 6). Sir John’s report is expected to assess key decisions made by British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government before, during and after the war.

Blair’s government was widely criticized for taking the UK into a conflict following claims that Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime still possessed significant “weapons of mass destruction”.

But it is not clear whether Sir John’s report will contain fresh details of the Avarice and Bedouin operations.

According to MoD documents released in August 2015, twenty-one canisters containing Sarin were moved and destroyed by British Army units during two operations in south-eastern Iraq.

The Operation Bedouin destructions took place deep inside the British-controlled area close to the city of Al Amara, which is around 160km north of Basra.

MoD documents confirm that the canisters were destroyed at a site which had already been used to dispose of other chemical weapons.

The first Bedouin operation took place in January 2006, when 16 “suspicious” canisters were taken from two Iraqis seen unloading items from the back of a truck into a house.

MoD documents state: ‘One was released immediately. The second was subsequently detained  by the Serious Crime Unit and the canisters confiscated’.

The recovered items were 122mm Al Boraq canisters. British documents describe the canisters as ‘similar to those destroyed during previous iterations of Operation xxxxxxx. And therefore possibly containing a GB (Sarin) fill.’

An Exaro source said the redacted name is believed to be Operation Avarice, which began in 2005 and involved the US-led acquisition of chemical weapons from the Iraqi warlord.

Under Avarice, the CIA reportedly paid the un-named individual for at least 400 canisters of chemical weapons.

American documents show that almost 3,500 weapons were recovered during the Operation Avarice period.

The British Army’s destruction of some chemical weapons is described in a “Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear (CBRN) Site Recce Report” released by the MoD.

According to the report, a military helicopter carried boxes containing the chemicals to the destruction site.

The report states: “At 1621hrs, all canisters were moved to destruction pit by the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) detachment.  All personnel were moved to the firing point on the cordon [2,000 metres from the destruction site] and the explosive demolition was initiated successfully at 1650hrs.”

Five more 122 Al Boraq canisters were destroyed by British troops in May 2006.

Julian Lewis, chair of the Commons defence committee, said he was mystified by the Blair government’s decision not to publicise the operations. “Surely if these weapons had been discovered by the Blair government at the time they would have shouted it from the rooftops?”

Related Stories

Operation Bedouin I: Post-demolition site survey

Operation Bedouin II: BDO Report

Exaro News Archive

Royal Bank of Scotland faces wider scandal over Libor rigging

RBS manipulated benchmark rate in more currencies than admitted, documents suggest

By Mark Watts and Mike Yuille | 23 May 2016

Royal Bank of Scotland faces wider scandal over Libor rigging
Rigging: Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh

“It provides a properly arguable foundation for PAG’s allegation that those at the highest level in the bank were aware of serious problems with Libor”
– Sir Colin Birss, High Court judge

Evidence that Libor rigging by the Royal Bank of Scotland was wider than so far admitted will be heard at the High Court this week.

RBS faces accusations that, in addition to rigging the Libor inter-bank interest rate in Japanese yen and Swiss francs, as it has admitted, it also manipulated the benchmark in US dollars and British pounds.

Internal bank documents that allegedly show the wider scale of the scandal are due to feature in a High Court trial scheduled to start on Thursday.

A High Court judge has already ruled that the documents “arguably support the allegations of misconduct relating to GBP Libor” as well as to the rate in dollars.

RBS will be the defendant at a trial brought by a former business customer, Property Alliance Group (PAG), which claims that it was mis-sold interest-rate swaps, supposedly to hedge interest payments due on loans. The swaps were benchmarked against £ Libor.

At a preliminary hearing, the judge, Sir Colin Birss, also said that two of RBS’s board members at the time – Johnny Cameron, then chairman of global banking and markets, and Guy Whittaker, then group finance director – were aware of questions raised at a meeting at the Bank of England in 2008 about the accuracy of $ Libor.

Cameron circulated a note of the meeting to Whittaker, John Cummins, group treasurer since 2007, and other senior figures, as well as the executive assistant of Fred Goodwin, then chief executive of RBS Group, saying: “They wanted banks to play $ Libor very ‘straight’.”

The judge said of Cameron’s note: “This material on its own does not support a plea of dishonest manipulation as opposed to knowledge that the rates were inaccurate, but it provides a properly arguable foundation for PAG’s allegation that those at the highest level in the bank were aware of serious problems with Libor.”

The judge’s comments show that the case threatens to re-open the Libor scandal for RBS.

Libor, or London Inter-bank Offered Rate, is meant to represent the interest that banks are charging to lend to each other in a given currency. It is based on banks’ submissions to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) of their inter-bank interest rates. It is a benchmark for a wide range of financial products sold to businesses worldwide.

However, several banks have admitted to manipulating Libor rates by making false submissions and have been forced to pay huge fines. These include Deutsche Bank, UBS, Barclays and Lloyds.

In a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the US Department of Justice in 2013, RBS admitted manipulating its Libor submissions in Japanese yen and Swiss francs between 2006 and 2010 to benefit its derivatives trading positions. It paid a fine of $150 million.

RBS paid more than $600 million in fines around the world, including £87.5 million to the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), as it then was.

The UK government bought a majority stake in RBS in 2008, and still owns 72.9 per cent.

PAG, a property developer, claimed that RBS mis-sold to it four swap contracts between 2004 and 2008 for loans of around £71 million. PAG says that it ended the contracts by paying around £8 million because of large losses on them.

It claims fraud on the basis that the swaps were benchmarked to a rate manipulated by RBS.

In 2010, RBS moved PAG to its Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

PAG claims that it did not need financial restructuring, but was moved to GRG to stifle its complaints about the swaps.

In total, PAG is suing RBS for £29 million.

RBS denies PAG’s claim. It denies that it mis-sold the swaps, says that PAG did not lose out because of any Libor manipulation, and rejects the alleged wrongdoing by GRG.

An RBS spokeswoman told Exaro: “RBS rejects the allegations made by Property Alliance Group Limited and will continue vigorously to defend this claim.”

Other potential claimants against RBS are watching the case. They include Stuart Wall, owner of Opal Property Group, a student-housing company that went bankrupt in 2013, who is suing for more than £400 million over an interest-rate swap that was also pegged to Libor.

RBS also denies Wall’s claim.

Related Stories

Exaro News Archive

RBS ‘at highest level’ knew of ‘serious problems’ with Libor

Case raises questions about bank’s ‘top management’ as well as trading floor – judge

By Mark Watts and Mike Yuille | 23 May 2016

Documents forced out of the Royal Bank of Scotland led to an extraordinary accusation against it by a former business client.

Not only did RBS mis-sell interest-rate swaps in relation to loans of around £71 million, alleged Property Alliance Group (PAG), and not only were these financial products benchmarked to the Libor inter-bank interest rate, but the bank had committed fraud on its customer. The fraud, according to PAG, was linking the swaps to a benchmark rate that the bank was manipulating.

And PAG wanted to add that accusation to its particulars of claims against RBS. It is suing its former bank for a total of £29 million after, as it alleges, RBS mis-sold to it interest-rate swaps, supposedly to hedge interest payments due on loans. The swaps were benchmarked against £ Libor.

Evidence that Libor rigging by RBS was wider than it has admitted will be heard at the trial of the case in the High Court, due to start on Thursday.

“The bank needs to account for the activities of its senior staff as well as the actions on the trading floor” – Sir Colin Birss, High Court judge

RBS denies the allegations and is “vigorously” defending the claim.

PAG also wanted to add the allegation that RBS and other banks submitted Libor rates in the wake of the credit crunch in 2007 when they were unable to borrow funds on the inter-bank market at all. And, it claimed, knowledge of serious problems with Libor from August 2007 until well into 2008 was known by RBS staff “at the highest level”.

The allegations relied on internal bank documents that RBS had to disclose to PAG in the “discovery” process in the case. But the bank objected to PAG’s proposed amendments to its claim, saying that the allegations were too wide and unsupported by the evidence.

At a preliminary hearing last November, the judge, Sir Colin Birss, considered whether the documentary evidence was sufficient to allow PAG to make the claim of fraudulent misrepresentation, as detailed in a schedule submitted by PAG. He decided that it did:

i) There are a number of documents starting from one dated 9th August 2007 which provide arguable support for the allegations of misconduct in relation to USD Libor. An example is a document dated 16th August 2007, whereby the submitter at RBS (Paul Walker [then head of RBS Money Markets in London]) seems to have been asked to make a submission that took into account the pricing of a floating rate transaction that would impact the relevant book on the following day. The schedule also refers to documents from June and October 2008 which provide arguable support for an inference that derivatives traders sought to influence the bank’s USD submitter on those occasions. These two are notable given the admissions of attempted manipulation on those dates which are now sought to be made by RBS in its Amended Defence, served after this schedule.

ii) There are a number of documents (fewer than for USD) which arguably support the allegations of misconduct relating to GBP Libor. For example there is a calendar reminder set on 11 September 2009 whose purpose, PAG submits, should be inferred as having been to remind Mark Thomasson [senior trader at RBS Short-Term Markets and a director of Sterling Money Markets at RBS] to submit a low 6 month GBP Libor rate on 16th September 2009 at the request of RBS derivatives traders who had transactions set by reference to 6 month Libor that were due to fix on that date. On that date Mr Thomasson made a submission that was 5 basis points lower than the submission made on the previous day.

iii) There is an email dated 16th August 2007 from John Ewan (the [then] managing director of the BBA [British Bankers’ Association]) to Graham Niblock [then global head of Money Markets and co-head of Short-Term Markets] and Mark Thomasson, both of RBS and other members of the BBA FX and Money Markets committee. The email relates to “ongoing problems with the inter-bank market”. Mr Ewan requests a meeting to discuss issues. One issue is the BBA definition of Libor as being a rate at which a bank could borrow funds by accepting inter-bank offers. He points out that “currently there is no London inter-bank market”. Another issue to be discussed is “how best to defend ourselves against potential accusations that the current rates are not a genuine reflection of the market”.

iv) There is a record of a teleconference on 20th August 2007 involving Paul Walker of RBS with a representative of a hedge fund in which Paul Walker states that liquidity has completely dried up “so no one has really got a cash market anymore to base Libors on”. He also says “so people are just setting their Libors, you know, to suit what they’ve got on their book.”

v) There is an email dated 29th August 2007 from Ian Bedford of RBS Global Banking and Markets divisions to recipients including Graham Niblock, Scott Nygaard [then co-head of Short-Term Markets] and Kevin Liddy [then global head of Short-Term Interest Rates] which refers to illiquidity of the inter-bank cash markets and appears to state that, as regards GBP and USD Libor “the ‘mechanism’ is definitely broken”.

vi) There is an email on 15th November 2007 from Graham Niblock to a group including John Cummins [RBS Group treasurer], which refers to Libors in GBP and USD still fixing higher than where cash is actually trading in the inter-bank market. It states “we have stopped lending cash internally at Libor as it does not reflect our cost of funds any longer”.

vii) There are references in documents in November 2007 to “a meaningless benchmark”, “almost an irrelevant indicator”, and “Libor is kind of false at the moment”.

viii) On 29th November Paul Walker responded to an email from Mark Thomasson relating to a communication from John Ewan at the BBA in which Mr Walker wrote “Citibank, UBS and Deutsche put in regular Libors way below the market … UBS don’t really trade cash anyway, they set their Libors as many banks do to suit the Derivative Fixes. With no underlying cash market what do the BBA expect??????”

ix) On 30th April 2008 Johnny Cameron [then chairman of Global Banking and Markets] circulated a note of a meeting he had attended described as the BBA’s CEO’s meeting. It took place at the Bank of England on 25th April. The note was sent to a number of people including Mary McCallum (executive assistant to Fred Goodwin, then CEO of the RBS Group), Guy Whittaker [then group finance director], John Cummins, Peter Nielsen [then global head of Markets, Corporate and Institutional Banking] and Graham Niblock. It includes the following: “They wanted Banks to play $ libor very ‘straight’. I said FED needed to understand and be involved.” The word “they” seems to refer to the Bank of England. PAG submits this was a reference to the Bank of England directing banks to make accurate or honest submissions for USD Libor as opposed to inaccurate or dishonest submissions. PAG submits that it can be inferred that representatives of the Bank of England and each of the individuals to whom Mr Cameron sent the note were aware that, prior to it, Libor panel banks had not been submitting accurate or honest Libor rates at least for USD Libor. This material on its own does not support a plea of dishonest manipulation as opposed to knowledge that the rates were inaccurate, but it provides a properly arguable foundation for PAG’s allegation that those at the highest level in the bank were aware of serious problems with Libor.

x) There is an email dated 28th May 2008 from Johnny Cameron to John Cummins and Graham Niblock in which he states that he has received a call from Paul Tucker, the then Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. The email refers to concerns that the BBA may appear too complacent about the problem of Libor fixing. Mr Cummins replies referring to a primary area of concern as being USD Libor setting in London and the view that these rates do not reflect reality.

xi) There is a transcript of a conversation between John Cummins and Paul Walker on 2nd October 2008 which refers to the bank being in “gold medal spot” in the context of Libor submissions. Mr Cummins appears not to want RBS to be in that position. “Gold medal spot” seems to refer to having the highest submitted rate amongst the panel banks. PAG submits one can infer that following this call Mr Cummins passed on that instruction to Peter Nielsen and/or Scott Nygaard.

xii) It appears that on 25th November 2008 John Cummins sent a briefing note to Stephen Hester (then CEO of RBS) for a forthcoming meeting at the Bank of England in which it was noted that, amongst other things, “the inter-bank market is not functioning properly”.

The judge pointed out that this was not the trial, and he had not heard what RBS has to say in response. But he added:

There is evidence from which a properly arguable inference can be drawn that knowledge of serious problems with Libor existed at a senior level inside the bank. The issues raised in this action do not only concern the RBS trading floor, they concern top management with overall responsibility for Libor and for swaps. Based on the material relied on by PAG, the bank needs to account for the activities of its senior staff as well as the actions on the trading floor.

Asked for a response to the judge’s ruling, an RBS spokeswoman would only say: “RBS rejects the allegations made by Property Alliance Group Limited and will continue vigorously to defend this claim.”

Meanwhile, the judge also ordered RBS to disclose relevant board minutes and papers as well as communications with the Bank of England.

In January, RBS successfully applied to the chancellor of the High Court, Sir Terence Etherton, for the case to be heard by a judge on the “financial list”. Introduced last October, the list is made up of specialist judges who are deemed to have the expertise to handle claims related to the financial markets.

Birss, who oversaw most of the pre-trial hearings in the case, is not on the financial list, and so the trial will be heard by another judge.

Beyond Libor, RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) is also due to come under scrutiny in the trial that will be closely watched by regulators and yet more potential litigants – of RBS as well as other banks. It is expected to last six-to-eight weeks.

Exaro revealed last month that RBS faces pressure to set up a compensation scheme for GRG victims following the submission of a long-awaited report on the bank’s restructuring unit to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which replaced the FSA.

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Jimmy Savile hid abuse on Top of the Pops in ‘plain sight’

Janet Smith’s review: ‘testosterone-laden’ show masked presenter’s assaults on girls

By David Hencke, Alex Varley-Winter and Mark Watts | 20 January 2016

Jimmy Savile hid his abuse of girls while working as a presenter on Top of the Pops in “plain sight”, Dame Janet Smith’s inquiry finds.

The retired judge says that the programme’s “testosterone-laden atmosphere” masked Savile’s predatory sexual behaviour towards girls in the audience. “Child protection was simply not a live issue,” she writes.

“It was nobody’s responsibility to look after the welfare of young members of the audience.”

“Savile always used to choose the girls and boys he wanted close to him on the podium, instead of letting the director or floor manager choose them” – TOTP producer/director, cited in Smith report

Smith sets out her conclusions about the late Savile’s activities on Top of the Pops in the draft report of her “review” – leaked to Exaro – of Savile’s sexual assaults at the BBC. Savile presented TOTP’s first programme in 1964.

She thinks that no one in senior management was aware of Savile’s abuse of young people on Top of the Pops despite serious concerns of many staff members.

An assistant floor manager from 1969 to 1971 “felt uncomfortable about aspects of the programme.”

Smith explains his concerns: “The way the young girls were photographed from a low angle so that a good deal of leg was showing; also the way in which the audience, mainly girls, were herded about the studio ‘like cattle’; the lascivious way in which Savile used to look at the girls on camera and the way in which he got them to come very close to him on the podium; also that he would see young girls going down to the basement (where the group dressing rooms were) after the show instead of leaving the premises.”

A floor manager between 1971 and 1972 heard rumours that Savile liked young girls of about 15 or 16, Smith writes.

“He would see Savile arrange for particular girls to be on the podium next to him and he would be very close to them. He heard rumours that Savile took girls to his campervan. He saw that Savile’s dressing room always seemed full of ‘kids’.”

A producer’s assistant from 1971 to 1974 told Smith that she once saw Savile in his dressing room with a girl aged between 14 and 16. “He was not wearing trousers, only a tracksuit top and underpants. The girl was sitting down (possibly on a chair on the couch or day bed) and was not distressed.”

The assistant did not tell anyone, says Smith. “She was very busy at the time. Afterwards, she just thought that that was what Savile was like. She thinks that, if she had told anyone, they would just have thought it was funny.”

Another witness who worked on TOTP for two periods, in 1970 and then much later, “heard it said that Savile wore tracksuits so he could be ‘quick on the draw’. He thought Savile was lascivious and disapproved of him.”

A vision mixer “heard rumours about Savile having ‘hanky-panky’ with young girls but he thought they were not children and would be old enough to consent. The rumours were treated in a jokey way but with some disapproval as well.”

A TOTP producer/director in the late 1970’s “said that Savile always used to choose the girls and boys he wanted close to him on the podium, instead of letting the director or floor manager choose them.”

One witness told Smith that there was never any concern about Savile. “If there had been, it would have been handled quietly so as to prevent damage to the programme.”

Smith says that Savile abused a group of girls – his ‘Team’ or ‘London Team’ – who regularly watched him at Top of the Pops.

She continues: “Apart from the regular members of Savile’s Team, I know of at least two young girls [both underage] who were invited back to Savile’s dressing room, where he abused them sexually.”

Smith also recounts “two quite serious indecent assaults that took place on Savile’s podium during the recording of the show.”

Smith concludes: “The most important and obvious reason why no one became aware of what Savile was doing was because of the general environment of the programme.”

“In the testosterone-laden atmosphere, where everyone was, in theory at least, over the age of 16, child protection was simply not a live issue. No one noticed what Savile was doing; he was able to hide in plain sight.”

Radio 1 chief failed to see risk posed by Jimmy Savile in 1973

Related Stories : Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread

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CQC admits setback for new inspection regime for care homes

Project to give ratings to services for elderly people delayed by another seven months

By Katy Scott | 19 May 2016

CQC admits setback for new inspection regime for care homesEngland’s health watchdog has given up on meeting its target of inspecting all care homes for elderly people under a new rating regime by September.

Exaro has established that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has again fallen far behind in its programme, started in October 2014, to inspect social-care services for adults under a new rating system introduced in response to Robert Francis’s inquiry into the scandal of poor care at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.

CQC figures show that it failed to carry out 2,185 inspections from its target of 17,478 by March under the new rating system. The CQC admits that it will fail to complete 25,098 inspections under the new regime as planned by September – itself an extension on the original deadline of February.

A CQC spokeswoman told Exaro: “Based on programme work completed so far and projected figures for the future, the board agreed to extend the completion of this work from the end of September 2016 to the end of April 2017, which we are on track to complete.”

The further setback comes as the CQC is also under fire for proposals to cut inspection teams and the frequency of inspections in adult social care. Following a consultation exercise, the CQC is due to publish its strategy document on Tuesday to set out its plans for the next five years.

The CQC, which regulates health services and social care for adults in England, introduced the new inspection regime to rate providers as “outstanding”, “good”, “requires improvement” or “inadequate”. It is then supposed to reinspect care homes that are rated “inadequate” in any one of five key areas within six months.

More than 400 providers of adult social care have been rated “inadequate” so far.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: “Since the introduction of our new regulatory approach in October 2014, we have been making good progress with inspecting all 25,000-plus adult social care services across England.”

“We are continually reviewing our performance on a monthly basis in public so that we can identify and address the shortfall and ensure that we are making the best use of resources available to drive forward our inspection work as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

However, Eileen Chubb, a former care worker who founded Compassion in Care, which campaigns against elderly abuse, said: “If the CQC were inspecting in an intelligent way, they would be giving priority to the care homes with long histories of poor care, and they would not need to keep inspection targets if it did something about the bad care homes in the first place.”

“They keep bringing out these new regimes and putting all these targets in, and all this effort goes into another new regime.”

In a consultation document in January about its strategy for the next five years, the CQC said that its proposals “are likely to reduce the frequency with which we inspect services and the size of inspection teams overall.”

It continued: “This will help us to target our resources where risk is greatest and improvement is needed.

“We want to be very clear that these proposals would not compromise the core aspects of our role that matter most to people.”

However, the Relatives and Residents Association (R&RA), which campaigns on behalf of elderly people in care homes, believes that a cut in the frequency of inspections would be “disastrous”.

In its response to the CQC’s consultation exercise, the R&RA said: “In the case of care homes, we do not believe that there is a substitute for visiting a service, talking to residents, relatives and staff, challenging observed practice, following up complaints that have not been resolved, and verifying providers’ statements about their services including those concerning recruitment and training of staff.”

It adds: “We fundamentally cannot agree that fewer inspections of care homes will not affect the quality of service provision.”

Chubb said: “I do not think that the CQC is capable actually of changing anything at all. I think that the only answer has to be to empower staff because they are the only people who really see what is going on.”

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NSPCC to step down as provider of CSA inquiry’s helpline

Children’s charity decides against bidding for £1m contract after criticism of service

By Tim Wood | 12 May 2016

“There are literally thousands of people who are coming forward, and it is going to take the inquiry some time to process all the information”
– John Cameron, head of helplines, NSPCC

Children’s charity NSPCC is to stop providing the helpline service for the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse.

The helpline service attracted strong criticism from some survivors of child sex abuse (CSA) when it started last July, a year after the home secretary, Theresa May, announced the inquiry in Parliament.

Esther Baker, a complainant in a large CSA investigation by police, said: “The people on the helpline did not know how to deal with survivors. They were just given a script.”

A month after the helpline launched, the inquiry announced that it would put the contract to run the service out to tender. The inquiry announcement said: “This procurement process it is likely to take a minimum of 3 months. The NSPCC has been appointed to run the helpline whilst this procurement process takes place.”

The £1 million contract to run the helpline, which provides information about the inquiry to the public and how to engage with it, was to be put out to tender last September. But the tendering process has been bogged down by delays.

An inquiry spokeswoman told Exaro that the procurement process “is reaching its final stages.”

The formal invitation for bids went out in January. The tender documents said that the contract, to cover three years from April 2016, is worth £800,000-£950,000, with an option to extend until December 2020.

The NSPCC decided not to bid. John Cameron, head of helplines for the NSPCC, said: “This was always a temporary holding position for the NSPCC. We were running it as an initial start-up to help the inquiry.

“They wanted an immediate telephone support service, and we stepped in to help. It was right and proper that they came to an organisation that could immediately switch on a service that had the appropriate safeguarding experience.”

Asked why the NSPCC did not bid for the contract long-term, he said: “We are first and foremost a children’s charity.”

“The focus of the inquiry is working with adults who have been victims of child sexual abuse. There are a lot of other agencies out there who are well established, who offer this type of support to adults. For NSPCC, this is about us trying to focus our resources on children who are currently at risk. Where necessary and where urgent assistance is required we will of course help other people.”

He defended the helpline run so far by the NSPCC from criticism, saying: “We have had a lot of contact from the public, and we have passed that vital information to the inquiry. I am satisfied that the information that we have passed to the inquiry is being responded to appropriately.”

Criticism was mainly because of a lack of understanding of the job of the helpline service, he said.

“There are literally thousands of people who are coming forward, and it is going to take the inquiry some time to process all the information. Understandably, people get very frustrated that information is not being acted on immediately.

“Also we have people coming through to us who have a certain perception of what the helpline will do. Our role is to liaise with the inquiry, and also the police on occasion. What we provide is emotional support on the phone, and giving advice on how to cope and directing people to resources if available. Often all they want is a listening ear, which we have been happy to provide.”

Meanwhile, the inquiry is bolstering its public-relations team – from one person to three people.

It has just taken on a new head of communications, Bron Madson, who was press secretary to Alan Johnson for most of his cabinet career – including his year as home secretary. She has also been director of communications at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, and head of corporate news at the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The inquiry, which is due to hold a second round of preliminary hearings in July, is also seeking a chief press officer, on a salary of up to £61,745 a year, and another press officer, on up to £48,595pa.

Scotland Yard, meanwhile, is continuing a series of investigations into alleged cover-ups of CSA by VIPs under one operation.

Related Stories: Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread