'Key evidence not heard'

A man who was abused whilst living in the Bryn Estyn care home near Wrexham in the 1970s and 80s, has apologised to a Conservative peer for wrongly identifying him.

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Theresa May's statement to the Commons Part Two

Mrs May went on to tell the House that the Government is treating Mr Messham's allegations with the utmost seriousness. She said that child abuse is a hateful, abhorrent and disgusting crime and that the allegations must not go unanswered.

I urge anyone who has information relating to these allegations to go to the police. Mark Polin, the Chief Constable of North Wales Police has invited Keith Bristow, the Director General of the National Crime Agency to assess the allegations recently received, to review the historic police investigations and investigate any fresh allegations reported to the police into the alleged historic abuse in North Wales Care Homes. He will produce an initial report reviewing the historic investigations and any fresh allegations by April 2013.

– Home Secretary, Theresa May MP

Mrs May made it clear that the Home Office was ready to assist with the additional costs of this work.


Home Secretary Theresa May's statement to the Commons- Historical allegations of abuse in North Wales- Part One

The Home Secretary reminded the house that in 1991, North Wales police conducted an investigation into allegations that throughout the 1970's and 80's children in homes managed and supervised by Clwyd County Council were sexually and physically abused.

The result of the police investigation was eight prosecutions and seven convictions of former care workers. Despite the investigation and convictions, it was widely believed that the abuse was in fact on a far greater scale. But a report produced by Clwyd Council's own inquiry was never published because so much of its contents was considered by lawyers to be defamatory.

In 1995, the then Secretary of State for Wales , my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Wokingham, appointed a QC to examine all the relevant documents and recommend whether there should be a public inquiry.

– Home Secretary ,Theresa May MP

Mrs May went on to tell the house that the recommendation was that there should not be a public inquiry but an examination of the work of private care homes and the social service departments in Gwynedd and Clwyd Councils.

This work revealed not only shortcomings in the protection of vulnerable children but that shortcomings had persisted even after the police investigation and subsequent prosecutions. In 1996, my Rt Hon Friend ,the Foreign Secretary, the then new Secretary of State for Wales invited Sir Ronald Waterhouse to lead an inquiry into the abuse of children in care in the Gwynedd and Clwyd Council areas.

The Waterhouse Inquiry sat for 203 days and heard evidence from more than 650 people. Statements to the inquiry named more than eighty people as child abusers, many of whom were care workers or teachers

– Home Secretary ,Theresa May MP

In 2000, the inquiry's report "Lost in Care" made 72 recommendations for changes to the way in which children in care were protected by councils, social services and the police. And following the report's publication, 140 compensation claims were settled on behalf of the victims. But the report found no evidence of a paedophile ring beyond the care system which was the basis of the rumours that that followed the original police investigation and indeed one of the allegations made in the last week.

– Home Secretary Theresa May MP

But Mrs May went on to say that last Friday, Mr Steve Messham, a victim of sexual abuse at one of the homes names in the report, alleged that the inquiry did not look at abuse outside the care homes and he renewed allegations against the police and several individuals.

Carwyn Jones to answer urgent question this afternoon


First Minister backs Cameron's response to child abuse allegations

The First Minister says he supports the inquiry that the Prime Minister has announced into whether child abuse allegations about children in care in north Wales were properly investigated. Carwyn Jones says it is 'entirely appropriate' that the inquiry is carried out at a UK level.

Serious allegations about child abuse in North Wales during the 1970s and 80s have been made in the media over the weekend, and calls have been made for a fresh inquiry. The Welsh Government takes these allegations very seriously. In the first instance, victims of abuse who feel that the abuse they suffered was not investigated properly should report their cases to the police. My officials have been in touch with North Wales Police to ensure they are aware of and considering these further allegations.

The report of the extensive judicial inquiry chaired by Sir Ronald Waterhouse into child abuse in North Wales – entitled “Lost in Care” often known as the Waterhouse Report - was published in 2000. It was commissioned (before devolution began) by the then Secretary of State for Wales, the Rt. Hon. William Hague, and reported to the Rt. Hon. Paul Murphy, as Secretary of State, in 2000. It made extensive recommendations for improving child protection, many of which were subsequently implemented by the Welsh Government.

The Prime Minister has announced an inquiry to examine the extent to which the Waterhouse Report did what it was supposed to do. Given that Waterhouse was commissioned by the UK Government and reported to the UK Government, and that lines of enquiry cover non-devolved as well as devolved issues, this action seems entirely appropriate. I have asked for urgent advice on what was included in the terms of reference of the Waterhouse Inquiry. In due course that will enable me to consider, alongside any other relevant information, any action that might be necessary by the Welsh Government.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Prime Minister orders investigation into sex abuse allegations

The Prime Minister and the First Minister are calling for swift action over allegations that a senior politician was involved in a paedophile ring that abused boys from a children's home near Wrexham.

David Cameron has ordered an investigation and asked the Welsh Secretary to meet the abuse victim who's made the allegation.

The Home Office is looking at how North Wales Police investigated the original allegations.

  1. Adrian Masters

More details on abuse investigations expected

I'm told that further details could come this evening on the 'process' announced by Number Ten which will review police responses to the original allegations of abuse in North Wales care homes. Government sources are telling me that it's likely to be handled by the National Crime Agency.

However details of the separate investigation into the Waterhouse report itself are expected to emerge in the next few days. That's partly because the Prime Minister has said a 'senior figure' will be appointed to lead it and sources say it could take some time to identify the right person.

There's also the question of what form the process would take, whether or not it would be, say, a public inquiry or review of evidence and those terms of reference would have to be agreed with the person appointed to lead the investigation.

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