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  1. National

MPs summon Tom Watson over Lord Brittan abuse claims

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson is to face a grilling from MPs over his pursuit of sex abuse allegations against the late Conservative cabinet minister, Lord Brittan.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee said that it had "invited" Mr Watson to appear before them on 21 October. The Metropolitan Police will also give evidence on the the same day.

The committee firmly believes that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which the Home Secretary has established under the chairmanship of Judge Lowell Goddard, is the most appropriate channel for these very important matters to be examined.

Our evidence session is therefore intended as a continuation of the regular series of very helpful regular updates which the committee received from the Metropolitan Police in the last Parliament and to hear evidence on a particular case.

The committee fully appreciates that ongoing operational activities are a matter for the police and these areas will not be discussed during the session.

– Keith Vaz, chair of Commons Home Affairs Committee


  1. National

Watson statement met with cries of 'shame' from Tories

Labour deputy speaker Tom Watson was heckled with shouts of "shame" from across the benches after making his statement in the House of Commons, as ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship noted.

  1. National

Watson offers no apology for handling of Brittan claims

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has defended his decision to pass on sex abuse claims against former home secretary Leon Brittan and urged all MPs to "examine their consciences" over the handling of such allegations.

Prime Minister David Cameron earlier said Mr Watson had "a lot of questions to answer" and should "examine his conscience" after Lord Brittan's brother called on him for an apology.

Tom Watson said all MPs needed to examine their consciences over the handling of sex abuse allegations.

Responding with a statement in the House of Commons, Mr Watson said: "We all need to examine our consciences in this house."

He added: "We've presided over a state of affairs where children have been abused and then ignored, dismissed and then disdained. If anyone deserves an apology, it's them."

Lord Brittan's brother Sir Samuel Brittan has condemned the West Bromwich East MP for passing "unfounded allegations" from a number of alleged victims to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

  1. National

PM wades into row over Tom Watson's abuse claims

Prime Minister David Cameron has waded into the row over how Tom Watson handled allegations against Leon Brittan, saying the Labour deputy "has a lot of questions to answer."

David Cameron says Tom Watson has questions to answer Credit: Justin Tallis/PA Wire

Speaking during an interview with LBC radio Cameron said it was right for Watson to have to face questions over the allegations he made and "examine his conscience about whether he's said enough so far."

It's clear I think that he's got a lot of questions to answer and the House of Commons Select Committees are quite rightly going to ask him some questions so I'm sure he should answer those questions and examine his conscience about whether he's said enough so far.

– David Cameron

At the weekend Watson defended the way he handled allegations against Leon Brittan regarding rape allegations but conceded he should not have repeated a claim that the former Home Secretary was "close to evil".