Tom Watson offers no apology for handling of Brittan allegations

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has defended his decision to pass on sex abuse allegations against former home secretary Leon Brittan.

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.

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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

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No 'sorry' from Watson over Lord Brittan abuse claims

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson has refused to apologise for raising allegations of sex abuse against former home secretary Lord Brittan.

Lord Brittan's brother has demanded his resignation and the Prime Minister feels Mr Watson needs to "examine his conscience".

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

Lord Brittan's brother calls for Tom Watson's resignation

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson should resign as an MP after refusing to apologise for his handling of child sex claims against Lord Brittan, the former home secretary's brother has told ITV News.

Speaking after Mr Watson made a defiant statement in the House of Commons, Sir Samuel Brittan said Mr Watson should "apply for a job as steward of the Chilterns hundreds" - the Parliamentary language for resigning from the Commons.

Sir Samuel Brittan said Tom Watson had failed to do his 'proper job as opposition MP'.

Sir Samuel also accused Mr Watson of "looking for scandal" in his handling of the allegations he received against Lord Brittan.

Of course he should apologise for unfounded allegations. But I think he should do more he should apply for a good job as steward of the Chilterns hundreds. That is an office which was (for) anyone incompatible with being an MP - it's the way many MPs use to resign.

I don't think he knew anything about my brother. I think he was just looking for scandal because he's not intelligent enough to do his proper job as an opposition MP.

– Sir Samuel Brittan

Watch Tom Watson's statement about Brittan allegations

Tom Watson's statement was provoked by Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames demanding an apology to Lord Brittan's family in a point of order.

Here is the Labour deputy leader's response in full, in which he refuses to apologise for raising allegations against the late former home secretary:

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.

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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).

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".

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