Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Jim Hood MP mentions allegations of "improper conduct" with children against Leon Brittan

Last night, in the House of Commons, Jim Hood MP made allegations under Parliamentary Privilege regarding "improper conduct with children" in the 1980s by Lord Brittan.

It seems to me that this matter must be the subject of investigation by the UK Child Abuse Inquiry.

It seems to me that there are several points that merit more detailed consideration:

  1. There are allegations of "improper conduct with children" in the 1980s by Lord Brittan What did the alleged "improper conduct" consist of? When did it allegedly take place? Where did it allegedly take place?
  2. Those allegations were expressed by miners in open court. On which occasions? In which courts?
  3. The media, so far as I'm aware didn't report the accusations at the time. Why was the media (seemingly) silent on the matter?.
  4. Was the Home Office aware of those allegations when it set up the Wanless/Whittam review? Were Wanless and Whittam told of the allegations? Is there evidence that Home Office files weren't simply "lost" but were, possibly with authorisation at the highest level in the Home Office, systematically destroyed? Was that question addressed by Wanless/Whittam?
  5. Why has the Home Office been silent about those allegations?
  6. Why has the Home Affairs Select Committee been silent about those allegations?
A barrel of worms (not merely a can of worms) has been opened for public discussion by Jim Hood's comments.

It seems to me that full investigation of the allegations regarding Lord Brittan is essential.

Below is the Hansard record of what Mr. Hood said from the termporary link at

That is a temporary link. Once a permanent link is available to what was said in the House of Commons I intend to post it on this blog.
criminals because of what happened in that miners’ strike?
Mr Hood:
I was born a miner. Mining communities were the most law-abiding communities one could wish for. During the miners strike, people were put in prison who had never seen a prison even from afar.
Much has been written about violence on picket lines. The 30-year rule on publishing Cabinet papers needs to be examined, and the conduct of the Home Secretary in directing police and courts must be disclosed. By the way, the current exposé of Sir Leon Brittan, the then Home Secretary, with accusations of improper conduct with children, will not come as a surprise to the striking miners of 1984, as many of them—
Conor Burns:
On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member for Lanark and Hamilton East (Mr Hood) has just made profoundly serious accusations against a noble Lord. Is that in order?
Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle):
In fairness, I did not hear as I was talking to a Whip. It is up to each Member to decide what they say, and they must make that decision.
Mr Hood:
I will repeat part of the point that I am making. The rumours that Sir Leon Brittan was involved in misconduct with children do not come as news to miners who were on strike in 1984, because when miners were going into the dock in magistrates courts we were aware and miners were declaring—
Matthew Hancock:
Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Mr Hood:
No, I will not give way. I will give way when I have finished my point.
Miners were saying in the dock in all the magistrates courts throughout the strike that they objected to the instructions coming from the Home Secretary when there were reports of child abuse linked with that same Home Secretary.
Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle):
Order. It is up to each Member, but we have to be very careful about what we say. We must consider what we are saying and what the implications are.
Mr Hood:
Obviously, I accept what you say, Mr Deputy Speaker. I am just repeating what I read in the papers—
Mr Deputy Speaker:
Order. Time is up. Five minutes have gone. I call Mr Mark Spencer.

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