Sunday, 30 November 2014

Report to the Police: Possible misconduct in public office by Leon Brittan

In yesterday's press some attention was paid to a failure or refusal by the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, to investigate allegations of possible child sexual abuse at Buckingham Palace and/or Balmoral Castle.

VIP paedophile ring 'abused teenage boy INSIDE Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle

Having read the article I returned to the documents released by the Wanless/Whittam Review.

Annex E was of particular interest.

It seemed to me that in failing to pass to the Police the information suggestive of child sexual abuse at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle that Leon Brittan was failing in his public duty.

Below is a letter of yesterday's date to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service asking him to investigate whether Leon Brittan committed the common law offence of misconduct in public office.

30th November 2014

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service

Dear Commissioner,

Suspected misconduct in public office by
Leon Brittan while Home Secretary

I write to report to you as a constable the suspected common law of offence of misconduct in public office by Leon Brittan, now Lord Brittan of Spennithorne.

I refer you to reports in today’s press including an allegation that the former Home Secretary Leon Brittan refused to conduct an investigation into allegations of paedophilia with respect to a 16 year old boy formerly employed at Buckingham Palace.

I refer you this article which is online:

The letter referred to in today’s media forms part of the documentation recently released as part of the Wanless/Whittam review.

See Annex E of the Wanless/Whittam Report. The letter from Mr. Brittan is at pages 25-26 of Annex E.

I understand that the 16 year old is named in an article on 15th January 1984 in the News of the World. I do not name him in this letter since it is a public document.

Misconduct in Public Office

It seems to me that the failures on the part of Mr. Brittan satisfy the elements of the common law offence of Misconduct in Public Office as expressed in the Crown Prosecution Service guidance.

  1. Was Mr. Brittan in public office? – Yes, he was Home Secretary
  2. Was Mr. Brittan acting in his public office? – Yes, he wrote on Home Office paper and was writing in his role as Home Secretary
  3. Was the failure wilful? – Given that Mr. Brittan writes to an MP about the case and provides a pretext (or explanation) for his failing to have the matter investigated it seems to me to be the case that his failure to refer the matter to the Police was wilful
  4. Was there a reasonable excuse for his failure to refer the matter to the Police given that the allegations appear to involve unlawful sexual activity with a 16 year old? - Given that a criminal offence was alleged it seems to me that the Home Secretary’s clear duty was to refer that to the Police for investigation. I have given the matter careful thought and can identify no credible legitimate reason for Leon Brittan failing to refer the matter to the Police, given the Law as I understand it to have existed at the time in question.

At the present time, so far as I can establish, neither the minutes of the meeting of 23rd November 1983 between Mr. Brittan and Mr. Geoffrey Dickens nor the subsequent letters are extant.

This letter is a public document.

I anticipate placing a copy of it on my UK Child Abuse Inquiry blog:

Actions requested of you

I ask that you assign a Crime Reference Number to the report of suspected crime and provide that crime reference number to me when you, or a colleague, replies.

I believe this is a matter of considerable potential public importance and interest. That being the case I will treat any reply from you or one of your colleagues as a public document.

Yours sincerely

(Dr) Andrew Watt

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