The text of my letter to the Child Abuse Inquiry is below.
It seems to me wholly unacceptable that Mr. Vaz should stand as a candidate to be Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee if he persists in his silence on these potentially important concerns.
8tth June 2015Child Abuse Inquiry[By email]Dear Sir/Madam,
- Concerns regarding Keith Vaz MP
- Concerns regarding Kathryn Hudson, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
- Concerns regarding members of the Home Affairs Select Committee
- Concerns regarding the Clerk to the Home Affairs Select Committee
This letter is a formal submission to the Child Abuse Inquiry.
I wish the Child Abuse Inquiry to investigate
- the conduct of Keith Vaz MP,
- the conduct of Kathryn Hudson, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards,
- the conduct of the members of the Home Affairs Select Committee
- the conduct of Andy Boyd, Clerk tof the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Taken together, I believe that the actions and/or failures to act by those mentioned in the preceding list have facilitated the deception of the public regarding questions relating to Mr. Vaz’s past associations with child abuse.
In other words, politicians and parliamentary staff have deceived the public.
The concealment of concerns about politicians is ongoing and, it seems to me, is aided and abetted by misconduct by Parliamentary officials including the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
Concerns regarding Keith Vaz MP
I will briefly list my concerns regarding Mr. Vaz.
- In the 1980s Mr. Vaz was a solicitor for Richmond Council at at time when, so it is alleged, boys were being supplied from Grafton Close Children’s Home to Elm Guest House so that the boys might be sexually abused. To the best of my knowledge the extent, if any, of Mr. Vaz’s knowledge of these matters and whether he took any action to suppress public knowledge of the abuse is uninvestigated.
- Later in the 1980s Mr. Vaz was a senior solicitor for Islington Council. Children from Islington Council Children’s Homes are alleged to have been trafficked to be abused, for example in Jersey.
- In the House of Commons on 3rd December 1991 Mr. Vaz referred to the allegations of child abuse by Greville Janner as a “cowardly and wicked attack” without, so far as I can see, any evidence for his unqualified support of Mr. Janner. See http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1991/dec/03/contempt-of-court I believe Mr. Vaz should be asked if he was legitimately in a position to support Mr. Janner in such an unqualified manner.
- Mr. Vaz went further in that he sought to change the Law to suppress allegations of child abuse which might be made in open court. Mr. Vaz’s proposal would inevitably have led to the concealment of child abuse. Mr. Vaz has never, so far as I’m aware, publicly acknowledged that he tried to change the Law to suppress allegations of child abuse nor explained why such a course of action could ever be fair to the victims of abuse. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, has Mr. Vaz publicly apologised for doing so.
- At the time of the preceding interventions Mr. Vaz did not disclose his previous employment (in the 1980s)with Richmond Council and Islington Council.
- Mr. Vaz chaired the Home Affairs Select Committee at the oral session with Fiona Woolf. He concealed the matters relating to points 1, 2 and 4 above. This is of serious concern since his conduct should, in my view at least, be the subject of scrutiny by the Child Abuse Inquiry. Mr. Vaz had a potentially signficant undeclared conflict of interests.
- Mr. Vaz chaired the pre-appointment hearing with Justice Lowell Goddard without declaring his attempt to change the Law to suppress child abuse allegations. His past employment with Richmond Council and Islington Council was made in such a way so as to conceal the likelihood that Mr. Vaz’s conduct might be subject to investigation by Justice Goddard. Mr. Vaz, in my view, dishonestly downplayed the potential significance of his past employment and totally concealed his past attempt to suppress child abuse allegations.
- The questioning of Justice Goddard by Mr. Vaz and his colleagues was grossly inadequate. For example, no serious questioning on the implications of Section 9 of the Inquiries Act 2005 took place. The result was that Justice Goddard was, in my view, unlawfully appointed to chair the Child Abuse Inquiry.
- I wrote to Mr. Vaz on 27th February 2015 informing him that Justice Goddard had given false evidence to the Select Committee. Mr. Vaz did not recall Justice Goddard to correct her false evidence to the Committee. I view that as a serious failure by Mr. Vaz.
- Mr. Vaz lied, so far as I understand, to the solicitor acting for Sir Cliff Richard. Mr. Vaz falsely claimed that the Home Affairs Select Committee published all correspondence sent to it. I spoke to the solicitor concerned and was led to believe that the press reports of the content of Mr. Vaz’s letter to the solicitor were accurate.
I enclose a copy of my letter of 27th February 2015 to Mr. Vaz re my concerns relating to the evidence given by Justice Goddard and the questionable legality of her appointment to chair the Child Abuse Inquiry.
Concerns regarding Kathryn Hudson
I believe that Ms. Hudson has a duty to ensure that Mr. Vaz fully declared his interests with respect to his past child abuse associations. She did not fulfil that duty, in my estimation.
I believe that Kathryn Hudson has betrayed the public trust that reasonably applies to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.Let me explain briefly why I hold that view.
I made a formal complaint to Ms. Hudson re Mr. Vaz.
I enclose copies of my letters of 4th November 2014 and 12th November 2014 to Ms. Hudson.
It was my view that Mr. Vaz ought to have declared his past attempt to change the Law to conceal child abuse allegations and should also have declared his past employment in the 1980s successively with Richmond Council and Islington Council.
It is alleged that children from children’s homes run by Richmond Council and Islington Council were trafficked for abuse by paedophiles.
With respect to Richmond Council, it is alleged that children were taken from Grafton Close to the Elm Guest House.
With respect to Islington Council, it is alleged that children were taken from various homes to Jersey and other locations and were abused there.
Mr. Vaz’s actions with respect to those matters are undisclosed and uninvestigated, as are his knowledge, if any, of child abuse perpetrated against children in the homes run by Richmond Council and Islington Council.
My specific concerns regarding Ms. Hudson’s conduct are as follows:
- That she improperly rejected the complaint regarding Mr. Vaz’s conduct as expressed in my letters of 4th November 2014 and 12th November 2014.
- That she improperly concealed from public awarneness that a formal complaint had been made against Mr. Vaz. My complaint about Mr. Vaz is absent from the published list of Complaints which were not upheld.
- The effect of that is not only that Ms. Hudson improperly rejected the complaint regarding Mr. Vaz but she has also concealed from public awareness the existence of the complaint.
Ms. Hudson should be asked to justify her rejection of the complaint regarding Mr. Vaz and fully to explain what actions she took.
Ms. Hudson should also be asked how it came about that the existence of the complaint was concealed by her Office.
In this matter Ms. Hudson has operated more as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Cover-up than as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. At least that is my view.
Concerns regarding Home Affairs Committee Members
Given my concerns about Mr. Vaz’s silence and my doubts about his integrity I wrote to the members of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
I enclose a copy of my letter of 11th November 2014 sent to the members of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Andy Boyd, Clerk to the Committee, led me to believe that the letter had been distributed.
My concerns are two-fold:
- That the members of the Home Affairs Select Committee were party to Mr. Vaz’s concealment (or minimising) of his past child abuse associations. That seems to me to be wholly improper.
- That the members of the Home Affairs Select Committee knew that Mr. Vaz had lied to Sir Cliff Richard’s solicitor and took no steps to ensure that Mr. Vaz’s lie was either publicised or corrected.
It seems to me that a culture of cover-up pervaded the Home Affairs Select Committee.
I ask that the Child Abuse Inquiry takes evidence from the then members of the Home Affairs Select Committee to explore how the cover-up came about.
Concerns regarding Home Affairs Committee Secretariat
In addition to my concerns regarding the Members of Parliament concealing Mr. Vaz’s lie, it seems to me that serious questions need to be posed to Andy Boyd, Clerk to the Committee, who must have known about Mr. Vaz’s lie to Sir Cliff Richard’s solicitor yet seems to have turned a blind eye to the lie.
This seems to me to be serious misconduct on Mr. Boyd’s part.
In my view it is wholly unacceptable for Parliamentary officials tacitly to assist a Member of Parliament in deceiving the public.
I am willing to assist the Child Abuse Inquiry with further information with respect to the matters raised where I can do so.
Should the Child Abuse Inquiry feel that any of these matters should be considered by the Police team which is supporting the Inquiry I am willing to assist the Police, given reasonable notice, by, for example, giving a statement at a Police station convenient to my home.
Specifically, in the absence of a reasonable explanation from Ms. Hudson, it seems to me that her conduct in this matter arguably satisfies the criteria set out in the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines regarding Misconduct in Public Office.
This is a public document.
A copy of the letter is to be placed on my UK Child Abuse Inquiry blog here:
Further, in the interests of transparency, I am sending copies of this letter to Mr. Vaz, Ms. Hudson and Mr. Boyd, the Clerk to the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Actions requested of you
In my view the matters briefly summarised above demonstrate a continuing culture of cover-up involving Mr. Vaz, Ms. Hudson and Mr. Boyd as well as the then members of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
I believe that the public should be fully aware of how they are being deceived and ask that the Child Abuse Inquiry takes oral evidence in public from the individuals referred to above.
(Dr) Andrew Watt
Enc.Formal complaint of 5th November 2014 to Kathryn Hudson re Keith VazLetter of 11th November 2014 to members of the Home Affairs Select CommitteeLetter of 12th November 2014 to Kathryn Hudson re Keith VazLetter of 27th February 2015 to Keith Vaz re false evidence from Lowell Goddard etc