MP calls for sex file probe

Lisa Nandy
Lisa Nandy

LISA Nandy has demanded Government action as the furore over allegedly missing files about Parliamentary sex abuse grew.

The Wigan MP, who is a former national officer with the Children’s Society charity, was addressing the Commons after it was revealed that a member of the Heath government told a BBC documentary in the 1990s that he could help MPs overcome scandals involving “small boys”.

Former Tory MP Tim Fortescue, who served as a whip between 1970 and 1973, told the 1995 BBC documentary Westminster’s Secret Service that the whips’ office could be useful for MPs caught up in such situations.

Ms Nandy raised the late Mr Fortescue’s comments, demanding Whitehall action,

She said: “In the mid-1990s a senior ex-whip who had served in the 1970s told the BBC that the whips office routinely helped MPs with scandals, including those ‘involving small boys’ and that they did it in order to exert control over those individuals and prevent problems for the government.

“Can we have a full commitment that this inquiry will consider not just the police and social services but will also look at what happens at the heart of power?

“And that if those systems are found to exist today that they will be overturned, whether that makes life uncomfortable for political parties, whether it makes life uncomfortable for Parliament, or whether it makes life uncomfortable for the Government itself.”

Home Secretary Theresa May replied that it wasn’t her intention that political parties should be outside the scope of the inquiry.

She said: “I think this has to be wide-ranging, it has to look at every area where it is possible that people have been guilty of abuse and we need to learn lessons to ensure that the systems we have in place are able to identify that and deal with it appropriately.”