Child Abuse - 7th July 2014
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): Sir Jimmy Savile was the honoured invited guest at 11 new year’s eve parties hosted by a Prime Minister. He was given the keys to two hospitals by Health Ministers. He was a trusted friend of royalty. Can we know whether the intelligence services had surveillance on this man? If they did put in reports, why was no action taken on them?
Mrs May: In response to an earlier question, I addressed the issue of my expectation of the panel being able to have as much access to Government papers as possible. On the wider issue the hon. Gentleman raises, this is precisely why we need to look back at these cases and ask why somebody who was serially abusing a large number of people—children and adults—over a period of time was able to do so while continuing to be feted by society at large.
Lisa Nandy (Wigan) (Lab): 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, in his own words, “involving small boys”, and that they did so to exert control over those individuals and prevent problems for the Government. That is just one powerful example of how personal and political interests can conspire to prevent justice from happening. May we have a full commitment that the inquiry will consider not just the police and social services but what happens at the heart of power, and that if those systems are found to exist today, they will be overturned, whether or not it makes life uncomfortable for political parties, Parliament or the Government?
Mrs May: It is not my intention that political parties be outside the scope of the inquiry. It has to be wide-ranging and it has to look at every area where it is possible that people have been guilty of abuse. We need to learn lessons to ensure that the systems we have in place are able to identify that and deal with it appropriately.