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OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 17.08.16 16:41

Sir Bernard Hogan Howe will have over 1500 fully trained Armoured personell to contain any threats to the UK,under the guise of "Terrorism" to contain any Civil disorder,much like when the Armed Forces were called on in past events,but now that the Government has depleted their capability,the full cost is to be born by the Tax payer under a new ruse?
The full extent of child abuse seems to be a world wide Phenomenon used as an ulterior method to "Control/Blackmail" the guilty parties in their power in the Establishment System,MI5/6 and under cover infiltration methods?
Quite a lot of MP's were fully aware of PIE Organisation in the 1970's onward's and voted for the age of consent to be lowered to Ten years of age within the UK,much to their bemusement now exposed to the public in the UK, yet they still sit in their luxury Leather Clad seats to this day or have gone to the House of Lords!?
No Wonder the Trail of Marc Dutroux for Rapes and Murders of Children in Belgium and other European Countries tried to Suppress the evidence being heard in a Public Court during his Trail?
In 2008,the Metropolitan Police Service could neither confirm or Deny,produce evidence that Paedophile Rings were involved in the Madeleine McCann case,yet Eight Years later DCI Andy Redwood had links of "Paedophile Burglars" targeting Holiday Home Apartments in Portugal, during the Year that Madeleine disappeared and is still missing as of this day, with these likely suspects still at large in Portugal,but not Tourists?
Yet Brian Gerrish and Detective John of the Metropolitan Police Service confirms of the Child Abuse being swept under the carpet,by the Metropolitan Police Service,within the Care Home System,but not in Wales area Bryn Alyn or Estyn you understand or parts of Scotland or Ireland,Kincora Boys Home?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 22.08.16 14:12

Another one on the ‘Elm Guest House’ list:
 
DJ Chris Denning Admits 21 Child Sex Offences
 
The 75-year-old is described in court as someone with a "very long record of offences against young boys".
 
13:03, UK,
Monday 22 August 2016
 
Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning has pleaded guilty to 21 child sex offences committed between 1969 and 1986.
 
Denning, 75, appeared at Southwark Crown Court in London to admit the offences, which include indecently assaulting men and boys and inciting boys under the age of 16 and 14 to commit acts of gross indecency.
 
The charges relate to 11 children, some just eight years old.
 
He denied another three indecent assault charges, which were ordered to lie on the file.
 
Denning, from London, will be sentenced on 6 October but is already serving a 13-year sentence for sexual assaults on another 24 victims from the 1960s to the 1980s.
 
Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said Denning, one of Radio 1's founding presenters in 1967, had a "very long record of offences against young boys".
 
He added: "Given the very long indictment he has pleaded guilty to, we take the view that these counts would not make a difference to (his) sentence."
 
The offences covered in the latest admissions came under a Surrey Police investigation - Operation Ravine - which looked at alleged sexual offences connected to the Walton Hop Disco, a disco for teenagers which ran between 1958 and 2001.
 
http://news.sky.com/story/dj-chris-denning-admits-21-child-sex-offences-10547548

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 22.08.16 21:00

The Metropolitan Police Service still playing"Peek A Boo",look what we have found over here,so we had better not look too close over there,Three Little Bears Tune?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 23.08.16 8:06

Looking at Denning’s ‘wiki’ profile, I wonder how many ‘skeletons in the closet’ he could open up (he was also on the Elm Guest House list), before dementia sets in?
 
‘Denning's first conviction for gross indecency and indecent assault was in 1974, when he was convicted at the Old Bailey,[10] although he was not imprisoned.[3] Before his conviction Denning had been working for Jonathan King's newly founded UK Records, but King sacked him after the guilty verdict.[11]
During the 1970s, Denning was part of a group of child sex offenders based around a disco for young people[12] called the Walton Hop. Other participants included Tam Paton, manager of Bay City Rollers (convicted of child sex offences in 1982), and Jonathan King.[12][13] All became suspects in Surrey Police's Operation Arundel, an investigation focusing on sex offenders, which ultimately led to convictions against King and Denning.[14]
In 1985 he was imprisoned for 18 months for gross indecency with a child,[10] and in 1988 for three years for indecent assault on a 13-year-old boy and possession of indecent photographs.[10] In March 1996 he was imprisoned for 10 weeks for publishing indecent photographs.[10] The following year he was held in Pankrác Prison in Prague awaiting trial. This did not take place until 2000 when he was convicted of abusing seven boys aged under 15. He was released in 2001.[3]
After his release, he was wanted for questioning by Surrey Police, but an extradition attempt to Britain in the Prague City Court failed because the alleged offences fell outside of the Czech Republic's statute of limitation to five years, but Denning was ordered to leave the country "indefinitely".[11] He was finally arrested in August 2005 at Heathrow Airport after returning to Britain from Austria.[14] He admitted to five charges of the indecent assault of boys aged under 16 years of age, dating back to the 1970s and 1980s: he was convicted the following February and imprisoned for four years.[14] Meanwhile, a European arrest warrant was issued in December 2007.[15]
In 2008 he was extradited from Britain to Slovakia, where he was jailed in October for five years after being found guilty of producing child pornography.[4][10][16] The offences in Slovakia dated back to 2002 and 2003. He had been briefly held in custody in Bratislava during 2004 following a search of his house, but then quickly left the country.[15]
In June 2013 he was arrested in east London as part of Operation Yewtree, an investigation into sexual abuse.[17] He was re-arrested and bailed in September of that year, although the allegations made against Denning were not part of those relating to Jimmy Savile. In May 2014, as a result of the investigation, he was charged with 41 sex offences. [18][19][20] In August 2014, Denning admitted to 29 charges on offences committed against boys.[21] In November at Southwark Crown Court, Denning pleaded guilty to a further 11 charges. In all he pleaded guilty to 40 sexual offences committed in the period 1967 to 1987 relating to 26 male victims, the youngest of whom was 9 at the time of the offence. In December 2014, Denning was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.[22]
   
Denning was charged with six offences stemming from the Operation Ravine investigation on 7 June 2016.[23] On 22 August 2016, Denning pleaded guilty to 21 sex offences between 1969 and 1986, against 11 boys - the youngest of whom was eight. He will be sentenced on 6 October.


......................................................


   
Good case for a bit of plea bargaining?

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 23.08.16 15:05

So how did the Metropolitan Police Service,come to the decision that Denning's Sex Crimes were not related to Operation Yewtree-Operation Ravine,Operation Arundel,when all had connections to the"Pop Industry"Jonaton King,Chris Denning,Jimmy Saville,Tom Paton(Bay City Rollers)Walton Hop reported as the first Disco!?
So we can see deliberate manipulation within the context as to the names given to each operation,thus.
"Yewtree" was chosen as intended to be Neutral and unrelated to each particular case,from a "System" dating back to the 1980's,for operations which are started to handle"Specific Crimes"as opposed to the more general,pro-active operations with the"Names"connected to their intent?
So we can now see how the "Metropolitan Police Service" come to their decision as highlighted above,keep them Neutral and unrelated to each particular case?  
Such Clever people,these Police Officers,in these cases it is a misconception that just Top Flight Police work that brought about Convictions?
So therefore,we can see that it is the"System" being operated from thirty six years ago,that is still best practice being operated in today's environment,so much improvement needs to be made,states the Neutral Reports?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 24.08.16 21:37

Couple of tweets:
 
Mark Watts ‏‪@MarkWatts_1 Aug 23
Alexis Jay grants 'core participant' status at ‪#CSAinquiry for six more complainants re Lord Janner, bringing total to 33.
 
………………………………..
 
Extraordinary tweets from (seemingly) Barbara Hewson (outspoken Barrister) to employers of Sue Crocombe:
 
 

 
Rapidly deleted and account locked, but too little too late.
 
This has been reported to the police and mirrors the tactics previously seen in the McCann case.

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 31.08.16 14:36

Can’t see any confirmation of this yet:                  
 
            My Sweet Landlord ‏‪@MySweetLandlord 3h3 hours ago

1/3 Daniel Janner on Alexis Jay - "This is a quasi-judicial role which cries out for a lawyer to make legal decisions. She has failed to

                

          

                My Sweet Landlord ‏‪@MySweetLandlord 3h3 hours ago

2/3 consider our long representations as to why our father's case should not be an investigation for the IICSA". Failed to consider?

            

My Sweet Landlord
‏‪@MySweetLandlord
   
3/3 Alexis Jay took the Janner family representations into consideration, but rejected them. All credit to her for doing so!

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 03.09.16 14:53

Not clear where Mark Watts has got this from, unless the IICSA has been asking him questions about it:
 
Mark Watts
‏‪@MarkWatts_1
 
‘Good to hear that IPCC and #CSAinquiry are pursuing this bombshell from Exaro archive: ‪http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5330/audio-file-set-to-blow-lid-off-paedophile-scandal-at-westminster … and ‪http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5225/customs-seized-video-of-child-sex-abuse-and-ex-cabinet-minister ….’
 
This is of course the ‘LB’ videos originally reported in NOTW iirc,
 
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/49075/supplement/10308

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by sallypelt on 03.09.16 15:14

@Doug D wrote:Not clear where Mark Watts has got this from, unless the IICSA has been asking him questions about it:
 
Mark Watts
‏‪@MarkWatts_1
 
‘Good to hear that IPCC and #CSAinquiry are pursuing this bombshell from Exaro archive: ‪http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5330/audio-file-set-to-blow-lid-off-paedophile-scandal-at-westminster … and ‪http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5225/customs-seized-video-of-child-sex-abuse-and-ex-cabinet-minister ….’
 
This is of course the ‘LB’ videos originally reported in NOTW iirc,
 
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/49075/supplement/10308

Here is a bit more info on the videos:

http://timtate.co.uk/blog/the-politician-the-paedophiles-the-police-press/


I will post the whole article, because they seem to disappear at rapid speed:

Tim Tate

Author, Film-Maker & Investigative Journalist




Blog

The Truth Shall Make You Free Fret

THE POLITICIAN, THE PAEDOPHILES, THE POLICE & PRESS

 
THE LONG STRANGE, SAGA OF LEON BRITTAN
 
Over recent months two separate police forces have been carrying out enquiries into a snippet of 30-year-old gossip about a dead man. The Met and North Yorkshire Police have been interviewing people who, in the early to mid 1980s, heard a rumour that the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan had molested a young boy at a weekend retreat. I am one of them.
 
There are a number of oddities to this story, and, together with the rest of the strange saga of Leon Brittan, they shine a light on the frustratingly opaque progress of historic child sex abuse investigations. They also provide a litmus test for Lord Justice Goddard’s Independent panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
 
The rumour first.   In the early 1980s I was a researcher on Roger Cook’s BBC Radio 4 investigative programme, “Checkpoint”.  The editor of the series had a source inside 10 Downing Street who was in the habit of passing on juicy titbits of scurrilous gossip about members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet.
 
Why he did this was something of a mystery: “Checkpoint” was a fine programme, but it rarely strayed into political investigations. I never met the source, but according to our editor, he simply enjoyed gossiping over drinks at a private club both belonged to. To my knowledge, nothing had ever been done with the tittle-tattle he related.
 
The Brittan story, though, was different. According to the source, Brittan had been attending a weekend house party somewhere in North Yorkshire (he was initially MP for Cleveland & Whitby, then Richmond, N. Yorks): at some point he was supposed to have molested a young boy.   Local police allegedly attended, but very quickly were ordered off the case by Special Branch officers. There were no details of where exactly this happened, nor what exactly Brittan was supposed to have done.
 
Despite the sketchy nature of the rumour – and perhaps because I still lived in Yorkshire and had some relevant police contacts – I was instructed by my editor and the BBC’s (then) assistant director-general, Alan Protheroe, to make some discreet enquiries.
 
Over several weeks I spoke to a succession of contacts within the police. All said they knew nothing. Finally, I approached an officer in the neighbouring West Yorkshire Police Special Branch with whom I had an occasional, if slightly uneasy, working relationship. He agreed – reluctantly – to make some enquiries: very quickly thereafter he told me he was not going to pursue them.
 
And there our own investigations stopped. We told Alan Protheroe that we could find no evidence to support the rumour and I went back to work on more regular “Checkpoint” stories.
 
We were not, of course, alone in hearing this rumour. Private Eye had also picked it up and subsequently ran a short piece suggesting that members of the security service were trying to smear Brittan with false child abuse allegations.

Over the next decades I made a succession of films and wrote a number of books, investigating child sexual abuse and paedophile networks. But I rarely gave any thought to the Brittan allegations until claims about paedophile parties at the Elm Guest House in south-west London surfaced in late 2013.
 
A  report on the Exaro news website, repeated in national newspapers and over the internet, claimed a video tape had been seized by Operation Fairbank (later known as Fernbridge),the Metropolitan Police’s unit investigating allegations of historic “VIP” child sexual abuse.  According to Exaro the tape showed a senior former Tory minister – plainly Brittan, though since he was still alive he was not named – in compromising circumstances at the guest house.
 
I had a contact in Operation Fernbridge,   Immediately after the story appeared, I met up with him: he denied absolutely – and vehemently – that any such tape had been seized. But because no official denial was issued by New Scotland Yard, the story fed into the growing public rumour-mill about ‘paedophile politicians’.
 
Two further issues quickly emerged which further inflamed the mood. The first was the mystery over what had happened to a dossier given in 1984 to Leon Brittan (while he was Home Secretary) by a back-bench Conservative MP, Geoffrey Dickens. Newspapers at the time had reported  that this dossier – which stemmed from Dickens’ earlier attempts to have the Paedophile Information Exchange proscribed – named a number of high-profile active child abusers.
 
In dealing with enquiries (in 2013) about what had happened to the Dickens material The Home Office did not exactly cover itself in glory: it initially claimed that it could not find 11 files, some of which included the dossier; then was forced (after a succession of Freedom of Information Act requests and demands by the Home Affairs Select Committee) to disclose that it had discovered the remnants of not 11, but 114 files relating to correspondence from Dickens or other MPs about alleged paedophiles and the prosecution of child sexual abuse.
 
The Home Office had also maintained in 2013 that the files themselves had been destroyed in line with “applicable document retention policies” at the time. Yet a year later it was forced to admit in response to my FOI request that it didn’t actually have a copy of this policy: it did not explain the apparent conflict between the absence of this policy and its previous assurance that the child abuse documents had been properly destroyed.
29875-Tate letter 28 Aug 2014 Final-1
 
Leon Brittan, for his part, was initially unable to recall the Dickens’ dossier before later remembering that he had passed it on to his officials who had in turn discussed it with the Director of Public Prosecutions.
 
The second incident was a story in the Express and on the Exaro News website alleging that in 1982 a Customs Office called Maganlal Solanki had seized child pornography films or videotapes sent or brought to the UK by Russell Tricker, a convicted British paedophile living in Amsterdam: one of these allegedly showed a former Tory cabinet minister sexually abusing children.   Once again, Brittan was not named, but there were clear hints in the stories that he was the politician in question (in 1982 he was Chief Secretary to the Treasury).
 
Mr Solanki had unquestionably seized the tapes and films referred to. An official 1982 notice in the London Gazette recorded the seizure and his name was shown as the Customs officer responsible.
 

 
This did not specify the exact nature of the material – child pornography was then not legally defined, nor indeed was simple possession of it specifically illegal: the notice simply stated that the films and tape were indecent.  Crucially, though, it listed the title of the video as “LB”. [Note: in the 1980s there was a commercially-produced series of child pornography films entitled “Loverboys”.]
 
The coincidence of these initials with those of Leon Brittan led the Express reporter to doorstep Mr Solanki at his home in Leicester. The reporter recorded the conversation. The Express and Exaro claimed that during the interview the now-retired Customs officer confirmed clearly that the seized material showed the politician sexually abusing children.
 
I obtained a copy of the recording and transcribed it. Far from confirming the Express/Exaro claims, this clearly showed that Mr Solanki had repeatedly refused to confirm the reporter’s allegations that Leon Brittan was shown on the tapes. The most he appeared to concede was that the ex-minister was “involved” somehow with a tape: but he made clear that he was not at liberty to talk and told the reporter to speak to H.M. Customs.
 
However, the story had another twist in it.   In April 2014 I met with the senior Operation Fernbridge detective with whom I had previously spoken. Over the course of a two hour, off the record interview he told me that his officers had also interviewed Mr Solanki. The former Customs officer had, according to the detective, insisted that he couldn’t remember anything about the 1982 Tricker seizure – much less having viewed the tape and films. (Mr Solanki is in his 80s and somewhat infirm).
 
But what he said next was even more potentially explosive. He told the officers that he clearly remembered stopping Leon Brittan on another occasion – he could not recall the year, but it was at some point in the 1980s – when the politician came into the port of Dover from Europe. Mr Solanki recalled that he was on normal duty, working in a two-person team with another officer.   Mr Solanki observed the driver of a car behaving suspiciously: he pulled it over and the two officers discovered video tapes inside.   Mr Solanki told the Fernbridge detectives that he took the tapes away to his office, viewed them and saw that they were child pornography.   The detectives asked what exactly was on the tapes: Mr Solanki was embarrassed, but said they depicted boys and girls, clearly under 12, having sex with each other.
 
How, the detectives asked, did he know the man he stopped was Leon Brittan ?   Mr Solanki explained that he had asked to see the man’s passport. Additionally, Brittan had described himself as “an MEP”.
 
This posed a problem. Leon Brittan was never an MEP. He went from being a government minister to the backbenches following the Westland Affair, before being knighted and appointed European Commissioner For Competition in 1989.  The detectives eventually decided that Mr Solanki was telling the truth as he recalled it, but that he had most likely misheard (or misremembered) the phrase “MEP”, when in fact Brittan had said “MP”.
 
Mr Solanki also told the detectives that he had seized the tapes, sent Brittan on his way and referred the incident to his superiors. He indicated that the videotape seizure would have been recorded in the log book kept by Customs officers at Dover. The senior Fernbridge detective was making plans to look for these when we spoke. He was also trying to locate the date on which – according to vaguely remembered details – late one evening in the 1980s the Westminster press lobby gathered, at short notice, outside Downing Street, apparently having been briefed to expect an announcement concerning Leon Brittan.
 
Meanwhile, he was simultaneously following another two lines of investigation concerning Brittan and child sexual abuse.  The first was the old rumour about him molesting a boy at the weekend house party. In the intervening years, the incident now had two separate alleged locations: North Yorkshire and London.   But Operation Fernbridge had been unable to trace anyone who had any first hand knowledge: most importantly no alleged victim could be found in either place, and the detective now believed that the story was something of an urban myth which had probably arisen out of the mysterious late-night gathering of press in Downing Street.
 
The second lead was very much firmer – and very much more disturbing.   It involved Elm Guest House in south-west London.  In 1982 the Metropolitan Police had raided the guest house believing – correctly – that it was being used for (adult) male prostitution. The officer in charge of the raid had alerted the local social services department that there was a possibility at least one child might be on the premises and that, if so, a social worker and a temporary place of safety would be needed.
 
The police did indeed find one child – a boy of around eight years old – in the guest house. He was taken to a local children’s home and, according to a document the Fernbridge detective found in the council archives, was jointly interviewed by a detective constable and a social worker.
 
Fernbridge tracked down the (now-retired) officer in question.   He was interviewed and described the boy as being the most sexualised child he had ever seen. He also said that the boy described being sodomised by nine adult men at the guest house, but seemed somewhat surprised that the police were concerned. He told his interviewers that “Uncle Leon” would take care of the problem, and that “Uncle Leon” worked up at “the big house”. The former officer said he had understood this to be a reference to Parliament and had realised that Uncle Leon was probably Leon Brittan.
 
All of this should have been recorded in a statement. But the Fernbridge team was surprised to discover that although a statement of sorts did exist, it was not signed by the boy; nor did it make any mention of “Uncle Leon”. They questioned the retired constable: he explained that it was late at night when the boy was questioned and he had taken a joint decision with the social worker that the statement could be signed after the boy had got some sleep.   But next morning the boy had “acted out” and refused to sign.
 
The Fernbridge officers also questioned the retired officer about why he hadn’t recorded the “Uncle Leon” information in the (unsigned) statement: he then apparently became uncooperative, giving the distinct impression that he was concerned about either disciplinary proceedings or a potential threat to his police pension.
 
Fernbridge went on to track down the boy – now a man in his early 40s and living in America. A US Marshall, previously on secondment to the Metropolitan Police, went to see him. Although the man initially seemed willing to speak, he later refused to do so.
 
Shortly after the Fernbridge detective gave me the above information, he left the unit. I have not spoken with him since and do not know whether he was ever able to progress the investigations into Leon Brittan.
 
What I do know is that he was absolutely convinced that there was prime facie evidence that Brittan had a sexual interest in children; and that – unless he was lying to me (which I doubt) – Operation Fernbridge holds documentary evidence suggesting that Brittan was involved in either the attempted importation of child pornography, or the sexual abuse of a young boy. Or both.
 
In November 2014 a separate Metropolitan Police investigation – Operation Midland – was established to examine claims of historical child sex abuse and murder at the Dolphin Square apartment block near Westminster. Exaro News claimed the credit for this, alleging that its reporting of allegations by two men it called “Nick” and “Darren” had forced the Met to open the inquiry.   The men claimed that their abusers had included two former Conservative MPs, one of them a former Cabinet Minister.
 
Leon Brittan (who had been ennobled as Baron Brittan of Spennithorne in 2000) died in January this year. Within a week Exaro named him as the former Cabinet Minister being investigated by Operation Midland.
 
In February, the Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson (son of former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson) defended his father’s former Cabinet colleague. He attacked the Exaro allegations as part of what he saw as a long-standing campaign by “foil-hatted conspiracy theorists who see the Palace of Westminster as nothing other than a cover for satanic rituals”.
 
The thrust of Lawson’s attack – that irresponsible reporting of anonymous allegations was tarnishing the names of dead men whom he simply presumed to be honourable – was given more life than it deserved by Exaro’s involvement in an Australian television programme in July.   Whilst it unquestionably raised the profile of the story internationally, the 60 Minutes Special presented the claims by Exaro’s stable of complainants as established facts rather than allegations under police investigation.   It named Leon Brittan as an abuser.
 
I have no means of knowing whether the claims by “Nick”, “Darren” and the other complainants whose cause Exaro has promoted are accurate.   They are very serious allegations and are rightly being examined by the Met.   But in so far as they relate to Leon Brittan, this police investigation poses a problem.
 
Because Brittan passed away in January this year, there can be no criminal proceedings.  Therefore none of the evidence being collected by Operation Midland – nor the documentary evidence already held by Operation Fernbridge (let alone the enquiries still being made by North Yorkshire and Scotland Yard detectives into the mysterious house party rumour) – will ever be produced in court.
 
There is only one forum now in which the allegations about Leon Brittan can publicly be examined: Lord Justice Goddard’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
 
This week I formally asked the Inquiry’s press office the following questions:
 

  1. Has the Inquiry yet established direct contact with Operation Fernbridge ?
  2. Will the Inquiry be examining documentary evidence held by Operation Fernbridge concerning its investigations into the late Baron Brittan ?
  3. Specifically, will the Inquiry secure from Operation Fernbridge copies of all such documents including, but not limited to, formal statements made under caution, officers’ notebooks, internal memoranda and historical documents acquired during its investigation into the late Baron Brittan ?
  4. Does the Inquiry plan to require public testimony from the current head of Operation Fernbridge, AND its former senior investigating officer, [NAME REDACTED HERE] concerning the late Baron Brittan?
  5. Does the Inquiry plan to require public testimony from the former Customs and Excise officer Maganlal Solanki who gave evidence to Operation Fernbridge concerning the alleged seizure of child pornography from the late Baron Brittan ?
  6. Does the Inquiry plan to take evidence from the US Marshall formerly attached to Operation Fernbridge in connection with a visit he made at the request of Operation Fernbridge to a suspected victim of Baron Brittan ?
  7. Does the Inquiry plan to publish the documents acquired and/or generated by Operation Fernbridge during the course of its investigation into Baron Brittan ?

 
The Inquiry has yet to provide a response.
 
The long, strange saga of Leon Brittan is a litmus test of how rigorous and open Lord Justice Godard’s enquiry intends be. The enquiry must summons – as it has the power to do – Mr. Solanki and the officers from operation Fernbridge to give evidence on oath. It must also obtain all the statements taken by Fernbridge which relate to Brittan.
 
Leon Brittan was no obscure politician or ordinary Cabinet Minister. For more than two years he occupied one of the three great offices of state: Home Secretary.  Unquestionably, he should have been subjected to positive vetting by MI5 before being appointed: Goddard must insist on seeing those vetting reports.   She must also discover what, if any, subsequent vetting took place before David Cameron appointed Brittan as a trade advisor in 2010.
 
And, just as crucially, she must reveal all of this evidence to the public which is, after all, paying for the Inquiry.
 
There remain, too, legitimate and unanswered questions about Brittan’s opposition to proscribing the Paedophile Information Exchange (and indeed about PIE’s alleged involvement with the Home Office itself while he was a Minister Of State there between 1979 and 1981).
 
The announcement last week that further (and previously undisclosed) Cabinet papers from the era had been located and in some unspecified way referred to Brittan,  make it even more vital for the Inquiry to examine – publicly – the claims that the former Home Secretary was involved in the sexual abuse of children.
 
If it does not, then the public will have every right to doubt the integrity of the Goddard enquiry – and to question why substantial sums of public money are being devoted to a series of police investigations which will never see the light of day.
 
And rightly or wrongly the as yet unproven allegations of an overarching Westminster plot to protect a powerful paedophile politician will become entrenched in the public mind as unchallenged fact.

Posted on August 4, 2015

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 05.09.16 20:16

This was due today as well, but I can’t see anything positive coming out of it as House of Cards would really start to fall.
 
Might admit to leaking, but ‘sabotaging MET CSA investigations into VIP’s’ would be an admission too far.
 
 
    Mark Watts ‏‪@MarkWatts_1 12h12 hours ago

IPCC today due to interview under caution senior cop about leaks re CSA invs to Panorama. From Aug 2 ‪@pressgazette: ‪http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/exaro-editor-responds-to-ceri-thomas-attack-in-times-we-helped-britain-turn-corner-on-dark-chapter/ …
           

Mark Watts
‏‪@MarkWatts_1
IPCC set to ask senior cop: did you use Panorama, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph to help you sabotage Met CSA investigations into VIPs?
           
   
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Doug D

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 06.09.16 8:36

‘remodelling it and recalibrating its emphasis more towards current events’.
 
Why not just say ‘Let the bastards get away with it’?
 
At least the Home Office don’t seem to agree at the moment.
 
…………………………………………
 
Child abuse inquiry should be remodelled, says ex-chief Dame Lowell Goddard
 
By PRESS ASSOCIATION
PUBLISHED: 08:16, 6 September 2016 | UPDATED: 08:16, 6 September 2016
 
The wide-ranging inquiry into child sex abuse needs to be completely reviewed and remodelled, the judge who resigned as its head last month has warned.
 
Dame Lowell Goddard delivered a stinging critique of the inquiry's functioning and called for it to focus on the present to ensure the future protection of children, according to The Times.
 
The New Zealand high court judge became the third chief to quit the inquiry - which was set up amid claims of an establishment cover-up following allegations that a paedophile ring operated in Westminster in the 1980s - since it was launched in 2014.
 
Dame Lowell, who followed Baroness Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf in resigning, said she did so to "challenge" the way the probe is running.
 
The newspaper referred to a memorandum in which she said: " With the benefit of hindsight, or more realistically the benefit of experience, it is clear there is an inherent problem in the sheer scale and size of the inquiry (which its budget does not match) and therefore in its manageability."
 
She added: " I have recommended in my report to the Home Secretary that my departure provides a timely opportunity to undertake a complete review of the inquiry in its present form, with a view to remodelling it and recalibrating its emphasis more towards current events and thus focusing major attention on the present and future protection of children."
 
In a statement after quitting she said there had been a "legacy of failure which has been very hard to shake off".
 
The inquiry was given a budget of £17.9 million for 2015/16 and has been described as the most ambitious public inquiry ever in England and Wales. It was estimated to take five years, but there have been suggestions it could run for as long as a decade.
 
After her resignation Dame Lowell was asked to go before the Home Affairs Select Committee to explain her departure.
 
Home Secretary Amber Rudd is due to appear before the committee on Wednesday.
 
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "The independent inquiry has a vital role to play in exposing the failure of public bodies and other major organisations to prevent systematic child sexual abuse.
 
"Our commitment to this inquiry is undiminished. We owe it to victims and survivors to confront the appalling reality of how children were let down by the very people who were charged to protect them and to learn from the mistakes of the past."
 
"Last month, the Home Secretary accepted the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard and appointed Professor Alexis Jay as chair. She has a strong track record in uncovering the truth and it is essential that she is able to get on with the important job of delivering justice to those that deserve it."
 
 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3775367/Child-abuse-inquiry-remodelled-says-ex-chief-Dame-Lowell-Goddard.html

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 06.09.16 15:09

Hi DougD,it is quite clear now that the"systematic abuse of children"that has been alleged to have happened and the Remit is too wide to produce the"Truthful"proper result that it required?
The"System"has done its job,which was to obfuscate and deflect any of the exposure that News Paper Editors were about expose the high level of involvement of Government Officials involved in child abuse over the past Forty to fifty years?
If there was no element of Truth in the material they were about to expose,then why did they go to these extreme lengths,MI5/6 threatening them with the"Official Secrets Act" if they ran their articles?
bignono

Remodelling=Whitewash?

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Written evidence submitted by Hon Dame Lowell Goddard QC to the HASC

Post by Doug D on 06.09.16 16:45

Full document published this afternoon on the HASC website. I’ve highlighted a few things that jumped out in bold italics.
 
No specific criticisms of people, but how much can be put down to Ben Emmerson getting things done his way I wonder?
 
She criticizes the lack of outward communication and this was one of the things he stamped on it its former life.
 
Only had one meeting with Theresa May since her appointment!
Amazing, but she seems to say this was a good thing, which is especially odd when she criticizes having been given a lack of say in staff appointments and the ‘bureaucratic manner of their working and lacking in adequacy’ of the staff she was given. Bloody hell. Are New Zealand & Australian civil servants of a different breed?
 
Goddard’s one line letter of resignation is also published, but surely there must have been some communications between herself and Theresa May expressing her frustrations before it all came to a head?
 
From what she says, it seems not!
 
Trying to run the inquiry with both her hands tied behind her back?
 
How is Alexis Jay going to fare any better I wonder?
 
Written evidence submitted by Hon Dame Lowell Goddard QC
 
Independent Inquiry into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
I make this memorandum available to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee in response to Mr Vaz's letter of 5 August and his and my subsequent exchange of letters of 31 August. I request that this memorandum be placed before the full Committee. In it I have set out for the Committee's consideration the responses Mr Vaz specifically sought and have also included a brief outline of what I see as various critical issues facing the Inquiry. This I do for the purpose of assisting the Inquiry in the future.
I commence by briefly traversing the history of the Inquiry in its various iterations.
A brief history and the early legacy
As you are aware, the Inquiry was first established in July 2014 as a non- statutory Inquiry. I understand this was in the interests of getting it up and running as quickly as possible. It was however contemplated that the Government could move to have it reconstituted as a statutory Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, if the Chair thought that were necessary.
It is a matter of history that two Chairs were briefly appointed, the first in July 2014 and the second in October 2014. In conjunction with the second appointment, broad ranging terms of reference were promulgated and 8 Panel members appointed, together with Counsel to the Inquiry, Ben Emmerson QC, and an expert adviser.
It is unnecessary now to traverse that early history in any detail, except to note there were reports of difficulties within the Inquiry Panel, as well as conflicting political views over its composition in the wider victim and survivor communities. Of more critical moment is that the absence of leadership during that early period meant the Inquiry could not undertake any fundamental planning or initial scoping of its task nor develop a clear sense of direction.
As is also evident from media reports and commentary at the time, those two false starts served to engender or further fuel negative perceptions about the Inquiry's overall prospects of success. One example is the article by Andrew Gilligan in the Daily Telegraph of 4 November 2014, entitled "Whether Fiona Woolf heads it or not, the child abuse inquiry will fail."
After traversing the breadth of the terms of reference (which at that time were delimited by a start date of 1970 and did not contain the later provision that survivors of child sexual abuse must have the opportunity to bear witness to the Inquiry), the author then went on to describe the Inquiry's task as "impossible to complete, at least in under a decade or two ...without a dramatic narrowing of focus."
The establishment of a new statutory Inquiry and my appointment as its Chair
I was first approached about considering the role of Chair in November 2014, through the British High Commission in Wellington. The next approach was a phone call from a Home Office official in London on 22 December. In January 2015 a series of three video conferences took place with London, including one with the Home Secretary. It was evident that there was an urgent deadline by which the appointment of a new Chair had to be announced. This necessitated my making a very significant career and lifestyle decision within a very short timeframe.
On 4 February 2015 the Home Secretary announced her intention to appoint me as Chair and on 11 February I appeared before the Home Affairs Committee. There followed brief consultation over Panel membership and expanded Terms of Reference and on 12 March 2015 the statutory Inquiry was formally set up and I was appointed as its Chair, with an effective start date of 13 April 2015.
Managing the Inquiry
Early experience of managing the Inquiry and its vast remit swiftly brought realisation of the practical need to narrow its focus dramatically, if outputs were to be achieved within any reasonable timeframe. This was done by establishing three core projects: a Research Project, a Public Hearings Project and a Truth Project; and by an initial division of institutional sectors into 5 broad work streams. Those broad work streams were subsequently refined into carefully targeted areas of specific institutional and thematic investigation, twelve of which were announced by me on 27 November 2015. A 13th investigation (concerning the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC) was launched on 18 January 2016.
The adoption of this carefully targeted institutional and thematically based approach was designed to ensure the Inquiry could reach conclusions on as broad an evidence base as possible. However, at the same time it had to be acknowledged that running 12 or 13 investigations in parallel was ambitious, and an organisational challenge that was unprecedented for a public inquiry in the United Kingdom.
Additionally, the practical necessity to identify and settle on selected specific areas of investigation did not, and does not, sit entirely comfortably with the three guiding principles the Inquiry set for itself: of being comprehensive, inclusive and thorough.
Each of the thirteen investigations was given a description of scope. While carefully crafted, these were nevertheless arbitrary and intended as a working guide only to "delimit and focus" the Inquiry's operation. However, and while the Inquiry remains bound only by its Terms of Reference and not by these descriptions of scope, they have in practice assumed a rigidity and status beyond mere guidance which may be open to challenge.
In terms of the early operation of the new statutory Inquiry, a matter of ongoing consequence deriving from its early legacy was forecast by the Committee in its recommendation in paragraph 13 of its Twelfth Report on Session 2014-2015 (following my appearance before it in February 2015).
In its recommendation at paragraph 13, the Committee said:
"Careful thought needs to be given to the composition of the secretariat, in which Home Office secondees currently appear to be very well represented. Members of the secretariat should be chosen for their skills and the Panel should look well beyond the Home Office and the civil service if that is necessary to produce the right skill mix."
Although it was reconstituted as a new statutory Inquiry on 12 March, in practical effect the Inquiry proved in operational terms not to be a new Inquiry with a completely fresh start, but rather a continuation and expansion of the previously existing Inquiry in terms of its administration and management. The existing secretariat of about 30 personnel was simply expanded and the Panel and I have had little or no input into either the composition of the senior management team or the recruitment of secretariat staff during the lifetime of the current Inquiry. Thus recommendation 13 in the Committee's Report has not been able to be complied with.
The administrative arrangements made by the Home Office as the inquiry's sponsor meant that in the recruitment of staff priority was given to civil servants and any non-civil service staff had to become civil servants unless they were employed on contract through the Solicitor to the Inquiry. In practical terms this meant that the skills and qualifications of many recruits did not fit the tasks which they were called upon to perform, as none of the secretariat or senior management team had previous experience of running an inquiry of this nature. Therefore they did not fully understand or appreciate its organisational and operational needs. Their approach has been bureaucratic and the Inquiry's progress has been impeded by a lack of adequate systems and personnel, leading to critical delays.
I felt as Chair handicapped by not being given a free hand to recruit staff of the type that I judged to be essential.
A further compounding factor was that despite my expressed desire to scope the Inquiry myself from the ground up on arrival and to build an early operational plan based on that, this did not happen. Critical building blocks were not put into place either appropriately or swiftly enough.
Another difficulty is that the huge amount of hard work the Inquiry has been putting in over its first 16 months has not been sufficiently visible or communicated widely enough. During my tenure the communications capacity of the Inquiry was never adequate for the formidable and important function of interacting with the public and I suggest that capacity in that regard needs to be radically strengthened for the future.
These are but some of the aspects as to why the legacy of fallout, both in fact and in the public perception, from the two false starts, has not been able to be decisively dispelled.
At the time of my resignation, the Panel and I were in the process of implementing a review of the Inquiry's overall operating efficiencies and were identifying measures required for greater quality assurance and to improve performance and increase outcomes; with consideration being given to engaging an external agency to validate any findings from the review and assist in developing an Inquiry plan to end of 2020. I trust that initiative is continuing post my resignation.
Positive Achievements
Having commenced this report on something of a negative note, I wish immediately to say that on the personal front, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity of chairing the Inquiry during its first sixteen months and I am satisfied that despite the many difficulties encountered during its start-up phase, much has been achieved and there is now a sound platform and body of work to build on. Of central importance has been the establishment of an effective and dedicated Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel. They are an integral component of the Inquiry and their continued input and guidance will be pivotal to the Inquiry's ultimate success. I wish to say how indebted I and the inquiry are to them and to all of the victims and survivors who have been brave enough to come forward.
As I said in my report to the Home Secretary, the most important issue that now needs to be addressed is how the very real progress that has been made by the Inquiry is best to be consolidated, so that its work can be enhanced. What is particularly important is that the Inquiry does not go backwards and that it learns from the lessons of the past. It is paramount that it is able to fulfil its purpose by successfully and fairly addressing the welfare of victims in a focussed manner and that it is able to make soundly based, achievable and workable recommendations that will be effective in protecting children now and for the future.
My resignation
It was with great sadness that I concluded, and on 4 August announced, that I was unable to continue to chair the Inquiry and see it through to its conclusion. It is a critical and fundamentally important inquiry, which is why I made the initial decision in 2015 that I should relinquish judicial office in New Zealand and make a firm commitment to it.
However, the criticisms that had been mounting came to a head in July when it became evident that the Inquiry was not able to deliver on its commitment to hold public hearings in 2016, as it had undertaken to do.
The delays in proceeding to hold any substantive public hearings have regrettably resulted from the Inquirys inability to obtain in any timely way the vital infrastructure necessary to prepare for and conduct public hearings. The lack of an Evidence Management System (EMS) fit for purpose has severely hampered the Inquiry's ability to manage the thousands (if not millions) of documents the Inquiry has been receiving, and the Solicitor to the Inquiry has consequently been unable to prepare the documentation for public hearings. That issue has been ongoing since late last year and is of fundamental importance not only as a serious process concern but more importantly in relation to the delivery of natural justice to all. As at the date of my resignation, the EMS that had at last been procured was still not in place. I trust that it now is.
There have also been difficulties with securing a hearing centre. At the end of 2015 we had planned for preliminary hearings to be held in March of this year with the first substantive hearings initially planned for June or July 2016. The preliminary hearings duly took place in March in the Royal Courts of Justice, thanks to the Lord Chief Justice. However, Courtroom 73 in the Royal Courts was never going to be available for more than occasional preliminary hearings and the Inquiry had known from the outset that it would need its own hearing centre. As at the date of my resignation however the Inquiry had still not succeeded in securing its own Hearing Centre.
When it became clear that substantive public hearings would not be possible in July, because there was still no EMS to prepare the documentation for hearings, the date for the first substantive hearing was pushed back to 26 September.
When it then became clear in July that there was still no guarantee the Inquiry would have an EMS fit for purpose - or a hearing centre - in time to prepare for any public hearings in 2016 (as had been announced), the hearing dates had to be moved once again and could only realistically be announced as next year. That was hugely concerning. It also caused justifiable criticism and a loss of confidence, for which I, as Chair, had to take ultimate responsibility.
A fresh start: review of the current Inquiry model?
What has always set this Inquiry apart is, that while all Inquiries are unique in their subject matter, their focus is almost always defined by one essential issue, and thus a reasonably clear course is able to be mapped with linear certainty from the outset. While many of the numerous issues the Inquiry is charged with examining can fit that model, the difficulty for this Inquiry is the huge multiplicity of issues and events within its remit. Those issues and events often relate to very different institutions or have arisen from situations that occurred during very different time periods. Many of the issues do not fit a classic panel inquiry model and the wide ranging nature of the terms of reference necessitates a variety of methodological approaches. This variety of methodological approaches and the bringing together of people with professional backgrounds in different academic disciplines produces natural tensions which must be managed within the Inquiry team but can be difficult. An inquiry has to follow the rules of natural justice and many other elements of legal fairness but differences in disciplinary approaches, coupled with the multiplicity  and  variety  of  issues  to  be  inquired  into,  made  the  task  of coordinating the various strands of this Inquiry complex, difficult and time consuming. The maintaining of a necessary degree of separation between investigative and fact-finding functions was not always well understood and much of my time was involved in endeavouring to broker these differences in approach and understanding and in arbitrating between the different points of view as to how the tasks might be approached and where responsibilities lay.
Another major logistical hurdle arising out of the multiplicity and variety of issues for examination is that a panel inquiry constituted under the Inquiries Act 2005 requires a quorum approach. There is no power under the Act for the Chair to delegate hearing responsibilities to panel members, which precludes expediting the work of conducting the public hearings by convenient division. This is in contrast to the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Chair of which has the ability to delegate hearing responsibilities to the various Commissioners.
Also, as I earlier said, notwithstanding the Inquiry's adoption as its guiding principles that it would comprehensive, inclusive and thorough, it's work has, for practical reasons, had to be broken down into selected investigative modules and search related projects. While this has improved the prospect of achieving at least some outcomes that are representative and proportionate to its vast work-load, as well as enabling a more timely delivery of interim reports and recommendations, the inherent difficulty of overall size and multiplicity of issues remains. That means that, in reality, the terms of reference in their totality cannot be met.
With the benefit of hindsight - or more realistically - the benefit of experience, it is clear there is an inherent problem in the sheer scale and size of the Inquiry (which its budget does not match) and therefore in its manageability. Its boundless compass, including as it does, every state and non-state institution, as well as relevant institutional contexts, coupled with the absence of any built-in time parameters, does not fit comfortably or practically within the single inquiry model in which it currently resides. Nor is delivery on the limitless extent of all of the aspirations in its terms of reference possible in any cohesive or comprehensive manner.
I have recommended in my report to the Home Secretary that my departure provides a timely opportunity to undertake a complete review of the Inquiry in its present form, with a view to remodelling it and recalibrating its emphasis more towards current events and thus focussing major attention on the present and future protection of children.
Alongside that should be an overhaul of its operating model.
The Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry
I have referred to two key features of the Australian Royal Commission of inquiry into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: the ability to delegate hearing responsibilities; and their conduct of Private Sessions which has provided the model for the Inquiry's Truth Project.
In company with Inquiry officials I spent time at the Australian Royal Commission in Sydney during two separate weeks, examining their experience and also conducting Truth Project work for this Inquiry with their assistance. I believe there is yet more to be learned from the Australian experience and I recommend that your Committee consider this. Although it is a project of somewhat lesser scale than this Inquiry, given population and historical differences, the Australian Inquiry was funded at approximately twice the level of this Inquiry in its initial stages.
The Truth Project
Given the pledge in the Terms of Reference that all victims and survivors would have their voices heard in a safe and confidential environment, a Truth Project modelled on the lines of the successful Private Sessions conducted by the Australian Royal Commission, was established. The Project, as envisaged and set up by the Inquiry, is a conceptually appropriate vehicle by which to fulfil that pledge in the terms of reference and, at the same time, to provide important information about child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation in England and Wales. However, it is a logistically huge component of the Inquiry with enormous management demands and if there is to be a restructuring, it may benefit from being re-established as a stand- alone and more holistic entity. The information it receives could still be fed into the Inquiry’s database and analysed and absorbed into recommendations; and the individual stories of victims and survivors could still be anonymously published.
The Truth Project also has other aspects and possible ramifications that require a serious rethinking of it as an integral component of the Inquiry. While the Inquiry has carefully put in place appropriate support for those victims and survivors who want to share their experiences in a confidential manner  through  the  Truth  Project,  the  experience  is  not  a  therapeutic exercise and the Inquiry cannot provide long term or ongoing support post the experience. All the Inquiry can do is to signpost participants to local support organisations following their experience. Panel members and I have listened to concerns expressed by such support organisations around the country, who are in the main voluntary, about their lack of resources to take up the demand that will inevitably be created by Truth Project experiences. I suggest these issues require careful review
Meetings with the Home Secretaries.
The Committee has specifically requested advice of the dates in which I have met with the Home Secretaries.
On the day following my appearance before this Committee on 11 February 2015, I met with the then Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP. Following my formal appointment as Chair on 12 March 2014 I never met with Mrs May again, although she wrote a letter of welcome on my arrival in April 2015, in which she stated that her door would always be open to me. I provided her with copies of my opening statement of July 2015 and my statement announcing the launch of the Inquiry's first twelve investigations. I am sure we both understood the need for an Inquiry that is both independent of the Government and not run by a Government department to be seen to be operating entirely independently.
A tentative appointment of 4 August 2016 was made for me to meet with the new Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, but that was not confirmed. As it turned out that was the day I tendered my resignation.
In conclusion
May I reiterate that it was with enormous sadness that I tendered my resignation and I wish to thank Her Majesty's Government for having afforded me the privilege of leading this important Inquiry during its first sixteen months.
I wish to also thank the Committee for endorsing my appointment as Chair of the Inquiry. I can assure the members that over the sixteen months I have worked as Chair, there has never been a time when the Inquiry and its objectives did not dominate my life. I made a firm commitment to undertake it and was determined to see it through to its conclusion. I am disappointed that that this has not been possible. It was never easy operating in an environment in which I had no familiar networks and there were times when it seemed a very lonely mission. However, I am pleased I was able to set it on its way. Ultimately however I had to face a situation which I could not solve and which would continue unless challenged. I resigned to make that challenge occur
Finally, it is important to re-emphasise that, despite the impossibility of fulfilling the Inquiry's mandate in its present boundless form and despite the operational difficulties encountered, there have been very positive achievements and I am satisfied there is now a very solid platform of work upon which to take the Inquiry forward. The task ahead will however be simplified and less open to challenge and disappointment if its compass is sensibly narrowed.
Hon Dame Lowell Goddard DNZM QC
 
http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/home-affairs-committee/the-work-of-the-independent-inquiry-into-child-sexual-abuse/written/36954.html

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 06.09.16 19:51

Abuse inquiry to continue despite calls for overhaul
 
BBC 48 minutes ago
 From the section 
UK
 
The independent inquiry into child sex abuse will continue, but there will be an internal review of it, its new chairwoman Alexis Jay has said.
 
It comes after ex-chairwoman Dame Lowell Goddard said in a memo to MPs that the inquiry was too big and needed overhauling.
 
Ex-top prosecutor Lord Macdonald said there was a "real danger" of it "taking years to confirm what we already know".
But Prime Minister Theresa May said she remained "committed" to the inquiry.
 
How will the abuse inquiry work?
 
Last month, Dame Lowell became the third chief to quit the inquiry - which was set up to investigate allegations made against local authorities, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions in England and Wales, as well as people in the public eye - since it was launched in 2014.
 
In her memo to the home affairs select committee, Dame Lowell said she had stepped down in order to challenge the way the probe was running.
There was "an inherent problem in the sheer scale and size of the inquiry", she said - adding that its budget did not match.
 
"Its boundless compass, including, as it does, every state and non-state institution, as well as relevant institutional contexts, coupled with the absence of any built-in time parameters, does not fit comfortably or practically within the single inquiry model."
 
She said there should be a complete review, "with a view to remodelling it and recalibrating its emphasis more towards current events and thus focusing major attention on the present and future protection of children".
 
'Owe it to victims'
 
Prof Jay, however, said the panel would not be seeking any revision of the inquiry's terms of reference or introducing any new restrictions on its scope.
 
"To ensure that the inquiry can meet the challenges it faces, I have already initiated a wide-ranging internal review of the inquiry's ways of working," she said.
 
"We are currently looking at different approaches to evaluating the information we receive."
 
She said they were "committed to maintaining efficiency and effectiveness so that the inquiry can be concluded within a reasonable time".
 
But Lord Macdonald of River Glaven QC, who was director of public prosecutions from 2003 to 2008, said the probe's "overwhelming focus on the past" was "ballooning out of control" and called for its terms of reference to be rewritten.
 
He told the Press Association news agency: "It has become an investigation into 60 years of everything everywhere, and its scope is now the enemy of a useful outcome.
 
"We have to learn from the past without obsessing over it to the exclusion of making a better future.
 
"So its terms of reference should be urgently rewritten to focus on policy and legal reforms that will best protect children in the future."
 
However, Peter Saunders, founder of the charity National Association for People Abused in Childhood and a member of the victims' advisory panel for the inquiry, said it remained the "best hope" despite its scale.
 
He said the inquiry needed "a proper infrastructure and proper resourcing".
"But the people who don't want this inquiry to succeed are the abusers and their apologists, and I think it's absolutely critical for the sake of our children's future that we all continue to support this inquiry."
 
The prime minister's official spokeswoman said the government believed the inquiry was "absolutely vital and we remain committed to doing it".
 
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "Our commitment to this inquiry is undiminished.
 
"We owe it to victims and survivors to confront the appalling reality of how children were let down by the very people who were charged to protect them and to learn from the mistakes of the past."
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37287620?ocid=socialflow_twitter&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=twitter
 
……………………………………..
 
Where has ‘Lord Macdonald of River Glaven QC’ suddenly been dug up from? I don’t recall him ever being involved with this in the past.

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 07.09.16 15:09

Hi DougD,having briefly read through Dame Lowell's points, with regard to an "Australian Truth Inquiry"and the funding associated to it?
Dame Lowell's inquiry as per the original Twelve,seemed to be no problem,but this apparently changed,when Dame Lowell Goddard had chose to invoke the"Proverbial Thirteenth chapter,Greville Janner"that seems to have upset the Apple Cart?
Did this then mitigate the"Close Scrutiny" of how Dame Lowell was proceeding with the Inquiry,that caused the unnecessary Straw that broke the camels back?
By all evidence of your article,it would seem as though,Dame Lowell Goddard not only operating an inquiry with her arms tied behind her back,but had muffling applied to her Mouth and legs firmly strapped to ensure,the Governments displeasure of having a Ma Learned friend name added to the investigation?
Thank goodness Dame Lowell Goddard was it seems,prepared to examine the evidence properly,but the gagging QC Ben Emmerson has been highlighted now for the public who read CMMoM site,can now see for themselves,how our Politicians behave towards the child abuse scandal!?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by sallypelt on 07.09.16 16:19

Dame Lowell Goddard is NOT a happy bunny, is she?   From reading between the lines, Dame Goddard wants the inquiry to concentrate on the not too distant past, and the present. I totally agree with her. As Dame Goddard has stated, they want to go back 60 years. That tells me they want to waste time on DEAD people. I say, get those who are still alive.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/06/amber-rudd-home-secretary-face-mps-future-child-sexual-abuse-inquiry

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 07.09.16 17:40

Amber Rudd up before the HASC this afternoon.
 
Rough transcript from my scribbled notes.
 
Chair:  Why did she go?
 
AR:      Answers in her full letter. Lonely existence. I think she found it too much. That’s all info. I have.
 
Chair: Was she out of her depth?
 
AR:       Never met her. She didn’t feel she could deliver.
 
Chair:  Is letter accurate representation of fact?
 
AR:      I think so
 
Chair:  Challenge criticisms – under-resourced?
 
AR:       £2.5m underspent last year.
 
Chair: Therefore factually incorrect.
            What is relationship between Home Sec, Home Off, Inquiry & HASC?
 
AR:       Difficult balance. Need to operate without having to defer to Home Off. My role is very little.
 
Chair:  Who is responsible for inquiry?
 
AR:       Expert panel & chair.
 
Chair:  We will want to interview new chair.
 
AR:      I have seen her (Alexis Jay). She wants to operate with ’pace, clarity & confidence’. I spoke also to survivors & victims panel who generally        approved of her being appointed.
            Salary package not yet finalized, but ‘substantially lower’.
 
Chair:  How long will it take?
 
AR:      (Not answered), just talked about ‘with pace’ again.
 
DW:     Are you committed to justice being done?
 
AR:      Completely committed
 
CU:      Timeframe? Narrowing of scope as recommended by JG ‘not acceptable to my constituents.
 
AR:      Original terms of reference fine. However long ago is still important. No plans to change.
 
CU:      Overwhelming majority of personnel are from Home Office. In view of ‘establishment stitch ups’ would wider spread not be better?
 
AR:      Chair can appoint who they want. JG was wrong in her letter.
 
David ?:   JG felt handicapped by not being able to hire who she wanted.
 
AR:      “very surprised”, quite wrong for us to limit this.
 
AR:      No inherent problem re scale.
 
Chair:  Want to speak with JG, video link to NZ if necessary.
 
………………………………………………
 
Not verbatim & may be odd inaccuracy, but pretty much what was said.
 
I think JG may have played a blinder with sending her letter and not being interviewed first, as where she has effectively been called a liar, she can now come back with all guns blazing, whereas her letter to the HASC had to be fairly mild.

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by sallypelt on 07.09.16 17:51

@Doug D wrote:Amber Rudd up before the HASC this afternoon.
 
Rough transcript from my scribbled notes.
 
Chair:  Why did she go?
 
AR:      Answers in her full letter. Lonely existence. I think she found it too much. That’s all info. I have.
 
Chair: Was she out of her depth?
 
AR:       Never met her. She didn’t feel she could deliver.
 
Chair:  Is letter accurate representation of fact?
 
AR:      I think so
 
Chair:  Challenge criticisms – under-resourced?
 
AR:       £2.5m underspent last year.
 
Chair: Therefore factually incorrect.
            What is relationship between Home Sec, Home Off, Inquiry & HASC?
 
AR:       Difficult balance. Need to operate without having to defer to Home Off. My role is very little.
 
Chair:  Who is responsible for inquiry?
 
AR:       Expert panel & chair.
 
Chair:  We will want to interview new chair.
 
AR:      I have seen her (Alexis Jay). She wants to operate with ’pace, clarity & confidence’. I spoke also to survivors & victims panel who generally        approved of her being appointed.
            Salary package not yet finalized, but ‘substantially lower’.
 
Chair:  How long will it take?
 
AR:      (Not answered), just talked about ‘with pace’ again.
 
DW:     Are you committed to justice being done?
 
AR:      Completely committed
 
CU:      Timeframe? Narrowing of scope as recommended by JG ‘not acceptable to my constituents.
 
AR:      Original terms of reference fine. However long ago is still important. No plans to change.
 
CU:      Overwhelming majority of personnel are from Home Office. In view of ‘establishment stitch ups’ would wider spread not be better?
 
AR:      Chair can appoint who they want. JG was wrong in her letter.
 
David ?:   JG felt handicapped by not being able to hire who she wanted.
 
AR:      “very surprised”, quite wrong for us to limit this.
 
AR:      No inherent problem re scale.
 
Chair:  Want to speak with JG, video link to NZ if necessary.
 
………………………………………………
 
Not verbatim & may be odd inaccuracy, but pretty much what was said.
 
I think JG may have played a blinder with sending her letter and not being interviewed first, as where she has effectively been called a liar, she can now come back with all guns blazing, whereas her letter to the HASC had to be fairly mild.

The supposed inquiry smacks of an attempted cover-up, but what's new?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 08.09.16 8:25

This is the group Chuka Umunna was concerned about at yesterday HASC meeting as it falls within his constituency:
 
Survivors' group 'loses faith' in child sex abuse inquiry
 
By Jake Morris BBC Newsnight 3 hours ago
From the section 
UK
 
Snipped:
 
A 600-strong survivors' group has lost faith in the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse, its leaders have said.
 
Shirley Oaks Survivors Association told the BBC it would recommend withdrawing from the Lambeth strand of the inquiry because it was not "truly independent".
 
Ex-inquiry chair Justice Lowell Goddard has said she was prevented from picking her own staff, and that civil servants were prioritised by the Home Office.
 
Home Secretary Amber Rudd denied this.
 
The treatment of children in care in Lambeth, south London, during the second half of the 20th Century is one of 13 areas that the inquiry is looking at.
 
How will the inquiry work?
 
But the Shirley Oaks group said the Home Office was one of the institutions that had failed children in care in Lambeth in the past - and that the scale of its presence in the inquiry staff represented a conflict of interest.
 
Raymond Stevenson, from the survivors' group, told BBC Newsnight there had been a sea change in the way the inquiry was operating.
 
"We have to recommend at this moment in time that we pull out. We have given the inquiry an opportunity to meet us. We contacted them two weeks ago and we are still waiting for a meeting," he said.
 
"Some of our members have been through investigations before which had Home Office members and staff part of it so we have been through that.
 
"This is about the third investigation Lambeth has been through so what we wanted from this was for it to be truly independent. We were sold a theory it would be truly independent."
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37303144

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by BlueBag on 08.09.16 8:29

Calls in The Times today from columnist David Aaronovich to end the inquiry now!

Aaronovitch is an ardent defender/protector of the establishment and sticks his oar in in times of trouble.

You know they are hiding something when he starts.

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 08.09.16 14:54

Yes,the cesspit is falling into a state of disrepair,with Electric wires not known of what they were used for and could be a potential risk of fire to the listed Building,which they would have knocked down if it was not Listed?
The House of Common's and Lords (Two cesspits) will have to be vacated for up to Six years and a further Four Billion pounds would be needed to bring the buildings up to an acceptable standard?
It is claimed that due to the amount of Asbestos contained within the buildings structure,(fitted as anti Fire retardant)and the Stone work needing urgent repairs, as well as the Roof Trusses need replacing,yet just a week ago,the City of London spent vast sums of taxpayers money re-enacting the"Great Fire of London,when all they needed to do was place this venture next to the HOC and nature would have took it's course,killing Two Birds with one stone?
Guy Fawkes would have been amused if this would have happened,perhaps he was right all along about this supposed Treasured Listed Building in his thwarted attempt several Hundred years ago,which Ma Learned friends had Guido serve his penance and it wasn't with one of Ken Dodd's tickling sticks!
Perhaps it just isn't the Asbestos that is a contaminant but all the cover ups be housed in such a safe manner,free from the ever prying public's gaze on 100 years D Notices?
Dame Lowell Goddard being proven right about the child Abuse investigation and those helpful elements from the "Home Office"gently guiding her away from what she was supposed to be investigating,then those lovely leaked exposure of personal information becoming"Public"knowledge to discredit her? 
Just think about any potential claims that Ma Learned friends could have against the Tax payer,should they ever have Health claims or difficulties caused by contaminants from this structure,nothing to do with all that nasty Cigar/Cigarette smoke and consumption of fine Liqueurs from the Subsidised Bars supplied by the Tax payer?

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FOI response today - Operation Midland

Post by Doug D on 21.09.16 19:34

FOI response up today from the Met re Operation Midland for w/e 3rd July 2016.


Another Operation where they say they cannot give a total cost as no cost code allocated (see Q.14)


I find this hard to believe, (as with the OG statement), but maybe this is a deliberate policy decision to try and deflect any financial criticism.


‘Best practice’ would surely be to create a cost centre as soon as any specific Operation was opened.


Freedom of Information Request Reference No:


I note you seek access to the following information:


I am seeking information about Operation Midland. I am not seeking any information that would be exempt under Section 31 'Law Enforcement' of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


1. The total number of exhibits seized by officers from Operation Midland since its inception.
2. The total number of people interviewed as witnesses or potential witnesses by officers from Operation Midland since its inception.
3. The total number of people interviewed under caution by Operation Midland officers since its inception.
4. The total number of complainants interviewed by officers on Operation Midland since its inception.
5. The total number of different SIOs in charge of Operation Midland since its inception.
6. The names and ranks of every SIO in charge of Operation Midland since its inception.
7. All the dates on which investigative advice was sought from the Crown Prosecution Service by officers from Operation Midland.
8. The name and rank of the officer/officers in charge of all internal Metropolitan Police reviews of Operation Midland.
9. The total number of Operation Midland 'Gold Group' meetings held since the inception of Operation Midland.
10. The total number of foreign countries visited by officers from Operation Midland in the course of their inquiries.
11. The names of all foreign countries visited by officers from Operation Midland in the course of their inquiries.
12. Whether any of the 48 allegations received by the Met of historical impropriety by police officers dealing with sexual abuse, during the period of 1970 to 2005, were the result of information discovered by officers from Operation Midland.
13. If the answer to question 10 was affirmative, please say how many of the 48 allegations were the result of information discovered by officers from Operation Midland.
14. The total cost of Operation Midland since its inception. Please break this down by staffing and non-staffing costs.
15. The total number of police officers who have worked on Operation Midland since its inception.
16. The total number of civilian staff who have worked on Operation Midland since its inception.


DECISION
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you in full. I will answer your questions in turn.


Question 1 - The total number of exhibits seized by officers from Operation Midland since its inception.
630 Exhibits seized to date


Question 2 - The total number of people interviewed as witnesses or potential witnesses by officers from Operation Midland since its inception.
159 different individuals have given statements. (This excludes police officers).


Question 3 - The total number of people interviewed under caution by Operation Midland officers since its inception.
Two people have been interviewed under caution in relation to Operation Midland matters and a third was interviewed in relation to offences discovered which do not fall into the remit of Operation Midland.


Question 4 - The total number of complainants interviewed by officers on Operation Midland since its inception.
Eleven complainants have been interviewed by officers on Operation Midland since its inception. Three relate directly to Operation Midland and eight relate to other matters not within the terms of reference for Operation Midland


Question 5 - The total number of different SIOs in charge of Operation Midland since its inception.
One SIO has been in charge of Operation Midland since its inception.


Question 6 - The names and ranks of every SIO in charge of Operation Midland since its inception.
DCI Diane Tudway has been the SIO for Op Midland since its inception.


Question 7 - All the dates on which investigative advice was sought from the Crown Prosecution Service by officers from Operation Midland.
One set of investigative advice was requested from the CPS on 13/10/2015.


Question 8 - The name and rank of the officer/officers in charge of all internal Metropolitan Police reviews of Operation Midland.
Detective Superintendent Chris Robson, Specialist Crime Review Group.


Question 9 - The total number of Operation Midland 'Gold Group' meetings held since the inception of Operation Midland.
There have been five formal gold group meetings, held since the inception of Operation Midland.
The progress of Operation Midland has been routinely discussed on a weekly basis since its inception, and many of these weekly meetings included one or more members of the gold group.


Question 10 - The total number of foreign countries visited by officers from Operation Midland in the course of their inquiries.
One.


Question 11 - The names of all foreign countries visited by officers from Operation Midland in the course of their inquiries.
Australia.


Question 12 - Whether any of the 48 allegations received by the Met of historical impropriety by police officers dealing with sexual abuse, during the period of 1970 to 2005, were the result of information discovered by officers from Operation Midland.
There are 3 investigations that have come from information provided by Operation Midland officers.


Question 13 - If the answer to question 10 was affirmative, please say how many of the 48 allegations were the result of information discovered by officers from Operation Midland.
N/A


Question 14 - The total cost of Operation Midland since its inception. Please break this down by staffing and non-staffing costs.
The cost of MPS investigations can, in the main, be calculated in three ways.
Firstly, there are some investigations in which the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) decides at the outset of the investigation, that the cost of the inquiry will be a matter of public interest. The SIO will then request that the investigation is allocated a unique cost code under which the majority of costs associated with the investigation will be captured.


Secondly an SIO can, based upon the number of staff deployed to an investigation over the course of an inquiry, in addition to any other resources associated with the investigation (i.e. overtime spend, allocated budget spend etc), produce an estimated cost of an investigation. This estimate would be based upon the typical salary of the police officers and members of police staff deployed to an investigation as opposed to an accurate spend on employee wages. 


An estimate would also typically not give regard to the fact that police
officers and members of police staff can be engaged upon a number of investigations, cases, inquiries and other operational/non-operational roles at any given time. It would also be unlikely to include the cost of equipment, information technology, vehicles and other associated investigative costs.


Lastly, a member of staff can retrospectively attempt to estimate the cost of an investigation. In a similar way to point two, a retrospective estimate would be based upon actual costs (i.e. overtime spend, allocated budget spend etc) and estimated costs (i.e. an estimate of staff time based upon typical salaries) and likely exclude costs such as those associated with equipment, information technology, vehicles and other investigative costs.


In response to your request for the cost of the investigation into allegations of historic child abuse, I can confirm that there is no cost code in respect of these investigation(s) Secondly I can confirm that no estimated cost, retrospectively produced or otherwise, has been created in relation to the investigation(s) into historic child abuse.


Furthermore, an accurate cost of the Operation Midland investigation(s) cannot be produced as the system that police officers record their daily duties upon (the Computer Aided Resource Management System) does not, in the main, record each activity performed by a police officer (i.e. the time spent upon individual tasks connected to a specific case or investigation). In addition, members of police staff do not, in the main, record details of the duties they have performed upon any system. There will therefore be no record of the time, if applicable, that a member of police staff has spent upon the investigation(s) pertaining to Operation Midland.


The MPS cannot accordingly, provide the cost of the Operation Midland investigation (estimated or otherwise) as it is not held by the MPS.


Advice and Assistance
Under Section 16 of the Act, there is a duty to advise and assist those that make requests for information.
The MPS operation dealing with historic allegations involving people of public prominence and/or institutions, is known as 'Operation Winter Key'. This operation includes, but is not limited to, the investigation(s) into allegations that concern Operation Midland. The MPS has committed to publishing the estimated costs of Operation Winter Key. This information will be published upon the MPS Publication Scheme, albeit a date for publication has not been set. Please find an internet link to the MPS Publication Scheme below.
http://www.met.police.uk/foi/


Question 15 - The total number of police officers who have worked on Operation Midland since its inception.
27 Police Officers have worked on Operation Midland since its inception.


Question 16 - The total number of civilian staff who have worked on Operation Midland since its inception.
6 Police Staff have worked on Operation Midland since its inception.


Information Rights Unit

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 22.09.16 14:01

Hi DougD,have the police had success in forwarding Criminal charges for Offences against Minors,child Abuse,Operation midland has been going quite a while now,so they must have had some successful Prosecutions,anyone from the Upper Echelons of Society?

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Re: OPERATION FERNBRIDGE: Timebomb at Elm Guest House:

Post by Doug D on 28.09.16 9:29

Not getting it all his own way any more?
 
Alexis Jay actually standing up to him?
 
Counsel to child sexual abuse inquiry believed to be close to resigning
 
Doubts over continued involvement of Ben Emmerson QC add to uncertainty following resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard last month
 
Ben Quinn Wednesday 28 September 2016 00.39 BST Last modified on Wednesday 28 September 2016 01.06 BST
 
Fresh doubts about the future of the beleaguered independent inquiry into child sexual abuse have arisen amid concerns that its most senior lawyer is about to quit.
Ben Emmeron QC, who is counsel to the inquiry, is believed to be preparing to resign against the backdrop of differences with the body’s chair, Alexis Jay, who took up her position following the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard last month.
The question marks over Emmeron’s continued involvement could not have come at a worse time for the inquiry, which was plunged into uncertainty following the resignation of Goddard, a New Zealand judge, who was the third person to have been named as inquiry chair.
Jay, a child protection expert with more than 30 years’ experience, led the official inquiry into the Rotherham scandal, which found that at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town between 1997 and 2013.
A spokesperson for the inquiry said on Tuesday that Emmerson, a founding member of Matrix Chambers and a specialist in international and domestic human rights, had not resigned. However, they declined to comment on whether there was a disagreement between the chair and the inquiry’s counsel.
Asked by the Guardian about suggestions he had written to his legal team to inform them that he was considering his position, Emmerson told the Guardian: “I am not in a position to comment at the moment.”
Emmerson is believed to favour a restructuring to reduce the inquiry’s workload while Jay, Amber Rudd, the home secretary, and No 10 want it to keep to its original terms of reference, according to a report in the Times.
The appointment of Jay, who has been a member of the inquiry panel from its start in July 2014, was welcomed by some survivor groups. However, other survivors have been critical, with one core participant stating that they did not want a social worker running the inquiry.
 
Announcing her resignation at the beginning of August, Goddard said the inquiry was beset with a “legacy of failure”
Victims’ representatives and experts subsequently called on the government to reconsider the scope and remit of the inquiry, which was announced in July 2014 to examine claims of abuse made against public and private institutions in England and Wales. It has yet to hold an evidence session.
Goddard quit 24 hours after being criticised in reports for taking three months’ holiday since being appointed in April 2015, although her statement suggested there were deeper reasons for resigning, which date back to the inquiry’s inception and its troubled beginnings.
Its first chair, Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, stood down in July 2014 amid questions over the role played by her late brother, Michael Havers, who was attorney general in the 1980s. Her successor, Woolf, resigned following criticism over her “establishment links”.
Theresa May, who was then home secretary, redrew the inquiry under Goddard in March 2015, responding to demands from victims’ groups that it be placed on a statutory footing, which meant it had the power to compel witnesses to give evidence.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/28/reports-counsel-ben-emmerson-could-quit-child-sex-inquiry-raise-fresh-doubts?CMP=share_btn_tw

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operation fernbridge

Post by willowthewisp on 28.09.16 16:33

Hi DougD,thanks for the article,what I cannot comprehend about the"IICSA" is how can it be that a QC Ben Emmerson with connections to Matrix Chambers,who represented former Matrix Churchill Directors on supplying Armourment's to Saddam Hussain,Iraq War against HMG?

The Original  Matrix Chambers 7 are known for representing Human Rights Laws,so why is it that Mr Ben Emmerson(QC)suddenly wishes for the Inquiry to split into lesser(Legal)subpoena type of investigation,of less investigatory Rights on the Accusers side?
When it seems as though Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd are pursuing a"Full Investigation"alongside Alex Jay,the newly appointed Judge,as opposed to QC Mr Emmerson in the opposite direction,on Cost grounds or Fear of Transparency?

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