July 7, 2014
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.
By Kylie MacLellan and Guy Faulconbridge
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain pledged on Monday to investigate claims that politicians may have sexually abused children in the 1980s in a conspiracy by members of the establishment who used their power to cover up the crimes.
The allegations have jarred the current political elite just as Britain is grappling with revelations that some national celebrities had sexually abused children for decades.
“We are going to leave no stone unturned to find out the truth about what happened,” Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters.
“Three things need to happen: Robust inquiries that get to truth; police investigations that pursue the guilty and find out what has happened; and proper lessons learned so we make sure these things cannot happen again,” he said.
Interior minister Theresa May is due to make a statement to parliament on the issue later and is expected to announce a wide-ranging inquiry into child abuse allegations.
No evidence has yet been published to support the claims that there was a pedophile conspiracy deep inside the political elite.
But the unmasking of late BBC television presenter Jimmy Savile as one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders has forced a wider questioning about how paedophiles in positions of power could sow such damage while evading detection for so long.
Once feted as a national treasure, Savile is now known to have used his fame to get unsupervised access to his victims, raping and abusing girls, boys, men, women and even dead bodies.
Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris, a household name in his native Australia and adopted home Britain, was jailed for almost six years last Friday on 12 counts of assaulting four girls, some as young as seven or eight, between 1968 and 1986.