Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Owen Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Welsh Secretary, commenting on investigations into child abuse in North Wales children's homes, said: 

“Allegations of child abuse should be considered and investigated with the utmost seriousness and the Jimmy Savile affair has been a terrible reminder of the fact that, in the past, this was not always the case.  

“The Waterhouse Tribunal was supposed to determine the full extent of the awful event which took place around the North Wales care homes in the 1970s and 1980s and to properly consider all of the allegations made by the victims.  

“At least one of those victims has now come forward and stated that he feels the tribunal looked too narrowly at the facts of his case and failed to examine all of the allegations he made at the time, including against individuals whose names were redacted by the tribunal.    

“Though these fresh allegations will dredge up hugely painful memories for many in Wales, it is right that the UK Government should listen seriously to these claims and move swiftly to assess their impact. In so doing, they must consider whether a new police investigation should be undertaken, potentially by a force not previously involved in the case, and involving the expertise of CEOP. The Independent Police Complaints Commission may also be needed to assess the previous police investigations undertaken. However, the UK government must first reach out to other surviving victims of the North Wales tragedy and assess their appetite for fresh investigations.  

“Finally, consideration might be given as to whether a broader investigation should be commissioned to bring together or to provide an overall assessment of the past problems of child abuse in the range of institutions that are currently considering or implementing their own individual reviews.” 

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