Pressure on Hague over abuse

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The Independent Online
The Welsh Office is taking legal advice over the identification of indviduals if the Clwyd child abuse inquiry report is published, it was disclosed yesterday.

Welsh Secretary William Hague is expected to make an announcement on the affair today after briefings from his senior advisers over the last three days.

He has faced a barrage of demands for the report of the inquiry into abuse at homes in Clwyd to be published, and for a judicial inquiry to be held into the abuse which was the subject of Britain's biggest police investigation into child abuse, involving 2,600 statements.

One of the key areas where the Welsh Office is taking legal advice is believed to be over the sections of the report which contain names and other specific details in the report which could identify individuals.

Several people are criticised in the report, as is the Welsh Office social services inspectorate. The three independent child care experts who carried out the investigation in Clwyd want the report to be published and a full independent inquiry, as do child care agencies, Labour MPs in Wales, and victims of abuse.

Although some announcement is expected today, Mr Hague may delay a comprehensive statement about any inquiry or publication of the report until all the legal advice has been considered.