Tory politician at centre of children's homes abuse claims


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The Independent Online

A former senior Conservative politician has been accused of abusing young boys during the 1970s, in allegations linked to widespread abuse in children's homes in North Wales.

The alleged victims of the politician, alleged to be from the Thatcher years, revealed details of the abuse to BBC Newsnight, with one calling for a new investigation into the claims.

Allegations of widespread sexual abuse at children's homes in the 70s and 80s surfaced in the early 90s and led to two separate inquiries. The name of the senior politician in question, however, was not made public.

Steve Meesham, a resident of one of the homes and a victim of abuse, said he was abused by the senior politician more than a dozen times: "You were taken by car, where basically you were sexually abused. Various things would happen, drink would be involved, it was basically rape... it wasn't just him; there be other people involved."

Mr Meesham told Newsnight he had gone to police in the 1970s to report the abuse, but had not been believed. "I was called a liar. I was pinned up against a wall. I could still name to this day the police officer who had done it," he said. "The police denied it and when they looked back, they finally admitted in the inquiry [that] statements were made. That's all they would say. They wouldn't say who was named in them. But they did admit I did make a statement."

Another alleged victim also accused the politician of sexual abuse, in an 2000 interview with the BBC.

"We went out for something to eat and he pulled over in a layby and then, hey presto, oral sex took place," the man – who wanted to remain anonymous – said.

The man said that he too went to North Wales police to report the abuse and showed them faxed photographs of the senior Tory politician. He said the police officers said the photographs were not sufficient quality and not reliable evidence.

Newsnight said the politician at the centre of the new allegations could not be named due to lack of evidence. It added that interest in the case had been renewed because of the outcry over the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.