Sacked drugs adviser demands apology from Home Office

GP's child abuse comments echoed in official report
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The Independent Online

A row over a disgraced GP sacked from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for controversial views including linking homosexuality with child abuse intensified yesterday as it emerged that a Home Office report makes the same point.

The appointment last month of Dr Hans Christian Raabe – who takes a hard line against drug use – was welcomed by anti-drugs campaigners. A media backlash prompted the Home Office to sack Dr Raabe over his 2005 comments linking homosexuality and child sex offences.

Dr Raabe said this weekend that he is considering taking legal action against the Home Office unless he receives an apology. He pointed to a research report by the Home Office – Sex Offending Against Children: Understanding the Risk – which states: "Bradford et al (1988) suggested reasonably that approximately 20 to 33 per cent of child sexual abuse is homosexual in nature."

He pointed out that this is a similar statistic to that cited in the academic paper he co-authored in 2005, claiming 25 per cent of child sex abuse is homosexual. "This is quite hypocritical and very bizarre indeed. I am being sacked by the Home Office for stating what a Home Office document says," the Manchester GP said.

"I volunteered for unpaid public service and feel as though my personal and professional reputation has been shamefully destroyed by the Government, for saying something it says itself. My appointment has been revoked based on the wrong perception that I could potentially discriminate against gay people; something I have never done, either in my private or professional life. The real issue is that there was a campaign to get rid of me. I suspect it's a group of people that are for a more liberal drug policy and perhaps want to legalise drugs."

Anti-drugs campaigners yesterday called on the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to apologise for "an unjustifiable personal and professional attack by her ministry". David Raynes, from the National Drug Prevention Alliance, described Dr Raabe's sacking as "a vicious and personal witch hunt orchestrated by pro-drugs campaigners" and said "there remains a cabal of people on the committee who are sympathetic to the legalisation of all drugs. It can ill afford to lose people who act as a balance against this view".

Yesterday the Home Office said: "Dr Raabe's failure to disclose a controversial report which, among other things, links homosexuality to paedophilia raises concerns over his credibility to provide balanced advice on drug misuse issues and impacts on the smooth running of the ACMD."

Other controversial figures appointed to the expert body last month include a former cocaine addict and a drugs researcher who has downplayed the risks of ecstasy.

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