Portillo calls for fresh inquiry into Tory paedophile scandal
Former Defence Secretary tells Cameron there can't be one rule for the BBC and another for the Tories
UPDATE, 1.40pm: Since this article was posted, it has been reported that Prime Minister David Cameron has asked the Home Office and Welsh Office to report urgently on allegations of a child sex ring. The prime minister's spokesman said: "We are clear that these allegations need to be properly investigated and we need to get to the bottom of what precisely happened."
MICHAEL PORTILLO has joined campaigners calling on David Cameron to take the lid off the scandal of a Tory cabinet minister allegedly being involved in a paedophile ring at a boys' home in Wales – a scandal that has been festering for over two decades.
Portillo pointed out that it would be hypocritical for the Culture Secretary Maria Miller to go on calling for the BBC to come clean about the Jimmy Savile paedophile scandal if Cameron did not do the same regarding the scandal surrounding the abuse that went on at the Bryn Estyn home near Wrexham in the late 1970s.
"Maria Miller has called upon the BBC to be absolutely transparent and get to the root of everything that has happened," said the former Tory Defence Secretary turned TV pundit. "Naturally, David Cameron will have to put himself in a similar position. He will have to say he wishes to get to the root of everything that happened."
Portillo made his remarks call on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show yesterday. It will put pressure on Cameron to react when he returns from a three-day trip to flog Typhoon fighter jets to a string of Arab royal houses.
One of the victims of the abuse, Steven Messham, who says he was raped by a senior Tory cabinet minister associated with the Thatcher Government, has asked Cameron for a meeting this week to press for the whole case to be reopened with a fresh inquiry.
William Hague ordered the inquiry when he was Welsh Secretary in the late 1990s. It cost £13 million and took three years, during which it heard evidence from Messham and others of a massive establishment cover-up. But the names identified during the inquiry were never published because the chairman, Sir Ronald Waterhouse QC, imposed a gagging order on the press. It remains in force today, and prevented Newsnight from naming names last week.
The scandal was also raised recently in the Commons by Tom Watson, the Labour MP, without naming the former cabinet minister allegedly involved.
Messham claims he was picked up by car from the Bryn Estyn home and driven to a hotel where he was raped. "One one occasion, this political figure was in a room with eight other men, including the son of a lord. I was then tied up and they each took turns to rape me."
Messham is due to meet Scotland Yard detectives in the hope of having the scandal reopened in parallel with the BBC/Savile investigation. If Cameron fails to reopen the inquiry into the case, he risks being accused of having one law for the victims of Savile and another law for victims of the alleged abusers in the Tory Party.