In Brief

Officer 'taken off child abuse case' after MP list revelation

Former Met detective believes his 1998 inquiry into abuse was 'all too uncomfortable to a lot of people'

A former Metropolitan Police officer has said he was taken off an investigation into child abuse claims after revealing that he planned to investigate senior politicians.

Clive Driscoll, a detective chief inspector who retired this summer against his will, said his investigation in 1998 into allegations of abuse in children's homes in Lambeth, south London, in the 1980s became "too uncomfortable to a lot of people".

He told BBC Newsnight that after gaining permission from senior managers he revealed a list of suspects, including local political figures and MPs, in a case meeting with Lambeth Council and was promptly taken off the investigation. "I was informed that was inappropriate and I would be removed from my post," he said.

The former officer said it appeared that people outside the Met did not trust the force and that the Met "possibly didn't trust some of the people that it was working with".

After Driscoll was moved, police continued to look at more than 20 children's homes, reports the BBC. Investigations are still ongoing and there have been several convictions. Driscoll, who served for more than 30 years with the police, later won plaudits for his role in bringing two of Stephen Lawrence's killers to justice, 19 years after the teenager was murdered in a racist attack.

His claims come after two new inquiries were set up last week to investigate a possible establishment cover-up of child abuse allegations. One inquiry will look at how the Home Office handled abuse claims dating from the 1980s. The other is an over-arching inquiry into how public bodies dealt with allegations that at least 20 senior figures including MPs and cabinet ministers abused children over decades.

The latter has already faced setbacks with the resignation of its chairwoman Baroness Butler-Sloss.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard has said the force would "fully co-operate" with both inquiries and said it was looking into Driscoll's claims. "Any allegations of this nature will be taken seriously and investigated accordingly," he said.

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