Thank you for your recent letter which I read online yesterday.
I appreciate your concern for the heat to be taken out of the public debate around this issue but as you have raised this with me publicly, I feel duty bound to explain that which I had wished to remain private.
Your central point is that any allegations I receive should go to the police. I am not sure why you have assumed that this is not happening. You are wrong, in any case.
It remains the case that the documents seized in the investigation into paedophile Peter Righton provide clear intelligence suggesting a child abuse ring that links to a former aide of a Prime Minister. In fact this was my sole focus when the matter was raised with the PM in the House. My concern was not the shortcomings of the previous inquiry into North Wales and at the time I was not aware of any allegations made about politicians relating to North Wales.
This is also why I believe the terms of reference for the inquiry announced by the Home Secretary are inadequate and at some point in the future will have to be broadened, as I told the Home Secretary on Tuesday.
As you know, I have some history with the Metropolitan police. We now know that during the hacking scandal, the organisation was sitting on a vast amount of intelligence that provided clear evidential leads suggesting much wider criminal wrongdoing.
In raising the matter with the PM I was seeking to ensure that the new team at the Met were aware that there could be clear intelligence held by them that would warrant a second look in this case too. I believe this is now happening.
Since raising the issue with the PM, a number of other allegations have been made of which I have made the police aware.
My concern is that the institutions that are there to protect vulnerable children may have historically failed. I do not know why this is the case but seek to understand it. This will take time and I would welcome your ideas as to how child protection policy can be improved in years to come.
The former child protection specialist who raised his concerns with me did so because after the Murdoch scandal, he felt I was prepared to speak out on a perceived injustice and see it through to the end – no matter where the evidence leads and whoever it affects and regardless of political persuasion. I should point out to you that my few public statements regarding an alleged child abuse ring have taken pains not to identify the political affinity of the suspected perpetrators. Nor have I at any point, publicly identified the time period to which the allegations apply. This is not a fit subject for point scoring.
I hope you now understand that I am fully co-operating with the police and that I will not let this matter drop regardless of what pressure is bought to bear by those that seek to undermine legitimate inquiry.