Labour deputy leader boasted at 2012 birthday party that info on ‘parliamentary paedophile ring’ would bring down government
Labour’s right-wing deputy leader Tom Watson has been the target of severe criticism from those accused of child abuse by Carl Beech and their relatives, after Beech was jailed for eighteen years on twelve counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.
Daniel Janner QC, the son of one of those falsely accused, said that Watson was ‘primarily responsible’ for amplifying the false claim:
Tom Watson is primarily responsible for whipping up a moral panic…
He appointed himself Britain’s chief paedo-finder general and created a moral panic. His motive was personal political advancement riding on a bandwagon of public frenzy which he had whipped up. So he should hang his head in shame, and he should resign. For him to take the moral high ground in the Labour Party against anti-Semitism is completely hypocritical.
Daniel Janner’s sister, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, said:
We have a system where people are believed instantly before the evidence is examined instead of being listened to compassionately and the allegations properly investigated. People were able to accuse [my father] without a shred of evidence and were believed straight away.
Harvey Proctor, another of those wrongly accused, said that Watson ‘gave oxygen’ to Beech’s false claims, adding:
The Metropolitan Police were lapdogs to Mr Watson’s crude dog whistle. It’s time for the torchlight to take a closer look at Mr Watson.
Watson was forced to apologise publicly in 2015 for his comments calling former Tory front-bencher Leon Brittan “close to evil” for his part in the supposed abuse.
The right-wing press now have Watson in their cross-hairs, with the West Bromwich East MP attempting to divert attention from his part in the scandal by claiming that he knew little about the names of those accused at the time the investigation started:
I met the man I knew as “Nick” once, on July 8 2014, two years after I had raised my question in Parliament.
During that meeting Nick said very little and did not name any of his alleged abusers.
I reassured Nick that the police had made clear that all allegations of historic sex abuse would be taken seriously and treated sensitively. That is what the police had asked me to do, and it was the process I followed with all those who claimed to be survivors of historic child sex abuse.
Watson claimed that he met Beech only on behalf of the Met to “reassure him that they’d take him seriously.” A spokesperson for Watson said Watson spoke to a police officer who asked him to provide the assurances, but that Mr Watson could not remember who this was.
Watson has also claimed he is a ‘victim’s of Beech’s dishonesty.
The birthday party
However, Watson’s position has been challenged by a senior councillor in his local borough of Sandwell, who says that Watson not only knew names but even boasted in 2012 that Leon Brittan was part of the fictitious ‘ring’ – and that Watson was going to use his involvement in the investigation to bring down the government.
Jo Hadley is a Sandwell Labour councillor and cabinet member whose experience of Tom Watson goes back years. When the Beech case blew up in Watson’s face last week, she wrote a complaint to the Labour Party about his attempts to ‘play down’ his involvement:
Cllr Hadley told the SKWAWKBOX:
Tom absolutely loves the limelight and was absolutely delighted to be telling everyone how he was going to bring down the government by exposing this network. He’s said this week that he didn’t get any names from Beech in 2014, but he named Leon Brittan at my birthday party and said there were lots of others.
Now it’s backfired on him, he’s trying to worm out of it and minimise his part but he was talking about Leon Brittan in 2012 and bragging he had other names. That directly contradicts what he’s saying now.
Hadley provided the SKWAWKBOX with a copy of Watson’s signed birthday card he presented to her at the party, along with an official Labour Christmas card bearing his signature for comparison. Local officials have confirmed to the SKWAWKBOX that the writing is Watson’s:
Tom Watson was contacted for comment. He did not respond.
A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said it had not identified any records at this time relating to a request by police for Watson to meet Beech, as claimed by Watson’s spokesperson.
Tom Watson attempted last week to minimise his part in the anguish inflicted on those falsely accused by Carl Beech and claimed that he only met Beech once, on which occasion Beech did not name any of those he claimed had abused him. Watson has also claimed he is a ‘victim’ of Beech.
Jo Hadley has gone on the record to say that Watson boasted in 2012 that he was all over the abuse network claims and that there was “no way he was going to let it go” – and he named Leon Brittan, saying he was aware of many others.
The Labour Party must fully investigate Tom Watson’s part in the Beech affair – and Daniel Janner is right that Watson should resign in shame.
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