‘NO MORE DELAYS TO CHILD ABUSE REPORT’
By David Williamson
North Wales MPs have said they fear evidence gathered as part of the long awaited investigation into child abuse in the region may be held back from publication.
Dwyfor Meirionedd Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has written to Justice Secretary Michael Gove to press for the release of the report, which was delivered to the Government in December.
Conservative Justice Minister Caroline Dineage has stated it must be “considered by law enforcement agencies and the Government before it can be published” and that “this includes considering whether redactions need to be made”.
Ms Roberts pressed for greater “urgency“, saying:
“The Macur Review into the scope of the Waterhouse Inquiry and the suffuciency of its investigations has far-reaching implications for people living in my Dwyfor Meirionedd constituency. I feel that the excessively long-standing nature of inquiries into child abuse allegations in North Wales calls for a greater level of urgency at this stage.
The nature of the Review’s contents may well call for the redaction of certain material; however, I would question whether this material would be included in its findings and recommendations, and in the interest of public transparency, I would strongly urge that these be published as soon as possible .”
Cynon Valley Labour MP Anne Clwyd, who has long campaigned for justice for victims of child abuse, has also questioned the Government about the publication of the review.
“It’s high-time it was published. I find it a bit surprising they are still dragging their feet. I am worried about possible redaction because clearly that’s the intention and I don’t think anybody us going to be satisfied by that.”
“[Any] suggestion that there may be a cover-up obviously is deeply concerning.”
Wrexham Labour MP Ian Lucas said:
“The Macur review, and the report which it has produced, are of extreme importance to many in Wrexham. That is why I have been pushing for it’s release as soon as possible. The Ministry of Justice have appeared to agree with the principle that the report should be released. They said that release was being considered as ‘a matter of urgency’ more than a month ago. The report and its contents are likely to have implications for people and institutions in Wrexham, across North Wales and wider afield. They need to know that the report will be released in a manner which will allow it to be given serious consideration – which Is why I think that the Ministry of Justuce and the Wales Office need to set out what they are intending to do with the report, and when.”
Conservative justice minister Caroline Dineage thus month stated in a response to Ms Clwyd:
“The report needs to be considered by law enforcement agencies and the government before it can be published. This includes whether redactions need to be made. Lady Justice Macur has recommended that certain material should be considered for redaction. The work is proceeding at pace with a view to publication as soon as possible.”
Back in 2012, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that Lady Justice Macur would stage a review of Sir Ronald Waterhouse’s inquiry into the abuse of children in care.
The review was charged with determining whether specific allegations were not investigated.