Discovery of files on named politicians raises the stakes on the Kincora abuse scandal

At last . Papers naming prominent politicians of the 1970s and 80s as suspects which couldn’t be found at first have at last turned up in boxes marked “Miscellaneous” in the Cabinet Office in Whitehall. The local interest couldn’t be higher, after being stimulated by media persistence.

The papers also reveal that the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland was at the heart of further correspondence involving the security services.

Allegations of abuse and trafficking of children to England have centred on the home in Belfast.

The papers reveal former intelligence officer Colin Wallace raised concerns about abuse at Kincora – the papers had been stored by the Cabinet Office.

The contents of the papers have still not been revealed but have been shared with the police and will be passed to the Child Abuse Inquiry led by Justice Lowell Goddard.

The question now becomes even more insistent: will the single trial of evidence leading from Kincora to MI5 and to Conservative politicians be more difficult to follow if it continues to be split between the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry under the retired High Court judge Tony Hart and the delayed Child Abuse Inquiry led by the New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard?

Despite protests from Peter Robinson and others, Theresa May the Home Secretary turned down requests to include the Kincora scandal in the UK inquiry despite the obvious strong links with UK officialdom, while promising full cooperation with the NI inquiry which also has statutory powers.

I make no easy assumption that Godard would do a more effective job that Hart.  MI5 may be a common factor between the two inquiries, but the dead politicians named as possible abuse suspects  including the former Homes Secretary Leon Brittan and NI junior minister  Bill van Straubenzee may have no connection with any alleged Kincora ring.  It can be argued that the smaller scale of NI inquiry allows it to give Kincora the attention it deserves so long as it doesn’t restrict its inquiries to one side of the Irish Sea and declines to be blindsided by sophisticated Whitehall coverup to bamboozle the provincials. There’s also a case for separating out abuse allegations that centre on members of the establishment and the official world from the great majority of abuse allegations that don’t involve them directly.

But expect no change in the process now after all the tortuous procedure to set up the UK inquiry. It looks if Hart will have Kincora and the follow through to himself. If he is restricted from pursuing it through the corridors of Westminster and Whitehall in any way, the howls of protest will carry across both sides of the water.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

  • the rich get richer

    The Most Vulnerable in society used and abused.

    But still they (The Establishment) Prevaricate and Protect the Abusers.

    This establishment are our “Lords and Masters”

    Sleep well Knowing that they are our “Lords and Masters”

  • Slater

    Without knowing what is in these papers there is not much that can be said. However they are unlikely to be smoking guns as they had not been deliberately kept out of the previous sweep, rather the file titles did not indicate they contained relevant papers. They therefore did not show up until spotted later from the contents.
    That Colin Wallace was writing in to the authorities in 1990 about Kincora is hardly surprising and it is unlikely there is much new material here, certainly on his side, as he has told all there is to know on the matter long ago.
    I see a recent Australian-made TV programme, dealing in part with Kincora, has repeated suggestions about a number of titled individuals including Sir Knox Cunningham but evidence of their involvement is not corroborated and of course the accused are all dead.

  • Korhomme

    The Belfast Telegraph also has a report on this.

    Describing some of the circumstances, the word of an MP was taken as sacrosanct, and “at the present stage … the risks of political embarrassment to the Government is rather greater than the security danger”.

    More here:

  • kalista63

    Did Cameron read these papers prior to Brittan’s death?

  • the rich get richer

    Surely the Most Damning Line is

    “The risk to children is not considered
    at all.”

    I don’t believe that Any of us are safe in our beds with such people at the controls.

    If you are foolish enough to believe that such people have any concern for your well being then “Re-Evaluate”

    And How you can be sure that Your Present “Lords and Lady Masters” are in any way different to these Monsters.

  • chrisjones2

    “Kincora to MI5 and to Conservative politicians ”

    apart from your normal distaste for that party why just Conservative?

  • Thomas Barber

    Whats new in this part of the world when it comes to abuse of privilege and whitewash enquiries. We in Ireland know only too well from experience that allowing British politicians or their puppets the ability to direct or control any type of enquiry into the actions, lack of actions or illegal and immoral behaviour of its political role models or members of its security services is futile and will always lead to the truth being brushed under the carpet. As always the protection of establishment figures in high places come before the victims the truth and the rule of law. The reality is British politics is synonymous with powerful men and aristocratic families who have throughout history abused the positions they have inherited or abused the positions they were shoehorned into by those same establishment figures.

  • the rich get richer

    Its amazing that this Expose is not getting more coverage in the main stream media.

  • Ulick

    The Australian version of the US new program 60 minutes covered this the other night in a segment called Spies, Lords and Predators. It can be viewed here:

    In it Kincora survivor Richard Kerr names Louis Mountbatten,
    Maurice Oldfield (MI6), Anthony Blunt (MI5) and Knox Cunningham (UUP MP) as
    being involved in the abuse cover-up and that he was directly abused by Peter
    Hayman (MI6), Nicholas Fairbairn (Tory MP) and Cyril Smith (Liberal MP).

    Media report on the programme here:

    Given the explosive nature of these allegation and that the
    abuse victim names the perpetrators I’m astounded that there has been so little
    coverage here. Compare and contrast with the Cahill and Adams cases on this
    particular forum.

  • bogball88

    Wonder are any murdered Royal Family members mentioned………..

  • kalista63

    The reaction of the BBC to the story, yesterday evening, seemed curious to me. I saw one of the victims campaigners mention the Sky breakthrough at about half 6, so I turned on Sky News at the top of the hour. When I flicked over to Channel 4 News, they started to report on it at around 20 past.

    Come half ten, I turned on the BBC’s flagship news programme and nadda. I tweeted about it and was told the BBC1 news at ten didn’t cover it either. Today, the coverage is very hit and miss, Radio Ulster reporting it in one news broadcast, dropping it the next. With Belfast being at the hub of the story, national journalists flying over here today, I expected Talkback to have it as a main feature.

    I’ve no idea what’s going on but it seems a bit odd.

  • kalista63

    And today Cameron appeals for witnesses to come forward. Sorry mucker but you’re the one with the evidence, do you have any live fish in your keep net or are names only going to be released after their dead or away with the fairies?

    And another thing Dave, with Kincora so central to the revelations, why won’t princess Tess include it in the main inquiry or ramp up the powers of the local one, so it can compel witnesses?

  • Brian Walker

    Answer, because only Conservatives were mentioned in the files, I have no generic distaste for Conservative politicians

  • Brian Walker

    pretty obviously not. You mustn’t assume the UK PM hangs on every word about Kincora

  • John Collins

    Is it not interesting that the relevant files only appear when all the main actors are dead? How very convenient indeed.

  • John Collins

    How come there is so little discussion on this particular topic. If a group consisting mainly Roman Catholics were under the level of suspicion here I feel some regular contributors would be much more vocal. Or is it in someway OK to abuse Protestant children.

  • Slater

    The files just uncovered were not sought until a year or two back. They were only missed because the file titles were not sufficiently revealing of a link to the controversies recently being investigated. The people named (for whatever reason) are not all dead but that is not relevant in so far as nobody has come forward with justiciable evidence of criminality in relation to Kincora. The fact that three men were convicted of sexual offences in 1982 remains hugely significant in that the authorities were apparently not frightened of trials, given all the risks they entail if one is trying to suppress aspects of a case. Think of what happened in the Leicester trial where Greville Janner’s name was mentioned in open court by several parties.

  • John Collins

    Files are only ‘sought’ thirty five years after the events. Need I say anymore. It just goes to show that the British Establishment are no better that the RC Church when it comes to tackling these matters. ‘Greatest justice system in the World’. Well that is some laugh.