Emma backs petition to protect those who expose child abuse

March 18, 2015

Emma Lewell-Buck 09 smallEmma has given her backing to a Labour MP’s petition calling on the Prime Minister to give full protection to those who give evidence over alleged child sex offences committed by Westminster politicians.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has announced that it will be investigating alleged corruption within the Metropolitan Police in relation to child sex offences dating from the 1970s to the 2000s.

The petition, started by Tom Watson MP, calls for the Prime Minister to give former police and intelligence officers who give evidence as part of the IPCC’s investigation immunity from the Official Secrets Act for the purpose of the inquiry.

There are concerns that people with valuable evidence might be reluctant to come forward because of the threat of legal repercussions.

Emma has written an article for LabourList urging readers to sign the petition, saying:

“As a society, we should do everything we can to ensure that justice is done for the survivors of historic abuse, and to ensure that children now are protected. We need to send a clear message that abuse will not be tolerated in our institutions and in our communities.

“That’s why I believe it is the duty of all former police officers, intelligence officers and civil servants to share any relevant knowledge they have with the inquiry.“

“But is this an easy thing to do? No. Some people will be scared. They need reassurance that, by coming forward, they are doing the right thing, and won’t get in trouble. That’s why I’m backing Tom Watson MP’s petition demanding that the Prime Minister protects police and intelligence officers who give evidence over the alleged VIP paedophile ring in Westminster by giving them immunity from the Official Secrets Act for the purpose of the inquiry.”

Emma has wide experience of dealing with child abuse cases. Before becoming an MP she was a child protection social worker, and she is now Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Child Protection.

Last month Emma co-sponsored an amendment to the Serious Crime Act, tabled by the Labour MP John Mann, that would have given whistleblowers immunity from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act when giving evidence related to historic child abuse. The amendment was not supported by the Government.

Readers who would like to sign the petition can add their names by clicking here.

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