Tom Watson today refused to apologise for his role in bringing convicted liar Carl Beech’s false claims to prominence, insisting his intervention led to the conviction of three child abusers.
It comes after the son of the late peer Greville Janner told MailOnline Mr Watson should quit as an MP after he used Carl Beech’s lies to ‘politicise a police inquiry’ and launch a ‘bandwagon’ that took him to the very top of Labour.
Daniel Janner QC also accused him a hypocrisy over ‘moral stance’ he is taking on his party’s anti-Semitism crisis after creating a ‘moral panic’ himself about the Westminster VIP paedophile ring invented by Beech.
Labour’s deputy leader even called Leon Brittan ‘as close to evil as any human could get’ after Beech – known as ‘Nick’ until his trial – lied and said Thatcher’s Home Secretary was a paedophile.
Ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor said Watson had been a ‘vehicle for conspiracy theorists’ and a ‘patsy for fake news’ after the politician insisted Beech’s evidence left ‘no doubt in my mind that sexual abuse by powerful figures took place.’
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, left, is in the firing line after vouching for fantasist Carl Beech who lied about a VIP paedophile ring in Westminster
In October 2012 Watson claimed at PMQs that he had seen ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10.’
Two years later he met with Beech, 51, who was therefore able to brag to police that Mr Watson was his confidante, protector and a key part of a ‘little group supporting me’ as he made baseless claims of sexual abuse and murder in Westminster.
Today these claims were destroyed after Beech was convicted of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.
Today Mr Watson said: ‘I met the man I knew as ‘Nick’ once, on 8 July 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.
‘It was not my role to judge whether victims’ stories were true. I encouraged every person that came to me to take their story to the police and that is what I did with Nick.’
The Labour deputy leader said his 2012 statement was prompted by a former child protection officer’s claim that documents seized during an investigation into Peter Righton, a convicted paedophile and founder of the Paedophile Information Exchange, had not been investigated by the police.
He said: ‘The information contained within them led to the conviction of three child abusers: Charles Napier, Richard Alston and Tony McSweeney.
‘Had I not raised this matter in Parliament I do not believe that the Righton files would have been revisited and three dangerous men guilty of child sexual abuse would not have been brought to justice.’
Daniel Janner QC says Watson used ‘Nick’, who falsely accused his father Lord Janner (pictured together) of abuse, and used it to get to the top of the Labour party
But Mr Janner, whose father Lord Janner was falsely accused of child abuse by Nick, told MailOnline today: ‘Tom Watson should resign. He appointed himself Britain’s chief paedo-finder general and created a moral panic.
‘The moral stance he is taking on anti-Semitism is completely hypocritical. Watson had politicised a police inquiry. He showed no regard for the presumption of innocence. He hounded Lord Brittan, a dying man, to his grave.
‘His motive was personal political advancement riding on a bandwagon of public frenzy which he had whipped up. And now Watson claims the moral high ground in the fight against the appalling Anti-semitism in the Labour Party.
‘Instead he should hang his head in shame. Apologise. And resign’.
Watson’s decision to vouch for Carl Beech puts him in the spotlight today as he was accused of sparking a ‘moral panic’ and playing politics by helping spread the paedophile’s lies.
The convicted liar also dragged the names of former Prime Minister Ted Heath, MPs Harvey Proctor and Leon Brittan and D-Day veteran Lord Bramall through the mud.
In 2012 Mr Watson called for the Prime Minister to investigate ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10.’
On the back of this campaigning Watson and Beech first met in 2014 after the MP for West Bromwich invited him to his office in Parliament.
He described Beech’s claims ‘very traumatic’ – but appeared so convinced by his lies about child abuse and murder he admitted afterwards: ‘I didn’t need to hear any more.’
Margaret Thatcher’s Home Secretary Leon Brittan died after battling cancer while police repeatedly raided his London house for evidence that never existed – and he passed away before detectives cleared his name and Watson finally apologised to his widow for his smears.
Tom Watson wrote on at least five occasions to two directors of public prosecutions – Sir Keir Starmer and then his successor, Alison Saunders, about alleged sexual abuse cases.
On one occasion, Watson demanded a prosecuting lawyer who decided not to pursue an abuse claim be pulled from the case and his past work reviewed.
And in another letter to Starmer in 2013, Watson demanded CPS restart a historical sexual abuse case against a suspect who was later put on trial and cleared.
Daniel Janner said today Watson used his power to give credence to a ‘lying fantasist’ and also sparked the Met’s catastrophic Operation Midland investigation.
Detectives spent two years and £2million only to find no evidence corroborate Beech’s claims he had been abused by MPs, Army chiefs and VIPs inside the luxury Dolphin Square apartment block in Pimlico where he also said three children were murdered.
In October 2012 Tom Watson used the protection of Parliamentary privilege to repeat Beech’s false claims of a ‘powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10’, which police later found no evidence of
Tom Watson ‘should hang his head in shame. Apologise. And resign’, says victim’s son
By Daniel Janner QC for MailOnline
In 2012 Tom Watson used the protection of parliamentary privilege to make reckless and false serious sexual allegations.
He said there was “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10”.
It created moral panic and was the catalyst for the beleaguered wasteful uncontrolled inquiry into child sexual abuse.
My own late father, Lord Janner, was falsely accused of appalling crimes he never committed. Carl Beech claimed during his trial that he has been raped by him (a Labour MP) in the Conservative Carlton Club. A lie he maintained when cross-examined by the prosecution. The jury didn’t fall for it.
Watson had politicised a police inquiry. He showed no regard for the presumption of innocence. He hounded Lord Brittan, a dying man, to his grave.
His motive was personal political advancement riding on a bandwagon of public frenzy which he had whipped up.
And now Watson claims the moral high ground in the fight against the appalling Anti-semitism in the Labour Party.
Instead he should hang his head in shame. Apologise. And resign.
Watson and Beech met for the first time seven years ago when the fantasist – a paedophile himself – launched his campaign of lies in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
‘Nick’, as he was better known, claimed to police he had only spoken out about allegations of sexual abuse dating back to his childhood because he was angry about claims that the Top of the Pops star only abused little girls.
Beech told his Newcastle Crown Court trial that he met with Watson in his Westminster officer before talking to the police.
In his first formal interview with the Met, Beech told them Watson and retired social worker Peter McKelvie had backed him.
Beech told Detective Sergeant James Townly: ‘Peter McKelvie and Tom Watson formed part of the little group supporting me and putting my information out there to encourage other people to come forward – hence the piece they did on Dolphin Square.’
He went on: ‘I went to meet Tom Watson in his office and talked to him at some length when they put that bit out there.’
In 2014 Watson described the meeting as ‘a very, very traumatic and difficult conversation, as you would imagine. He only told me about one murder. He spoke very slowly, very intermittently, and I didn’t need to hear any more.’
Mr Watson added: ‘What I’m certain of is that he’s not delusional. He is either telling the truth, or he’s made up a meticulous and elaborate story. It’s not for me to judge.
‘What I was hoping to do was build a relationship with him and get him back into the system, so he could make his allegations to the police. And to make sure that he had a degree of protection. With all the things that come from making these sort of allegations.’
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor (left outside Beech’s trial) and D-day hero Lord Bramall (right) had their reputations destroyed by Beech’s lies
When asked whether the abusers included politicians, he replied: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that at least one politician abused kids.’
Tom Watson spent three years fanning the flames before humbling apology to Lord Brittan’s widow
October 24, 2012
Mr Watson called for the Prime Minister to investigate ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10.’
November 3, 2012
On his blog, he wrote: ‘More ordinary people have contacted me… they have named powerful people who abused children with impunity.’
November 5, 2012
Letter to the Prime Minister
‘Since sharing my concerns with you at PMQs, a number of people have come forward to say that they raised their suspicions with the police, but investigations were not carried out. One allegation involves … a former cabinet minister.’
May 20, 2014
Letter to Alison Saunders, the then DPP
‘I have found myself appalled at the conduct of this investigation… everyone is complicit in the failures of the past.’
July 8, 2014
Mr Watson asked the Attorney General for ‘a copy of each item of correspondence between his department and the Home Office and Lord Brittan of Spennithorne in relation to child abuse in 1984 and 1985.
January 24, 2015
He said in the Daily Mirror newspaper: ‘I’ve spoken to a woman who said he raped her in 1967. And I’ve spoken to a man who was a child when he says Brittan raped him. Today, one survivor said to me … that Brittan was ‘as close to evil as a human being could get’.
‘All the glowing tributes [after Lord Brittan’s death] reminded me of the media coverage immediately after Jimmy Savile’s death.
‘Leon Brittan stands accused of multiple child rape. Many others knew of these allegations and chose to remain silent. I will not.’
March 21, 2015
A blog post said: ‘Sources close to the police have told me that Leon Brittan was named by a child linked to the raid [on Elm Guest House in South-West London in 1982].
‘The sources allege that the police were instructed by senior officials to ensure that no record was made of the child naming Brittan.’
He forced to write a humbling letter of apology to the widow of Leon Brittan for saying her husband was ‘as close to evil as any human could get’.
The Labour Deputy Leader agreed to a new humiliating apology to Lady Brittan after MPs said a previous attempt to say sorry was ‘too qualified’.
Mr Watson appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee last month and said he was ‘sincerely sorry’ for calling Lord Brittan ‘evil’ but in a rare intervention MPs demanded he should now write a formal letter.
As to whether there was a cover-up, he added: ‘Well, something went on.’
A year later he was forced to make a hollow apology for his rape allegations against Lord Brittan.
Two days after it emerged that police had found no evidence to charge the late Tory politician, Labour’s deputy leader broke cover to issue a statement.
But this only sparked more controversy because he insisted he had felt testimony from one of Lord Brittan’s accusers was ‘compelling’.
He conceded using the word ‘evil’ to describe the peer was wrong and apologised for the distress the family suffered.
Mr Watson said he was sorry for the ‘distress Leon Brittan’s family experienced as they grieved for him. I still am’.
Tom Watson used Parliament, the press and his blog to bring extraordinary accusations into the public domain in 2012 as he said with certainty that ‘sexual abuse by powerful figures took place’ in years that followed.
He has repeatedly been accused of starting a ‘moral panic’ about an alleged Westminster VIP paedophile ring.
£2million of public money was squandered by the Metropolitan Police on an 18-month investigation, Operation Midland, which dragged the names of blameless and distinguished men through the mud.
In March of this year at that Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – still rumbling on five years and £100m later – Mr Watson was labelled a ‘vehicle for conspiracy theorists’ and a ‘patsy for fake news’.
On the first day of the Westminster strand of IICSA, counsel to the inquiry Brian Altman QC said Mr Watson’s allegation about a VIP child sex ring on October 24, 2012, was a ‘key point’.
He said the allegation ‘fed into the growing public concern that a network of paedophiles may have operated with a degree of impunity in public life.’
But Mr Altman said MI5, MI6 and GCHQ had each found ‘no material to show the existence of a so-called Westminster VIP paedophile ring or any attempts to suppress the existence of such a paedophile ring.’
Addressing the inquiry later, Mr Robertson said a Scotland Yard commander would tell the inquiry ‘there’s not a scintilla of evidence of a network of a Westminster child abuse network’.
And in a closing statement to the Westminster strand of the investigation this March, a lawyer for falsely accused former Tory MP Harvey Proctor said it was now clear ‘there is no evidence of a Westminster paedophile network’
Adam Wagner told the inquiry: ‘We opened by saying that sometimes there is smoke without fire. In the case of the hideous allegations against Harvey Proctor, there never was a fire. There was, instead, a belching smoke machine.’
He told the panel: ‘Regrettably, in the moral panic which ensued after Jimmy Savile’s crimes came to light, malicious conspiracy theories against Harvey Proctor and others were given far more credence than they deserve.’
Mr Wagner went on: ‘The allegations were so incredible that any reasonable person would at the least have treated them with extreme caution.
‘Instead, a small group of self- promoting politicians … led by Tom Watson, amplified the allegations and used their considerable political clout to give them status and believability.
‘Mr Watson became a vehicle for conspiracy theorists, and a patsy for fake news’.
Watson today insisted he had done a lot to promote investigations into child sex abuse.
He said: ‘I hope this trial, and the case of one person, does not prevent survivors of child sexual abuse coming forward and reporting their experiences to the police.
‘As a public figure of responsibility I felt it was my duty to respond to the claims that had been made to me. To stand aside when there was a possibility that children were at risk of sexual abuse was not an option.’
Responding to Harvey Proctor’s criticism, Watson said he understood that the former MP ‘is hurt and angry’, but accused him of disingenuously using a selective quotation’ from an interview he did.