Labour ‘will include Kincora in UK probe’

Abuse cases at the Kincora Boys' Home have been left out of a UK-wide inquiry
Abuse cases at the Kincora Boys' Home have been left out of a UK-wide inquiry

Labour has said it would include the sexual abuse of boys in the notorious Kincora home in a UK-wide inquiry if it wins the General Election.

A former Army intelligence officer has claimed spy chiefs ordered him to “stop digging” when he reported a possible paedophile ring at the Northern Ireland children’s home.

Last July, Home Secretary Theresa May announced a major public investigation into whether paedophiles were sheltered in government, the NHS, police, the courts and the BBC. Kincora was excluded.

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Ivan Lewis said: “It is vital that we support the survivors, ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and ensure this never happens again in our country.”

Brian Gemill, a former captain in the Intelligence Corps, claimed he was told to stop investigating sexual abuse at the East Belfast boys’ home in the 1970s.

He told the BBC he was ordered to halt his probe into Kincora by a senior MI5 officer in 1975 after presenting a report on the allegations.

Great Britain’s public inquiry has since been rocked by the resignations of two people selected to be its chair – Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf – following accusations that they were too close to the establishment to be independent.

In February it was announced that the inquiry would be chaired by Justice Dame Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand High Court judge.

A separate judge-led inquiry in Northern Ireland is due to probe events at Kincora but cannot formally compel MI5 to hand over documents or force witnesses to testify.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has said the UK government and its agencies, including the Ministry of Defence and MI5 would give the HIA inquiry “the fullest possible degree of co-operation”.

In 1981 three senior care staff at the east Belfast Kincora home were jailed for abusing 11 boys and it has been claimed that people of the “highest profile” were connected.