An MP who ignored calls by Fathers4Justice and other parent groups to support the closure of a Hampshire school at the centre of sex abuse allegations, has today been implicated in a cover up surrounding the scandal.
Fathers4Justice can reveal that Caroline Nokes, the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, demanded Hampshire Police keep her fully informed about the scandal at Stanbridge Earls School. This included supplying her with sensitive and confidential information about the allegations, including details of the children and families involved. While the school was in the MPs constituency, the children and parents involved were not her constituents.
The Chief Constable of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, Andy Marsh, is now facing a police investigation from a separate force into claims he leaked this information and the details of alleged rape victims to Caroline Nokes MP and Hampshire County Council. At the time of the scandal, Councillor Roy Perry was Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council.
Cllr Perry is the father of Caroline Nokes and later became Leader of Hampshire County Council.
Caroline Nokes MP has been accused of putting vulnerable children at risk by insisting that the school remained open in the full knowledge that children had been deemed to be ‘unsafe’ and that further abuse was possible. She also continued to defend Head Teacher Peter Trythall in the knowledge that he had been accused of a ‘failure of responsibility’ by a tribunal.
Further abuse at the school came to light after Easter 2013.
It is claimed that Caroline Nokes then placed elements of this confidential information in the public domain using an account called ‘Sausages & Gin’ on a Mumsnet forum. This was seen by a member of the public connected to the school and it was reported to the Police.
Fathers4Justice has repeatedly called for a Public Inquiry into the scandal.
Said F4J Campaign Director Nadine O’Connor, ‘The silence from the MP about a major child abuse scandal in her constituency has been deafening. She has abused her own position as an MP by seeking confidential information from Hampshire Police which she was not entitled to.’
‘She compromised the position of the Chief Constable who is now under investigation by a separate force and she put children at serious risk of abuse by arguing that Stanbridge Earls School remain open – in the full knowledge that vulnerable pupils were unsafe.’
‘We need a full, public enquiry into the scandal, so we can understand what happened, who was responsible and what lessons can be learned by the authorities to ensure a repeat of this never happens again.’
‘While this matter is not directly linked to our principal campaign, the school was in our own constituency and we have have offered support to parents of children at risk after we were contacted for our help. We took the view last year that given children were at risk, the school should close until such time it was deemed safe by Oftsed. It was inevitable that the reputational damage caused by institutional failings at the school resulted in its closure.’
‘We will continue to offer our support until this matter is concluded.’
Previous blog posts on Stanbridge Earls School
23rd May 2013
Call For MP Caroline Nokes To Resign – Failing To Protect Children
15th August 2013
Caroline Nokes Thinly Veiled Attack On Trolls – Me Thinks She Doth Protest Too Much
8th November 2013
The Net Is Closing On the Stanbridge Earls School Inquiry