How Westminster ‘turned a blind eye’ to sex abuse; and the ‘seismic’ impact of Harvey Weinstein’s conviction

An official report has concluded that politicians and institutions at Westminster ‘turned a blind eye’ to sex abuse against children for decades to protect their own reputations. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse say’s there’s ‘ample evidence’ of abusers linked to Westminster carrying out crimes – and that ‘nobody seemed to care about the fate of the children involved’. It also describes the failure by the then Liberal leader Lord Steel to take action against the late MP Cyril Smith as “an abdication of political responsibility” which occurred despite him being told by Smith that allegations made against him at the time were true. The Evening Standard’s home affairs editor Martin Bentham was at the release of the report and talks the The Leader Podcast about what it says. 

Harvey Weinstein’s ‘seismic’ conviction

Harvey Weinstein is in hospital. He’ll soon be in jail. Convicted of sexual assault and rape, he was en-route to prison when he complained of chest pains. He’s being treated for high blood pressure and heart palpitations. He is, though, scheduled to be sentenced on March 11th and faces up to 25 years. The case is being described as a ‘seismic’ moment for the #MeToo movement, but in the UK while the number of rape cases reported to police is up 65 percent, the number of prosecutions last year dropped from 3,034 to 2,343. Acting features editor Phoebe Luckhurst says the legal system in Britain has a lot of catching up to do. 

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