Labour deputy leader Tom Watson last night said he was ‘genuinely very, very sorry’ for his role in the fake claims about a VIP paedophile ring
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson last night said he was ‘genuinely very, very sorry’ for his role in the fake claims about a VIP paedophile ring.
The MP said he had been trying to ‘do the right thing’ – but was blasted for ‘portraying himself as the victim’.
A report by former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques, published last week, found Mr Watson had piled pressure on detectives investigating the false claims made by serial liar Carl Beech, also known as ‘Nick’.
The Labour MP sent hundreds of pieces of information to the Metropolitan Police.
He met Beech and encouraged him to go to detectives before they launched the disastrous Operation Midland inquiry in November 2014.
Mr Watson also took a keen interest in a bogus allegation of rape against Lord Brittan, the former home secretary, which was investigated in a parallel Scotland Yard inquiry called Operation Vincente.
Sir Richard’s report described officers as being in a ‘state of panic’ after Mr Watson’s intervention.
The two inquiries collapsed without arrests or convictions.
Beech was jailed for 18 years for perverting the course of justice and other offences in July.
Speaking to Channel 4 News last night, Mr Watson said: ‘I try to remain calm in the face of a sort of media storm right now about it.
‘In the early days of these inquiries it was very difficult to deal with the many hundreds of allegations that were almost like a Blue Peter sack of post in my office.
‘So I had to put in place systems that I’ve never had to deal with before – how you share information with the police and how my staff record phone calls, all that kind of stuff, on a very limited budget. So that was quite traumatic.’
He admitted: ‘Even back then when I was more intense, I understood I couldn’t get too close to the people making the allegations.
‘I hate to see people in pain and I genuinely feel very deeply for the people that have had injustices done to them as a result of the failed police inquiries. I really do.
‘And I understand why they’re angry and I understand why some of their anger is targeted at me.’
Mr Watson claimed he did not want anyone to ‘feel sorry’ for him because of the backlash.
He added: ‘I did my best, and that’s all you can do in life.
‘So I’m genuinely very, very sorry and I just say I genuinely was trying to do the right thing.’ But last night Mr Watson’s apology was rejected by a relative of one of those falsely accused of abuse.
Daniel Janner QC, son of Labour peer Lord Greville Janner, said: ‘Tom Watson’s synthetic attempt to portray himself as the victim when he trashed good men’s reputations for his blatant political advantage will cut no ice. If he had genuine decency he would resign for the suffering he has caused.’
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who was falsely accused of being a serial child killer by Beech, said: ‘Watson’s words are enormously hurtful. I can see through him. I hope others will.
‘He is utterly insensitive to the damage he has caused. Even now he just thinks about himself.’
Source : Mail Online