British PM warns of gay witch-hunt

2012-11-08 21:16
David Cameron (Peter Macdiarmid, AP)

David Cameron (Peter Macdiarmid, AP)

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London - British Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Thursday against a "witch-hunt" of gay people after he was given a list of alleged child sex abuse suspects on live television.

On the daytime television show This Morning, presenter Philip Schofield handed Cameron a card with a list of names drawn from internet gossip of figures from the premier's Conservative Party.

Cameron appeared unsettled but took the paper before warning of the risk of speculation about claims that a senior Conservative politician from the 1970s and 1980s was involved in a paedophile ring.

"There is a danger if we are not careful that this can turn into a sort of witch-hunt, particularly about people who are gay," Cameron said on the show on the commercial network ITV.

"And I'm worried about the sort of thing you are doing right now: taking a list of names off the internet.

"If anyone has any information about anyone who's a paedophile, no matter how high up in society they are, that is what the police are for."

Schofield, a former children's television presenter and stage musical star, later apologised for the stunt after it appeared that part of the list would have been visible to viewers of the show.

"If any viewer was able to identify anyone listed, I would like to apologise and stress that was never my intention," Schofield said.

"Unfortunately there may have been a misjudged camera angle for a split second as I showed the prime minister some information I had obtained from the internet."

The government this week announced two separate inquiries into allegations of abuse in children's homes across north Wales after the claims about the politician from former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher's era.

One inquiry will look into the initial police investigation into the allegations, dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, while the other will review a judge-led probe into the scandal that was carried out in 2000.

A furore over paedophilia at high levels in the British establishment has raged ever since hundreds of allegations of child sex abuse against late BBC television star Jimmy Savile emerged in recent weeks.

Read more on:    david cameron  |  jimmy savile  |  uk  |  gay rights  |  child abuse  |  bbc abuse scandal
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