Insurers ‘advised against’ publication of child abuse report

Jillings report
The Jillings report was ‘virtually unseen’ by committee or council members, Ann Clwyd said

A report on the north Wales child abuse scandal was not published for 17 years because of concerns over libel and compensation claims, an MP has said.

Ann Clwyd told the Commons that council insurers had warned that publication of theJillings report would encourage court cases and compensation claims.

The report found evidence of “extensive abuse” over a “substantial” number of years in north east Wales care homes.

It said that at least 12 young people died from unnatural causes.

On Thursday Ms Clwyd, the Labour MP for Cynon Valley, said that had the report been published at the time “it would have sounded alarm bells and things would have moved much faster”.

“The report, limited to 12 copies only, was virtually unseen by committee or council members and was pulped,” she said.

“The insurers suggested that the chair of the council’s social services committee – Malcolm King, a brave and determined whistleblower – should be sacked if he spoke out.

“They wrote: ‘Draconian as it may seem, you may have to consider with the elected members whether they wish to remove him from office if he insists on having the freedom to speak’.”

Ms Clwyd wants ministers to bring forward a bill to reform insurance company influence.

“It is a matter of concern that insurance companies can still exert adverse influence on any inquiry or report into complaints about children in the care of local authorities,” she said

Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage said she could understand the disappointment that a previous government failed to take forward recommendations in a Law Commission report in 2004.

“However, there have been a number of changes in both the insurance industry and in statutory framework around inquiries since then,” she added.

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About DR Laverty

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