Keith Vaz and the Mystery of Barnes Common

In 1982, early in his political career and before he was an MP, Keith Vaz was Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Richmond & Barnes, as well as being Solicitor for Richmond Council.

Elm Guest House on Rocks Lane, Barnes, was at the centre of a paedophile ring in 1982. Boys from Richmond Council-run care homes such as Grafton Close were supplied to Elm Guest House to be abused by VIPs.

As Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate, you would expect Keith Vaz to have spent a lot of time talking to local residents and asking them about their concerns. Local people had a good idea of what went on at Elm Guest House, as we can see from this extract from a book by Jilly Cooper, a Barnes resident at the time, about conversations she had whilst walking on Barnes Common:

jillycooper

I asked Keith Vaz on twitter if he remembered hearing anything about Elm Guest House at the time:

vaztwit

This is odd, because I would have thought Labour voters and other residents would have complained to him about the badly kept secret of what Elm Guest House was really used for. I’m also surprised there weren’t rumours amongst Richmond Council staff. Keith Vaz did seem to be very well informed about crime on Barnes Common, as this article from  a July 1982 edition of Richmond & Barnes Times shows.

vaz5_1detail

Rocks Lane, where Elm Guest House paedophile ring was based, runs through the middle of Barnes Common, where the indecent assaults were happening. It’s very strange indeed that Keith Vaz was aware of one but not the other.

rockslane

Added to that, Elm Guest House was widely reported for 10 days in 1982 before the cover-up kicked in. Surely this would have led Keith Vaz to ask questions about what was going on in his prospective constituency?

The whole of Westminster in 1982 would have known about Elm Guest House, and the stories would have been passed down through the years to our current set of MPs. It’s about time this collective amnesia stopped, and individual MPs start speaking up about what they knew.

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16 comments
  1. There’s a reason for whips – to keep the rank & file in place and to stop them speaking out. A career politician wouldn’t touch this with a bargepole, on the grounds that all of the main parties have got paedo skeletons buried somewhere. No one party can point score against another, without a backlash. Hence the deafening silence. TPTB just want this one to go away, so they can get back to filling their corpulent bellies at the trough while the rest of the country struggle to make ends meet.

  2. Madlands said:

    Also, remember that Richmond council paid off at least one person abused at Elm Guest House, and you don’t release council funds without the co-operation of legal people…..

  3. rainbowsophie said:

    Unless the various interested parties had a whip-round, like the collective might of the Tory party did for poor Harvey P.

    • That’s a very interesting point you make there rainbowsophie – I’d never wondered about the origin of the phrase “whip-round” till now…

  4. Would it be worth me FOIng for details of out of court settlements to victims of child abuse between 1978 and ….er well when would it have been? Obviously just the financials not who it was paid to, not that they’d reveal that anyway. I guess I’d have to ask for info right up to the current day because we have no idea what else they might have paid out over time. I wonder who the Chief Financial Officer(s) at Richmond were during that period too because depending on the amounts (as with Murdoch and Murdoch Jr blithely signing large cheques for nothing in particular) there would surely have been signing authority thresholds and records of those within the council that it might be possible to request too? Do councils report annual legal liabilities provisioning like companies do?

  5. keithvazazl said:

    Brilliant what you are doing. Also walked the streets of the area pressing hands as pros European Parliament Member in 1984. Family ties through childhood and sister to west london NOT Leicester.
    Elizabeth Filkin endured a whispering campaign in 2001 as Parliamentary Commissioner. Vaz involved. Link was that Elizabeth Filkins husband was Michael Honey Vaz boss at Richmond.
    Moved from Richmond to Islington Council where Margaret Oppenheimer Hodge his current party colleague on a number of committees was leader.
    A political life full of controversy straight out of a Jeffrey Archer novel.
    Last seen supporting family of suicided nurse, long established links to Champneys health chain.

  6. Ann said:

    Keith Vaz is a kiss-ass. No point in expecting anything for the ppl from him.

  7. Outlaw said:

    Run Rabbit Run….. Keep asking and keep watching them avoid the questions…. Much to lose and even more to hide…. Getting them all in the Dock in front of a neutral Judge and an unaffected jury would be a good start…..

  8. Reblogged this on Join The Dots Campaign and commented:
    ‘It is time this collective amnesia stopped, and individual MPs start speaking up about what they knew…’

  9. Reblogged this on Desiring Progress and commented:
    Very important to read, concerning the current chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee

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