Parliament: Apology sought for child brothel claim (19.2.86)

Times, The (London, England)-February 19, 1986

A Labour MP demanded in the Commons that Mr Geoffrey Dickens (Littleborough and Saddleworth, C) should go to the Holbrooke Estate in North Islington, unreserverdly withdraw his allegations of the existence of child brothels in the area and make a public apology.

Mr Dickens said he had been criticized on Monday by Mr Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Lab) for a breach of the Commons convention that members should not visit another constituency without notifying the MP. He had been a great upholder of the conventions and traditions ever since entering Parliament.

Where the safety of children is involved (he added) there may be times when one cannot always preserve the niceties of the workings of the House of Commons.

Mr Corbyn said Mr Dickens misled them. He has been criticized for irresponsibly passing unfounded allegations to the media which had caused a great deal of hardship and hurt to the people of the area. It was the irresponsible behaviour of Mr Dickens which had upset local residents and he should visit the estate and apologise.

The Speaker (Mr Bernard Weatherill) said their was a motion on the Commons order paper about this and that was the right way to deal with it.

Mr Kenneth Eastham (Manchester, Blackley, Lab) said it was not the first time this had happened. There was a similar instance in his constituency when a clergyman complained on behalf of all his parishioners about the conduct of Mr Dickens.

Mr Dickens said he would like to place on record that arrests and prosecutions had resulted from information he had provided in the past.

%d bloggers like this: