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This article titled “Former MP accused of being part of paedophile ring criticises Labour politicians” was written by Sandra Laville and Rajeev Syal, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 13th October 2015 11.10 UTC
The former MP interviewed by police over claims he was part of a paedophile ring that sexually assaulted a young girl has criticised politicians for campaigning on the case during an ongoing criminal inquiry.
The MP, who has not been identified publicly, was interviewed under caution for three hours by Staffordshire police on Monday over claims from an alleged victim, Esther Baker, that he was one of a group of so-called VIP abusers who targeted her in the 1980s and 90s in woodland near Cannock Chase.
During the police interview, the former MP said he complained that a perversion of the course of justice was taking place. He said on Tuesday: “It is easy to disprove her allegations. No one who has seen Esther Baker’s many public allegations will be surprised by what was in the disclosure to me during the interview.”
He accused two Labour MPs, John Mann and Jess Phillips, of publicly campaigning on the allegations made by Baker during the ongoing police investigation – which was denied by the politicians.
The former MP said: “We must continue to listen to people who allege that they have been abused as children. We must not be derailed by … politicians, like Jess Phillips and John Mann, who have been openly campaigning on one side of this case during an ongoing police investigation.”
The former MP will have had full disclosure of Baker’s allegations during his police interview.
Mann, the campaigning Bassetlaw MP, has criticised the failure to arrest the former MP at the centre of Baker’s claims. In May he said it was “a real problem” that the man had not been arrested over the “credible allegations”. He added: “I predict more people will now come forward. There’s far too many people at the top of society getting away with horrific abuse.”
In May, Phillips tweeted her support for Baker, indicating that she believed all her allegations. Responding to a Sky News report in May, when Baker waived her right to anonymity to go public, Philips wrote:
Responding to the comments, Mannsaid that the accused former MP is wrong to claim that he has made any allegations. “I have made no allegations whatsoever against [the former MP] and it is outrageous for him to suggest so,” Mann said on Tuesday.
Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardley and a former rape councillor, said she has never made any allegations about the former MP or campaigned on the case: “Whatever the outcome of this case, there is a traumatised person at the centre of it,” she said. “I have met Esther twice at events in parliament because I am a campaigner on rape and victim issues but I would never try and interfere with a criminal inquiry. This former MP seems [to be] determined to … engage in victim blaming,” she said.
Central to Baker’s allegations are the claim that the former MP was one of a core group of high-profile paedophiles – which she says included a judge, police officers and a peer – who abused her from the age of six in woodland in Cannock Chase.
Staffordshire police have said no other individual has been interviewed as an alleged victim or come forward in relation to the allegations. It is understood that no specific dates of alleged offences have been put forward to the former MP by police.
Baker has also alleged that she was sexually abused at a flat in London, which she now believes to be Dolphin Square, in Westminster – the location at the centre of the Metropolitan police’s Operation Midland inquiry into the alleged murders of three children by high-profile individuals in a paedophile ring.
A spokesman for Staffordshire police said that a man was questioned on Monday 12 October 2015 “by detectives as part of an ongoing investigation into non-current sexual abuse”.
“It is the policy of Staffordshire police never to confirm in any way the identity or any other personal details of those subject to any investigation until charge.”
The man was not arrested but was questioned under caution, police added.
• This article was amended on 14 October 2015. An earlier version said that John Mann and Jess Phillips have “both publicly campaigned on the allegations made by Baker”. This has been corrected.
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