I switched on the radio earlier but immediately switched it off again, because Gyles Brandreth was on there. I didn’t need to hear him tell the world how brilliant he is or bang on about how he established a Teddy Bear museum, which seems to be mostly what he does during his many appearances on light entertainment shows on TV and radio. Although I am not interested in listening to Brandreth, it did remind me that I need to blog about him, because his former career is relevant to this blog.
Most people know that Brandreth is a former Tory MP, but fewer people know that he was the Tory MP for Chester between 1992-97. In fact Gyles took over the seat from the former MP for Chester Sir Peter Morrison. Regular readers will know that Peter Morrison molested children in care in north Wales. Some of Morrison’s Tory colleagues have admitted that they knew that he was abusing boys and at least one of them has maintained that Thatcher was told about this but she appointed Morrison Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party nonetheless. Brandreth himself is very reluctant to talk about Morrison but has indicated that he knew nothing of Morrison’s activities. How likely is this?
The north Wales paedophile ring was known to extend into Cheshire – even Ronnie Waterhouse admitted that in the Waterhouse Report. John Allen, who owned the Bryn Alyn Community and trafficked the boys in his ‘care’ to brothels in London and Brighton and is currently in prison after being convicted of abusing children in north Wales, owned a children’s home in Cheshire as well. A witness at the Waterhouse Inquiry talked about being taken to a big house near Chester where he was molested. By the time that Brandreth had been elected for Chester, allegations of terrible child abuse in north Wales and Cheshire had recently appeared in the London based media. Brandreth was an author, journalist and broadcaster. His wife was a writer and publisher. They will not have missed the stories about the paedophile ring in north Wales and Cheshire.
Brandreth will have no doubt heard the stories from other sources as well. Although Brandreth didn’t stand for election until 1992, he is on record as having said that he had always wanted a political career. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1970 and his contemporaries there were Ann Widdecombe and Edwina Currie, who by 1992 had both worked closely with the people who had concealed the activities of the paedophile ring. Brandreth has spoken publicly about the good friendship that he enjoyed with Widdecombe at Oxford. He is a gregarious man who remained friendly with many people active in the Conservative Party – I’m sure that something will have been said to him, particularly when it got around that he was standing for Chester.
Of course, whilst Gyles was MP for Chester, John Jillings and his team conducted their inquiry into the north Wales paedophile ring and then in 1996 all hell broke out when it was announced that the Jillings Report would never be made available because the contents were so incendiary that Clwyd County Council’s insurers’ legal advisors had threatened to withdraw insurance cover if the contents of the Report were made available, even to members of the Council (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake…’). There had also been a police investigation into child abuse in the region and in 1996 William Hague announced that Sir Ronald Waterhouse would be holding a public inquiry into the matter. Just as Brandreth got elected, five people with connections to the north Wales child abuse scandal were killed in an arson attack (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’).
Brandreth never heard any of this discussed????
Perhaps after he was elected, Gyles simply never rubbed noses with anyone who might have known Peter Morrison or who knew about the concerns over his activities? Unlikely – one thing that Brandreth did successfully do whilst he was MP for Chester was campaign for University status for Chester College. Chester were most grateful and in Dec 2016 appointed Brandreth Chancellor of the University of Chester. Campaigning for your local college to acquire University status involves a lot of hobnobbing with precisely the sort of people whose hair will have been standing on end in the wake of the rumours swirling regarding the activities of the recently departed MP.
Brandreth served in John Major’s Gov’t as a Whip and as Lord Commissioner in the Treasury. He’ll have been particularly well-briefed as a Whip – they are notorious for digging up dirt on MPs and using it to coerce people. Brandreth was interviewed by Lynn Barber for the ‘Guardian’ in 2005 and he discussed his ‘exciting’ time as a Whip with her. He stated that as a Whip ‘you often have to smooth people, you have to take them aside and say “you know the PM really loves you.” Then with other people you have to say “Do you know what the message from No 10 is? Fuck off. We’ve had enough. Five years ago we advanced you £10,000 – do you remember that? Just remember that, because we need you in the lobby tonight”‘.
So Gyles didn’t spend all his time talking about Teddy Bears and Scrabble and woolly jumpers then. Imagine what this intimidating shit would be saying if he had knowledge of child sexual abuse among colleagues past and present and he wanted them in the lobby. Of course, John Major’s Gov’t was often on very shaky ground which is why they will have often needed a Whip to carry on in the way in which Gyles boasted of.
Elsewhere in the ‘Guardian’ interview Barber states ‘he says…that everything he does…is a performance’. He explains that his work as an after-dinner speaker is lucrative – the money is good ‘though not as good as Cherie’s’. Indeed money seems very important to Brandreth, or more precisely having a great deal of it is. His wife grumbled about him being a backbench MP on £50,000 pa and when he lost his seat she decided that she’d had enough of the penury that comes with a salary of 50k in a household with other sources of income at the same time and told him ‘I want serious money now please’.
Mrs Brandreth got serious money as well. Brandreth boasts that he lost his seat on the Thursday and started work on LBC on the Saturday. Of course since then the bumptious vacuous bastard has never been off the radio and TV, although he never says anything of substance. Gyles also decided to try his hand at interviewing, his first try being an interview with the Duke of Edinburgh! It brought him into close proximity with the Royals and associated Courtiers, but Gyles wasn’t at all daunted because he had ‘sat on committees with the Prime Minister’. His interview with Phil the Greek was so successful that it led to a five year contract with the ‘Sunday Telegraph’! At this time of course, Amanda Platell was the press manager for Conservative Central Office and was keeping all the crap relating to the paedophile ring and the Waterhouse Inquiry out of the media (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’).
Brandreth’s media career really took off after he left Parliament, in the way that the careers of so many of the lawyers who defended the paedophile gang at the Waterhouse Inquiry did after the Waterhouse Report was published (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Was somebody grateful to him for something perhaps? For such a tosser his social occasions really draw in the big names as well. Gyles is President of the Oscar Wilde Society and hosts an annual Oscar Wilde Party – guests have included Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Stephen Fry, Derek Jacobi, Joanna Lumley and Julian Fellowes.
Toadying interviews conducted with Gyles have remarked on how successful his three children are – one is a barrister, one is a journalist and one is a Gov’t economist. Their paths in life probably wouldn’t have been the same if they had been kids in care being molested by Peter Morrison whilst corrupt lawyers on the Chester and Wales Circuit along with powerful figures in the media and Gov’t concealed it all, but if their dad had information about such matters that could have helped them considerably.
These days Brandreth lives in Barnes in south west London and his name appears on a website listing notable people who live in Richmond-Upon-Thames. Barnes was the location of the brothel the Elm Guest House which was staffed by children in care and where high profile people, including Westminster figures, were alleged to have abused them. At least one boy from the children’s homes in north Wales has stated that he was trafficked to the Elm Guest House and in 2015 the ‘Daily Telegraph’ reported allegations that Peter Morrison had raped a 14 year old boy there. There was also a paedophile ring operating in Richmond-Upon-Thames involving children in local authority care. Dr Alice Levinson, one of the Top Doctors from Springfield Hospital who concealed the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales whilst they facilitated the paedophile ring, now lives in Richmond-Upon-Thames and has a psychotherapy practice there. Although Alice knew that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was sexually exploiting patients and that I was suicidal because of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) constantly having me arrested, she recommended that I be referred to forensic services for ‘containment’. Alice consulted Lucille Hughes for evidence of my ‘dangerousness’ – Lucille was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services whilst Lucille was Director of Gwynedd Social Services but failed to act. Alice might be a neighbour of Gyles’s!
Brandreth has written a book about his time as an MP. I haven’t read it, but I think that I ought to. However I do know that he has prefaced that book with a quote from PM Arthur Balfour: ‘nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all’.
Some things do matter Gyles. Admittedly not Teddy Bears or woolly jumpers or being the world’s best Scrabble player or getting in the Guinness Book of Records for making the longest after-dinner speech or even your wife’s naked greed – but a vicious paedophile ring with a side-line in pornography and drug dealing and connections in Parliament who are framing innocent people who stumble across them matters very much. Particularly when people who have dared give evidence against them keep being found dead.
Gyles – it’s your turn to speak for one minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation on the subject of ‘Organised Crime – How I’ve Become Very Rich By Keeping Quiet About It’.
Someone else who was in need of Serious Money and who certainly got it is a Lord Crickhowell, who features on an item on BBC News Wales today. The item is entitled ‘Cardiff Bay: What Has Thirty Years of Development Achieved?’ and follows on with a few pearls from Lord Crickhowell who ‘hailed the regeneration of the former docklands as a success’ but stressed that to ensure even more success, a ‘more co-ordinated approach’ to further development is needed. Lord Crickhowell certainly knows all about co-ordinated approaches and the ‘success’ of the Cardiff Bay development. Cardiff Bay is lovely, but there is much grief about it in Wales because the benefits of the successful regeneration of Cardiff Bay have not spread to the rest of south Wales yet alone to west, mid or north Wales. Many people in those regions are still living in cardboard box in’t middle of road despite the luxury down in Cardiff Bay. One person who has done very well indeed out of the regeneration of Cardiff Bay though since he co-ordinated the redevelopment there is a man called Lord Crickhowell.
The Welsh blogger Jac O The North has written an excellent account of the raw corruption that was involved in the development of Cardiff Bay. Jac has compiled a ‘factsheet’ with the history and details of the dodgy deals, sleights of hand and conflicts of interest involved which can be downloaded from his blog. I know that ‘factsheets’ are usually laughable documents produced by the NHS or MIND which fail to explain that the ‘medication’ that you have just been prescribed could well kill you, but Jac’s factsheet regarding Corruption Bay is in a league of it’s own. I highly recommend it. I will provide a summary of Jac’s research here – and pose a few questions and possibilities that Jac hasn’t raised, almost certainly because Jac’s research into corruption doesn’t usually involve delving into the wrongdoing of the health and welfare services.
Jac’s factsheet describes ‘how political power and influence was blatantly and systematically abused for almost twenty years so that vast sums of public money could be used for corporate and private gain and how the Welsh establishment and the Welsh media either acquiesced, turned a blind eye or was simply too scared of the culprits to defend the public interest’.
Cardiff Bay is built on the site of the former docklands. When the coal industry ended, the owner of Cardiff docks, Associated British Ports (ABP), was left with an eyesore and a financial liability. ABP was privatised by Thatcher’s Gov’t in 1982/3 whilst Nicholas Edwardes aka Lord Crickhowell was Secretary of State for Wales. Edwardes was the MP for Pembrokeshire and was Secretary of State for Wales between 1979-87. He had extensive shipping interests and through these business contacts and personal links with ABP.
Following the privatisation of the docks, Edwardes spent a few years working to set up a publicly funded body to regenerate the privately owned docklands. This led to the creation of a quango, the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (CBDC) in 1987. The chair of CBDC was Geoffrey Inkin, a failed Tory candidate and friend of Edwardes. Inkin was also Chairman of the Land Authority for Wales (LAW) which acquired land for development. LAW had the power of no-appeal compulsory purchase, could smooth out difficulties with planning regulations and could get priority treatment from utilities. The key to the commercial success of Cardiff Bay was the £200 million+ barrage across the estuary, which created a lagoon across the ‘unsightly’ mud flats therefore making the Bay more attractive to investors and those buying, leasing or renting land and property from ABP.
Thus ABP had it’s own private quango pouring public money into the company from which ABP would reap profits. Although ‘the largest waterfront regeneration scheme in Europe’ was paid for by public money, ABP still owned the existing buildings and land as well as everything built on it. The amount of public money that was admitted to have been spent on Cardiff Bay was £500 million – there are suspicions that it was actually much more.
In 1987 Edwardes stood down as an MP and in order to receive his share of the bonanza that he’d engineered, he joined ABP as a Director in 1988. In May 1988 Edwardes was also appointed Chairman of the National Rivers Authority (NRA) – that was the body that was adjudicating on the barrage.
Edwardes and Inkins’s influence via the Cardiff and County Club, the Welsh media and other agencies ensured that any Welsh institution or body that might add to the Bay’s prestige or boost ABP’s profits was approached to locate there. The Welsh media uncritically plugged the project.
So Edwardes, the father of the whole scheme, was a Director of the company reaping the benefits and head of the environmental agency that theoretically had the power to sink the whole project.
A Gov’t Bill getting the barrage through Parliament was passed in 1993 and ABP and CBDC effectively became one entity. However it transpired that no-one wanted to rent, lease or buy Crickhowell House, a huge office block on the development. In 1993, the Welsh Office, headed by Secretary of State for Wales David Hunt, took out a 20 year lease at a total cost said to be in excess of £20 million. As Crickhowell House only cost £11 million to build, that resulted in a very healthy profit for ABP-CBDC. The building was allocated to the Welsh Health Service’s Authority, although they never occupied more than about 1/3 of the building.
In the mid-1990s Wales experienced the saga of the Opera House which was proposed for Cardiff Bay. The leading light in this plan was none other than Nicholas Edwardes, in his capacity as a Trustee (or equivalent) of the Welsh National Opera Company. A competition was held to design the Opera House which was won by Zaha Hadid, but it was never built. There was a lot of squabbling over Hadid’s design, but many people also wanted a new rugby stadium for Cardiff. The dosh was coming from the Gov’t in London who wouldn’t fund both and in the end a new rugby stadium proved a much more popular choice, so that went ahead. Edwardes and Inkin tried to get the rugby stadium sited in the Bay, but that plan failed.
After the devolution referendum in 1997, Ron Davies, the new Secretary of State for Wales, started negotiations with the leader of Cardiff Council for Cardiff City Hall, the building earmarked for housing the new National Assembly of Wales. The negotiations broke down – there have been allegations of skulduggery – and nominations for other sites for the National Assembly began. It was decided to locate the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay, in a new building. Blair’s friend Richard Rogers was the architect who had the winning design for the new building – I’d love to know how that happened, Rogers’s claim to fame was designing the Millennium Dome which was a national joke.
At about this time, Grosvenor Waterside Developments became visible – this was the property arm of ABP, used to disguise ABP involvement.
Ron Davies announced that until the new Assembly building was completed, the temporary home for the Assembly would be in Crickhowell House. Rhodri Morgan, at that time a Labour MP, described Crickhowell House as ‘the very embodiment of that corruption-ridden, semi-colonial, Tory past…’ Rhodri was opposed to the barrage and preferred City Hall as the location for the Assembly. Jac wonders whether it was this that caused London to prevent Rhodri from leading the Labour Party in Wales – Blair famously did all he could to prevent Rhodri Morgan becoming First Minister although it backfired on Blair and Rhodri did end up eventually becoming First Minister. Jac speculates that perhaps Blair et al feared that Rhodri would have taken the Assembly to City Hall.
Jac describes powerful influences at work to keep the location of the Assembly in the Bay. He notes that although there had been much Tory sleaze behind this – Edwardes et al were desperate to have a big prestigious building located in the Bay – the incoming New Labour Gov’t showed no sign of exposing or even undoing the sleaze. Jac speculates that Blair’s 1997 administration allowed the scam because the greed of the ABP-CBDC and the cliques and cabals in Cardiff resulted in Welsh political life being sucked into Cardiff – which suited the control freakery of the New Labour Gov’t, who viewed Wales as dangerously red and dangerously insubordinate and it would be easier for London Labour to manage the sheepshaggers if they were reduced to one city. Jac wonders whether Edwardes told the holders of the purse strings in London that the Cardiff Bay project was too far gone to call back and that the project would fail without a prestigious centrepiece to attract investors. If Cardiff Bay failed, London Labour would look as bad as the Tories. Who would benefit? Plaid – whom London Labour and the Tories perceived to be beyond the pale.
Jac supplies details of an HTV ‘Wales this Week’ episode from July 1999. The programme exposed a secret deal involving extending the lease of Crickhowell House and Alun Michael AM who was then First Secretary (First Minister) – Blair’s choice of First Secretary who had been forced upon a Wales that did not want him as First Secretary – denying the deal, but then admitting it. The programme also exposed the lies that were told regarding the cost of the land that was allocated for the Assembly building. Jac believes that the programme was designed to embarrass the Labour Party, as many questions relating to the Tories’ part in the corruption and the cock-ups went unasked. The Chairman of the HTV Group was one Nicholas Edwardes – who, along with the Tories, was not mentioned during the programme.
The Civil Service mandarin who was instrumental in the machinations to locate the Assembly in Cardiff Bay was Rachel Lomax. Lomax left a prestigious job with the World Bank in 1996 to take up her appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office. Jac questions the machinations engineered by Lomax and suspects that the ‘official’ version of events is untrue. Lomax was moved to the DSS (DWP) in Feb 1999.
Jac sums up by mentioning that Alun Michael was the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, that his constituency included Cardiff Bay and that prior to becoming an MP Michael was a Councillor in Cardiff. So he wanted the Assembly in the Bay. Cynog Dafis (Plaid) also supported the location of the Assembly in the Bay, although Dafis’s own constituency in west Wales didn’t benefit from the Cardiff Bay development. Jac notes that the Welsh media were also robustly in support of the Assembly being in the Bay. At one point Rhodri Morgan announced that the building of the new Assembly had been put on hold – in response to this announcement, Grosvenor Waterside sent a letter threatening legal action if building was not commenced. Jac wonders why Rhodri didn’t call their bluff, as the grounds for legal action was shaky and the threatened exposure of what that company had actually done would have soon shut them up – Jac believes that although Edwardes and his Tory friends weren’t at all supportive of devolution, they were desperate for the Assembly to be located in the Bay to ensure that the development was a success.
Jac has researched and published all of this because he is outraged that millions of pounds of public money has made Nicholas Edwardes and his mates very rich through bank-rolling a project that has been of very little benefit to the rest of Wales, much of which is still desperately poor.
Jac’s research re the details of Edwardes’s massive scam cannot be faulted. However, with regard to Jac’s speculation as to why politicians who would have benefited greatly from exposing Edwardes kept quiet – Jac has missed something of major importance that tied Edwardes and the Tories, Blair and co, Rhodri and even Plaid all up together, although they hated each other. That was the paedophile ring in north Wales and the associated cover-up.
As explained in previous posts, Nicholas Edwardes was Secretary of State for Wales during the years covering Mary Wynch’s unlawful arrest and incarceration by the paedophiles’ friends, he was in post when the paedophile ring was running riot and when Alison Taylor first started blowing the whistle on what was going on, he was in post when Geoffrey Dickens was running his campaign to expose the Westminster Paedophile Ring and named Sir Peter Hayman in the House, he was in post when child care staff in north Wales were being convicted in court of serious offences against children yet the Welsh Office was failing to inspect the children’s homes and he was in post when Geoffrey Dickens handed his dossier with details and names of Westminster paedophiles to Home Secretary Leon Brittan – who then ‘lost’ the dossier. He was in post when Margaret Thatcher was told that Sir Peter Morrison was molesting boys. And on a minor note, he was in post when I first made representation about the criminal activities of the paedophiles’ friends as well. Under Edwardes, the Welsh Office concealed the whole lot.
As detailed in previous posts, the cover-up at the Welsh Office continued under successive Secretaries of State for Wales – including David Hunt, who was also named in Jac’s account. Jac mentions the arrival of Rachel Lomax at the Welsh Office in 1996, after her removal from a high-flying job with the World Bank after just a few months. Rachel Lomax was mentioned in my post ‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’. She was the Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office once the Waterhouse Report got underway and she remained there until Ronnie Waterhouse had heard the evidence and discredited the witnesses. Lomax then buggered off when that had all been dealt with, whilst Ronnie set about writing the Report and reassuring everyone that no political figures had been involved in the abuse of children. Lomax was a very big hitter – she had been dragged back from the World Bank, obviously for something important.
Lomax began her career with the Civil Service in 1968 in the Treasury. She was Principal Private Secretary to Nigel Lawson when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer 1985-86. She was Deputy Chief Economic Advisor in the early 1990s. In 1994-95 she was Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. Then she was Vice-President and Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank.
This was a woman who was part of the Tories’ inner circle and who was completely trusted by them. She got them out of one hell of a tight spot – and not just one that resulted from the development of Corruption Bay. Remember, by the time that Lomax had arrived in the Welsh Office, scores of victims of and witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal had been found dead. There was no danger of Blair’s lot saying a word either, because as explained previously scores of Blair’s buddies in the New Labour Gov’t had been running the London Councils who had sent children in their care to north Wales where they were abused or whose own children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles (see post ‘The London Connection’). Alun Michael was born and went to school in north Wales and had previously been employed as a ‘youth worker’. He was one of the people who signed the Early Day Motion opposing the proposed closure of Garth Angharad, a hospital for ‘mentally ill criminals’ where a number of those who had been victims of the paedophile gang had ended up. Neither were Plaid going to blow the gaffe – Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had been a Plaid candidate and other Plaid politicians, especially in north Wales, were representing constituencies where the paedophile ring was operating in the local social services, who were loudly proclaiming their defence of all things Welsh eg. in Gwynedd. Cynog Dafis had previously participated in some fancy footwork with the Green Party in order to successfully unseat a Lib Dem who signed an Early Day Motion calling for an investigation into the case of Mary Wynch (see post ‘A Few of the Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’).
The whole lot of them were over a barrel. They must have all begged Lomax to help them out of that mess, not one of them could have exposed Edwardes’s money-making scheme because they’d all helpfully not asked any awkward questions whilst he and his successors at the Welsh Office had covered up a paedophile ring and the associated serious corruption in medicine and the law. As for Rhodri – well when the Jillings Report was withheld he had made furious comments about Welsh politicians not being allowed to know the details of a paedophile ring operating on their own patch. But I suspect that Rhodri knew what would happen if he exposed Edwardes and Corruption Bay – the whole thing would explode and the presence of a gang of murdering paedophiles on Welsh soil would be blamed on the Welsh sheepshaggers in the Assembly. So he went and appointed Brian fucking Gibbons as Health Minister who did his bit by covering up the criminality of the paedophiles’ friends the Top Doctors.
One further point. Edwardes was MP for Pembrokeshire. Long after reports of the paedophile gang in north Wales became public, there was a huge trial in Swansea – of a long-standing paedophile gang in Pembrokeshire.
So what became of the lovely Rachel Lomax, who allowed Nicholas Edwardes to get away with milking the taxpayer of millions and kept the lid on child rapes, prostitution, trafficking and a few murders, as well as institutional corruption in medicine and the law? Well after leaving Wales completely wrecked in the wake of all that, Rachel became Permanent Secretary at the DWP (formerly the DSS). In 2002 she moved to the post of Permanent Secretary at the Dept of Transport,along with her Secretary of State Alistair Darling. She then joined the Bank of England – and left there in 2008, just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, to ‘pursue other interests’. So unlike her dozy git of a boss Alistair Darling, Lomax knew that she had assisted in crashing the global economy and got the hell out of there. Regarding her ‘other interests’ – in Dec 2008 Lomax became a non-executive director of HSBC holdings and a member of their audit and risk committees and in Dec 2010 she joined BAA (now Heathrow Airport Holdings) as a non-executive director.
So for what should Rachel Lomax stand trial first then? Concealing a massive swindle on the part of a Gov’t Minister, concealing a paedophile gang who killed a number of people or crashing the economy? If you’re reading this Rachel, Inspector Knacker would no doubt like to hear from you.