Wales child abuse: Publish Jillings report - Ann Clwyd MP

A shelved report detailing rape and torture at children's homes in north Wales should be published, an MP has claimed.

Ann Clwyd told the Commons she had seen a copy of the Jillings report carried out in 1994 - which was never made public due to legal concerns.

It had followed reports of abuse at children's homes in north Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.

The scandal has reopened after a victim called for a new investigation.

The alleged abuse centring on children's homes in north Wales - and specifically the Bryn Estyn home at Wrexham - began to emerge in the 1990s.

Cynon Valley MP Ms Clwyd's call for the UK government to publish the unpublished Jilling's report comes as one council is trying to establish whether copies of the report still exist.

North Wales Police investigated abuse claims in 1991, and several former care workers were convicted.

But as more claims of widespread abuse in almost 40 homes emerged, the former Clwyd County Council commissioned John Jillings in March 1994 to look into the issue.

However, his report was never published because of legal concerns.

Flintshire County Council has now said that while the Jillings report was commissioned by a predecessor authority, Clwyd County Council, it was trying to ascertain if copies exist.

Ms Clwyd told the Commons she was "heavily involved" with the inquiry when assisting constituents who had been former home residents.

"I took witness statements from four of them and I can't describe the horror of what they described to me," she said

"I felt very emotionally upset about what they had to say.

"I would ask that the Jillings report be published. I saw it, I wasn't supposed to see it - it was shown to me, I saw it at the time.

"It was subsequently pulped by the then Clwyd County Council because they were afraid of the attitude of the insurers.

"I would say please get the Jillings report published because it shows... rape, bestiality, violent assaults and torture, and the effects on those young boys at that time cannot be under-estimated."

BBC Wales spoke to Mr Jillings about Ms Clwyd's claim of bestiality. But Mr Jillings said his report did not unearth any such claims.

A joint statement issued by Flintshire council chief executive Colin Everett and leader Aaron Shotton said the authority was trying to establish whether "secured archived copies" are held by any of the six authorities which have since taken over from the former Clwyd and Gwynedd councils.

They said: "If so, we will urgently take independent legal advice about disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, working in the spirit of the legislation."

Their statement said Flintshire council was "deeply concerned to hear the claims by abuse victims that their cases were not fully investigated in the series of investigations, reports and inquiries which were held in the 1990s".

"The council supports the calls by victims for any unresolved cases to be fully and independently investigated," they said.

On Wednesday, the author of the Jillings' report told the BBC that public figures were not among names given by victims.

One of the victims claims abuse by a leading Thatcher-era Conservative politician who is still alive.

The new inquiry comes after a man who was sexually abused called for a new investigation into the true scale of the abuse and who was involved.

The home secretary has launched a new police inquiry into the abuse.

Keith Bristow, the head of the National Crime Agency, is expected to meet North Wales Police on Thursday as he prepares to lead the investigation.

Correction 10 November 2012: The BBC has apologised unreservedly for broadcasting a report on Newsnight on 2 November over allegations of child abuse which transpired to have involved a case of mistaken identity. As a result the video of the original report has been removed from the website. More details can be found here.

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