In 1992, the Evening Standard published allegations about widespread sexual abuse in children’s homes run by Islington council. It said every home contained staff who were paedophiles, pimps, or child pornographers. The leader of Islington council, Margaret Hodge, dismissed the story as “gutter journalism”, and accused Evening Standard journalists of waiting outside homes to bribe children for their stories with £50 notes.
This led to a whole series of inquiries, most of which were conducted by Islington council themselves and were not to be taken seriously. The Evening Standard kept the pressure on Islington council, reprinting stories and also making fresh allegations, until an independent, external inquiry was announced, led by Ian White, the head of Cambridgeshire Social Services.
In 1995 the White inquiry published its findings, which proved the Evening Standard right about its allegations. This was despite Islington council’s best efforts to frustrate the inquiry and cover their…
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