A Note on Chris Fay, the Media and Mark Williams-Thomas

From ex-police officer turned journalist Mark Williams-Thomas on Twitter:

Article : Labour were REAL villains of child sex abuse scandal. I have not spoken formally about this before but whilst in police we investigated Chris Fay’s many allegations in the early 2000’s and established their [sic] was no evidence to support his claims [Link to Daily Mail article by Dominic Lawson]

The Lawson article linked to by Williams-Thomas responds to recent findings by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that abuse and exploitation had been rife in children’s homes controlled by the notoriously left-wing Lambeth Council in the 1970s and 1980s. As Lawson notes:

The IICSA concluded that Lambeth council ‘treated children in their care as if they were worthless’ and showed ‘callous disregard’ by ‘putting vulnerable children in the path of sex offenders’ who infiltrated those institutions.

Lawson goes on to discuss similar failings in Islington, which had been covered by the Daily Mail in mid-2015 as part of the paper’s campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, the local MP and before that an Islington councillor. Both situations are then contrasted with the concocted allegations against prominent figures in the Conservative Party:

Yet one Labour MP did ‘weaponise’ the issue of child sex abuse: this was the then deputy leader of the party, Tom Watson. He was tireless in linking it to the Conservatives, at the highest level.

…what was the origin of the spurious claims against the blameless [Leon] Brittan? It turns out to have been a concoction of a former London Labour councillor called Chris Fay, who also invented the hoax that child abuse by leading Tories took place at the Elm Guest House in South-West London.

…Fay, who in 2011 was jailed for fraud after conning pensioners out of almost £300,000, admitted in 2015 that he had passed his allegations about Leon Brittan to Tom Watson. He also confessed he had been ‘a very Left-wing Labour councillor’ who enjoyed ‘on a political level’ the accusations of child abuse made against prominent Conservatives.

That would be the same hoax that the Daily Mail reported in early 2013 as “Timebomb at Elm Guest House: Pop stars, a bishop and a top politician appear on a list seized by police investigating child abuse at the London hotel in the 1980s”. Fay does not appear in that particular piece (by Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury), although a follow-up article two days later (curiously without any byline) refers to

former child protection worker Chris Fay, who says he was shown photos of children dressed up at ‘Kings and Queens parties’ at the guest house. One photograph is said to show a former Tory Cabinet minister in a sauna with a naked 14-year-old boy.

Nearly two years later, in late 2014, an article by the paper’s crime correspondent Rebecca Camber and headed “Officers claim covert investigations were shut down as they closed in on Establishment figures” included the detail that

child protection campaigner Chris Fay, of the now-defunct National Association of Young People in Care, said a Special Branch detective held a gun to his head, telling him to stop investigating an alleged paedophile ring at Elm Guest House in south-west London.

This was all despite the fact that Fay’s fraud conviction had been reported by BBC News in 2011; it seems it wasn’t realised at the time that this was the same person, although the identification was in the public domain by October 2013. During the same period, Fay was also appearing in other newspapers; in early 2014 James Fielding at the Daily Express ran an article about an accuser who “is being helped by anti-abuse campaigners Bill Maloney and Chris Fay” (in fact, video evidence shows that the the accuser was being aggressively coached by Maloney, with Fay present).

So why didn’t Mark Williams-Thomas speak out the time, if he was already aware that Chris Fay’s claims had been investigated and found to be lacking in substance? Williams-Thomas also posted two other Tweets directly following the one above, which for some reason he then deleted:

Which is why I was totally dismissive and told the Met police this around 12 years later (2012) when they so adamantly believed Carl Beech . I had heard nearly all the allegations before , investigated them and found them almost all entirely baseless [Previously here]

I had audio tapes in 2000 with almost all the same claims Fay was making in 2012 which the Met police took as correct when Carl Beech started repeating them – regarding Elm House , Lord Britain [sic] and murder of child and mass child abuse image ring [Previously here]

The tapes are mentioned in an article critical of Williams-Thomas that was published by the Mail on Sunday (which is editorially independent of the Daily Mail) in 2018 (and previously discussed by me here). The authors, David Rose and Rosie Waterhouse, explained that in 1990 Fay had introduced a source named “David” to a journalist named Gill Priestly:

In a series of taped interviews with her, David made astonishing claims: that he had been sexually assaulted by Lord Brittan, and ‘trafficked’ to Amsterdam, where he was forced to watch as children were raped and murdered to make ‘snuff’ porn movies.

Police documents disclosed by the Crown Prosecution Service and seen by this newspaper say Priestly played her tapes to Williams-Thomas while he was a serving police officer. The papers say that at the time police took no action and that in 2002, after Williams-Thomas left the police, she gave some of her tapes to him for ‘safe keeping’.

According to Rose and Waterhouse, “police records” say that Williams-Thomas played these tapes to Detective Superintendent David Gray at the ITV studies in 2013. However, DCI Paul Settle, the Metropolitan Police officer tasked with investigating Brittan under Gray’s direction, was unimpressed:

Mr Settle said: ‘We had already finished with [the accuser] David, but here was Williams-Thomas apparently trying to reincarnate him as a witness. It was quite apparent the tapes were the musings of a fantasist.’

Settle later quit the force, alleging that he had been pressured into participating in a “witch hunt”. But why would Williams-Thomas have provided these tapes if he was of the view that the allegations were of no value? And how did it then happen – as reported by Rose and Waterhouse – that David afterwards became central to South Yorkshire Police’s disastrous investigation into Cliff Richard?

3 Responses

  1. […] Oh dear, Mark Williams-Thomas [MWT], former police officer and self-styled child protection investigator has made another series of errors [some he tried to delete but not before captured by Richard Bartholomew on Barthsnotes]. […]

  2. quote/ According to Rose and Waterhouse, “police records” say that Williams-Thomas played these tapes to Detective Superintendent David Gray at the ITV studies in 2013 /unquote

    Gray was in charge of Operation Yewtree at a time when it was mostly about Jimmy Savile, although the name Spindler is more publicly synonymous with that. Williams-Thomas’ access to Gray reinforces the nature of his media role in all of that.

  3. Follow the Money I say. MWT has a history of trying to cash in on anything to do with wealthy celebrities and has many allies, including ITV who refuse to drop him thanks to his Savile show. It has even been alleged that he has tried to sell names and contact details of victims, or should I say “victims”, to the media. His dear friend Peter Saunders of NAPAC was also doing very well from the False Allegations Industry until he decided to follow the money belonging to the Catholic Church whereupon the Vatican Hit Squad unearthed some unfortunate facts about his past. He still managed to be a major part of the IICSA as a survivor, oops, “survivor” spokesman until the Vatican revelations hit the media (just Google Peter Saunders NAPAC to read all about it). Where there is wealth there are false allegations.

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