Search

Islington kids’ homes scandal: Council promises lawyer-led inquiry into new evidence

PUBLISHED: 05:57 11 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:32 25 May 2017

Islington Town Hall and inset former mayor Sandy Marks. Picture: Ken Mears

Islington Town Hall and inset former mayor Sandy Marks. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Islington Council has promised to set up an inquiry led by a top lawyer to examine new evidence relating to a former mayor of Islington’s pro-paedophile past.

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, has promised a top lawyer will examine the new evidence. Picture: Em FitzgeraldCllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, has promised a top lawyer will examine the new evidence. Picture: Em Fitzgerald

After a major investigation the Gazette can reveal newly uncovered documents show links between ex-councillor Sandy Marks and a radical pro-paedophile activist group called Fallen Angels in early 1980.

Ms Marks, 63, went on to chair Islington’s social services committee from 1991 to 1995 during the height of paedophile sex ring allegations concerning children’s homes in the borough.

Council leader Cllr Richard Watts this week condemned support for paedophilia as “abhorrent” and said: “I’m shocked and concerned at the information as presented by the Gazette.

“This raises new questions about the council’s response to the allegations in the 1990s.

“I have instructed that we will appoint an independent QC to examine the evidence, and provide advice on the best action to take.

“They will be free to pursue any line of inquiry, and we will be bound by their recommendations.”

The report will be passed to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

“On behalf of Islington Council, I’m extremely sorry for the council’s past failure to protect vulnerable children,” Cllr Watts added.

“I know those who were abused continue to suffer.”

He said new evidence would be treated “extremely seriously” and encouraged survivors to talk to police so “those responsible can be brought to justice”.

He stressed the council today is a “very different organisation” and said child protection is a top priority.

The Gazette understands a grant to Islington Personal Budgets Network Community Interest Company to establish a “centre for inclusive living” will be reviewed – including a £27,457 salary for Ms Marks, a director of the company.

Commenting on the documentary evidence, Ms Marks said the allegations were “untrue and unfounded”.

* If you suffered or witnessed abuse at Islington children’s homes, you can contact the Islington Survivors’ Network via islingtonsurvivors.co.uk, or Dr Liz Davies in confidence on l.davies@londonmet.ac.uk

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00

An Islington man is raising money for Mental Health UK by hiking up a mountain, cycling 100 miles and running a half marathon.

Yesterday, 12:00

An Archway letting agent has been billed £20,000 after giving tenants “sham licences” that claimed they had no right to challenge eviction.

Fri, 15:43

Another booze licence row has erupted in Camden Passage – this time after a nail bar applied to sell alcohol.

Fri, 12:45

Two men who brandished knives during a brawl in Archway have been jailed.

Fri, 09:31

A moped was abandoned after a collision with a car in Caledonian Road last night.

Fri, 08:11

Two men have been arrested after armed police recovered a bottle of “suspected noxious fluid” from a car in Canonbury.

Thu, 18:03

The dexterity of students at Central Foundation Boys’ School was revealed this morning after sixth formers picked up a set of A-level results showing talent across the board.

Thu, 17:56

The growing list of people opposing the installation of a trampoline park at the Sobell Leisure Centre now includes Islington councillors, Jeremy Corbyn, the granddaughter of Sir Michael Sobell and even trampolinists.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now