Editor’s comment: Labour Party must kick Sandy Marks out unless she comes clean

Sandy Marks in 2016 and pictured at the 1980 International Gay Association conference in Barcelona.

Sandy Marks in 2016 and pictured at the 1980 International Gay Association conference in Barcelona. Pictures: Ken Mears/LSE archive - Credit: Archant

Sandy Marks has continued to protest her innocence in the face of a QC’s finding that she was involved with pro-paedophile campaign groups in 1979 and 1980.

That is, of course, her right. And to say, as her public statement does, that she was “cleared of all wrongdoing” in Sarah Morgan’s independent review might technically be correct, but it’s not the whole story.

Yes, Ms Morgan found that Ms Marks’ past affiliations had no discernible impact on the way she carried out her duties as chair of the social services committee, which had political oversight of children’s homes while kids were being abused there.

But it also found that she had been involved with the Fallen Angels and Conspiracy Against Public Morals, which campaigned for the Paedophile Information Exchange defendants to be freed.

What’s more, Ms Morgan made that finding in spite of Ms Marks’ own assertions while being interviewed that she wasn’t involved with either group and had never even been to Barcelona, where she was photographed at least twice at the International Gay Association conference 1980.

You may also want to watch:

To tell us she wasn’t involved when we had evidence that she was is one thing, although personally I think denying the truth to a newspaper is bad enough.

But denying the truth to a barrister who has been paid public money specifically to investigate those claims? I think that’s pretty indefensible.

Most Read

And on that basis, I believe that until Sandy Marks comes clean about her past and distances herself publicly from the groups she was once involved in, she has no place in politics, and her membership of the Labour Party should be rescinded. I will wait with interest to see what the party decides to do given Ms Morgan’s findings.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter