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Margaret Hodge and the Islington Child abuse scandal

Her own tenure was not without its controversies: within weeks of taking on the job, accusations resurfaced that while she was the leader of Islington council, from 1982 to 1992, she had not done enough to follow up allegations that a child abuse ring was operating in her borough. When a victim protested her appointment as minister, she described him as an “extremely disturbed person” and tried to prevent the Today programme from airing his claims; she eventually had to make a formal apology in the high court and pay £10,000 in damages to a charity. “All that happened when we didn’t really understand child abuse in the way that we understand it now. This was the early 90s … It was only beginning to emerge that paedophiles were working with children, in children’s homes and elsewhere, and so I think my great regret there was believing without question the advice that I was given by the social services managers. I can tell you that I sat across the table, like you and I are sitting acros…

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