Mark Trotter

Background from a left winger is at Spin Doctors, Media and the Left. The corruption is not bad, it is worse.

Politics of Hackney
The borough was formed in 1965 from the area of the former metropolitan boroughs of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington. For most of that time it has been a Labour run authority, although there was a period of Conservative administration from 1968 to 1972

There was a period of changing coalitions during the 1990s. These coalitions followed the upheaval following the Mark Trotter affair, involving allegations of a cover up over a child abuse scandal when the Labour Party split between Councillors following the former mayor Nick Tallentire (which called themselves "The Hackney New Labour Group") and councillors following the former council leader John McCafferty, who eventually got the backing of the national Labour party.
It happened. It seems that the Barratt Report claimed that there was no cover up. Hodge was part of it.


Hackney Council Criticized Over Paedophile Scandal
A Labour-run council has been severely criticised by an independent inquiry for its handling of a paedophile scandal.

The author of the report John Barratt voices his criticisms (Dur: 17")

The inquiry, headed by former Cambridgeshire County Council chief executive John Barrett, criticised the way Hackney Council in east London dealt with allegations that one of its social workers, who later died of an Aids-related illness, was abusing children in his care but said there was no political cover-up.


The report revealed widespread incompetence and mismanagement at Hackney in dealing with the Mark Trotter affair but it cleared the council of corruption.

The inquiry centred on allegations that Trotter, a social worker who worked for the authority from 1981 to 1993, abused children in his care.

image: Mark Trotter: believed to have abused children in his care]

Mark Trotter: believed to have abused children in his care

He was about to be arrested over allegations of sex abuse when he died of an Aids-related illness in 1995, aged 34.


Trotter is thought to have sexually abused at least twelve children during a fourteen-year career as a social worker in Liverpool and Hackney.


BBC correspondent Andrew Hosken reports (Dur 43")

The report is "highly critical" of the way the council carried out an internal investigation following Trotter's death and its handling of four complaints of sexual abuse of children in Hackney and Liverpool made against Trotter while working for the council.


It said Hackney's handling of these two matters amounted to "impropriety" but ruled out allegations that the Trotter affair had been covered up because he was a Labour activist.

The inquiry was triggered by allegations in the Evening Standard and caused a row within Hackney's ruling Labour group.

Seventeen Labour councillors subsequently resigned, and were later expelled, thus causing the party to lose control of Hackney Council in September 1996.

Hackney chief executive Tony Elliston answers questions about the Mark Trotter affair (2' 15")

Labour no longer has control of Hackney Council but the party's group leader, John McCafferty, said: "I am pleased the independent report has concluded there was no cover up. Hackney Labour was wrongly accused.


"This accusation has been completely rebutted by this independent inquiry."

The Liberal Democrats said while the report was good in places questions must be answered by the Labour Party about its handling of the affair.

It was claimed that Trotter, who was openly gay, had strong links with the then-ruling Labour group and stayed in his job despite being suspected of child abuse.
The BBC is an enthusiastic promoter of homosexuality for personal as well as political reasons. However they have told the truth more or less.


PCC Complaint In Re Trotter
Complainant Name:
Ms D Robson
Clauses Noted: 1, 3, 7
Publication: Evening Standard
Ms D Robson of London E5 complained that an article headlined "The council officer told her friend: Don't use Trotter as your babysitter. But the public was never warned" and a leading article headlined "The Shame of Hackney" published in the Evening Standard on January 21 1998 contained inaccuracies in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy), identified her in breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) and suggested that her child was a possible victim of sexual abuse in breach of Clause 7 (Children in sex cases) of the Code of Practice

The article followed publication of the Barratt Report into Hackney Council's inaction in dealing with a paedophile social worker, Mark Trotter. It identified the complainant as the woman highlighted in the report, but not named, who had received a warning not to use Trotter as a babysitter. The leading article included the complainant in a list of people which the paper thought should be called to account.

The complainant said that by identifying her the paper had intruded into her privacy and she thought that Clause 7 had been breached by suggesting that her child may have been sexually abused. She said that her inclusion in the pieces was not justified: she had not been a councillor at the time and she had not known either that the warning had not been extended to others or that no action was being taken by the Social Services department. Furthermore, it was anachronistic to criticize people about their dealings with paedophilia more than ten years ago as understanding about the subject had changed so much. She objected to the journalist asking her questions on the subject when she was with one of her young children.

The complainant also raised complaints about accuracy. She objected to a perceived implication in both pieces that she had acquiesced in political corruption in Hackney and that her lack of action after the warning meant that no action at all was taken over Mark Trotter. She added that the Barratt report had not ascribed blame to anyone for the affair and she thought that by criticizing named individuals the Barratt Report had been distorted by the paper.

The newspaper said that the Barratt inquiry was established in the first place largely as a result of the newspaper's own inquiries and that while there was no evidence of a cover-up the report did confirm incompetence, impropriety and a divisive political culture. It was a matter of legitimate public interest to identify the complainant as she was a former councillor (who was to become a councillor again after the warning) and a member of the local Labour Party who was in receipt of privileged information which had been denied to others. The article had made clear that the complainant was not a councillor at the time of the warning but this fact did not exempt her from her public responsibilities. In any case it was merely common sense to suggest that the complainant could have at least made enquiries about what the council was doing regarding Trotter. The editor stood by the leading article which he said accurately reflected the fact that the complainant had not explained why the warning was not extended to others: after all, the complainant had refused to comment to reporters when given the opportunity to do so. The article had not suggested that the complainant was corrupt and the editor denied that there was any implication that her child was a victim of abuse.

Not Upheld

It was not for the Commission to come to any view regarding the matters covered in the Barratt report. Indeed, any complaint that the report had been distorted would have been a matter for the author(s) of the report to make. The Commission's task was to determine whether the identification of the complainant, which had not been made in the report, was an invasion of her privacy, and whether the complainant had shown that the references to her were inaccurate or misleading.

The Commission noted that the newspaper had been closely involved in investigating matters relating to the subject of the Barratt report for a period of years. Although the report had apparently not found any evidence of a cover-up, it was clearly the newspaper's view, robustly expressed in the leading article, that nonetheless responsibility should be apportioned. The Commission noted that the Barratt report had mentioned the existence of an anonymous woman who had been warned not to use Mark Trotter as a babysitter and therefore placed the circumstances of the complainant's involvement in the case, if not the complainant's name, into the public domain. The Commission considered that there was a public interest in identifying the complainant as this woman, given her past responsibilities on the council and her close association with the political party which controlled the council at the time. The Commission noted that the complainant had been given an opportunity to comment on the story but that she had not wished to do so, and considered that the newspaper had fulfilled its obligations in putting the matter to her for a comment prior to publication. The Commission did not therefore find that it was inaccurate for the leading article to have said that the complainant had not explained why the information regarding Mark Trotter was not shared. With regard to the complaint under Clause 7 the Commission noted that the name, age, and sex of the child had not been given and neither had the article stated how many children the complainant had at the time that the warning was given. There had therefore been no breach of the Code which states that the child must not be identified.

The complaints were rejected.
So the Barratt Report existed in 1998.


Luke's Blog: It had to happen
"On 16 January 1998, your Council issued a press release entitled: "OUTCOME OF SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING TO DISCUSS BARRATT REPORT". It stated: ..."



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