Police investigating child rape allegation against ex-Labour peer and Commons speaker

Nick Sommerland — Mirror July 18, 2014

Viscount Tonypandy

Viscount Tonypandy

A claim that Labour peer Viscount Tonypandy raped a nine-year-old boy is being investigated by detectives.

The alleged victim said he was abused at home in the late-1960s and early-1970s by the politician who had befriended his foster parents.

The peer, then still known as George Thomas, was a long-standing Speaker of the House of Commons.

Viscount Tonypandy, a teacher before becoming an MP in Cardiff, also had links to the Royal Family.

His alleged victim, now aged 55, said: “I was raped by George Thomas in Cardiff. I was about nine.

“He spent a lot of time at my house as my parents were good friends with him. Things started small but then got a lot worse. It has been with me all my life.”

He said the alleged abuse was also carried out at another address in the city.

Methodist lay preacher Viscount Tonypandy served in Harold Wilson’s government as Secretary of State for Wales from 1968 to 1970.

He enjoyed greater prominence and popularity as the Speaker, a position he held between 1976 and 1983. He died in 1997.

The alleged victim, now living in Australia, said his foster parents were Labour Party supporters. He added: “We went on many campaigns for Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan and George Thomas.”

He said he had to report the rape claim to South Wales police on two occasions, adding that he was disappointed by the response from officers.

Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Holland said: “We were made aware of these ­allegations in April 2013 and have attempted to get in touch with the victim. Unfortunately incorrect contact information was used. As a result we failed to make contact.

“We have since spoken to the victim, apologised for the delay and are investigating his claims. This delay was unacceptable and we have referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.”

The Government is probing claims the Establishment covered up ­paedophilia for decades.

Viscount Tonypandy, who gave a reading at the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981, was an MP between 1945 and 1983.

His friend, the late Labour MP Leo Abse, revealed in 2001 that the peer had been blackmailed by people threatening to expose him as gay.

Mr Abse said: “He was living at a time when any overt expression of his homosexuality could have led to utter personal disaster.”

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