Labour deputy leader Tom Watson ‘urged woman who claimed to have been raped by MPs as part of VIP sex ring to name names during meeting in his office’
- Tom Watson interviewed rape accuser Esther Baker in Westminster in 2015
- Labour deputy was only interested in getting names, abuse campaigner says
- Mr Watson ‘put pressure’ on Ms Baker despite her being an alleged rape survivor
- Significant doubts have since been raised about her credibility
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has been accused of putting an alleged child sex victim under pressure to ‘name names’ of politicians involved in a fictitious VIP paedophile ring, despite significant doubts over her credibility.
A respected child abuse campaigner claims Mr Watson pushed Esther Baker into identifying alleged high-profile paedophiles during a meeting at his Westminster office.
Describing Mr Watson’s conduct during the two-hour meeting, Phil Lafferty, chairman of the support group Voicing CSA, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I remember it absolutely clearly like it was yesterday.
Tom Watson interviewed VIP rape ring accuser Esther Baker in his Westminster office for two hours in November 2015, child abuse campaigner says
‘Watson was only interested in pressing Esther to name names. She did bring up [the late Labour peer Lord] Janner, Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square, all things that had already been in the newspapers by then.’
Ms Baker alleged in a series of TV interviews in early 2015 that she had been raped by a MP when she was a child, prompting Mr Watson to call for a comprehensive police investigation.
Later that year, Ms Baker made fresh claims that she had been taken to Dolphin Square, an apartment block popular with politicians near the Palace of Westminster, where she had been sexually abused.
Similar allegations had been made by a man called ‘Nick’ – later exposed as fantasist Carl Beech – the previous year.
Ms Baker also falsely claimed that she had been raped by a group of men, including the then Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who was questioned by police but exonerated.
In October 2015, The Sunday Times revealed that Ms Baker had undergone a controversial therapy which experts feared could generate false memories.
Mr Watson pressured Ms Baker to name names despite there being significant doubts about her credibility, it has been claimed
Despite that, Mr Lafferty says a meeting with Ms Baker and Mr Watson was held the following month, although the Labour MP said last night it had taken place in August that year.
Mr Watson faces questions over why he gave such unstinting support to Beech, who was jailed for 18 years in July for fabricating abuse claims. Detectives are now investigating if Ms Baker lied to police.
Last night, Mr Hemming said: ‘Tom Watson needs to come clean about his involvement with Esther Baker. If he was egging her on then that warrants an urgent investigation by Labour.’
Ms Baker said she did not recall being asked to ‘name names’ by Mr Watson at the meeting, adding: ‘Phil Lafferty is just seeking attention.’
Sources close to Mr Watson denied pressuring Ms Baker. His spokesman said: ‘After Tom raised the issue of historic child sexual abuse in Parliament, many survivors of abuse contacted him. It was his duty to respond.’
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