The story alleges that Blair concealed his conviction by the expedient of using his middle names, "Charles Lynton".
It seems to me that it is a potentially hugely important issue.
The Child Abuse Inquiry seems to me to be the appropriate body to investigate whether there is any basis for these persistent and widespread rumours about Tony Blair.
The text of my formal submission to the Child Abuse Inquiry follows:
11th June 2015Child Abuse Inquiry[By email]
Allegations of a concealed “cottaging” conviction re Anthony Charles Lynton Blair
This letter is a formal submission to the Child Abuse Inquiry.
It relates to one of the “elephants in the room” which may be relevant to the Child Abuse Inquiry.
The term “elephant in the room” in this context is one I would tend to use to refer to rumours about alleged sexual offences by prominent figures which, in my experience at least, are difficult or impossible to trace to their source.
The allegations about Tony Blair
I was first told of the allegation/rumour that Tony Blair had a conviction for “cottaging” some years ago.
My recollection is that I asked my source where the information came from and he couldn’t remember.
I have also tried to research the provenance (or otherwise) of this matter on the Internet and ran into a morass of allegations/rumours that I found impossible to trace to a credible source.
A simple Google search for the terms “Tony Blair cottaging” will illustrate how widespread the rumours about Tony Blair’s (alleged) cottaging conviction are.
One version of the tale is here:
'He was charged and appeared in court at Bow Street Magistrates Court
for importunity in a public toilet with another male. He tried to getsexual favour from the other man; little did he know that the toilet wasbeing watched by police. Blair was fined Ł500, and walked away withnobody knowing who he really was as he used his middle names to coverwho he was. Charles Lynton is the name used, and his friends in courtgot him off with a fine, because he is one of them.'
In the ensuing discussion a “correction” was offered in the following terms:
Hi, don't want to seem a pedant but the fine was £50 which was quite normal for the offence. The aim was NOT to destroy someone but to teach them propriety!The individual importuned was a close protection officer who had him under surveilance I am given to understand.He did not appear in Court and was allowed to use a KNOWN pseudonym, often a style in such cases, at the time.The record is no longer in the books as I have checked in some detail!He did NOT receive special treatment at the time as he was very junior.I gather his conviction was never reported to the bar which was in fact a mandatory point of honour - who would expect honour from Charles Lynton!
The reference to a known pseudonym is something I find interesting. It reminds me of Sir Peter Hayman’s pseudonym in paedophile circles.
There is a suggestion that any conviction was in 1983 which seems to me to be unlikely. It seems to me more likely that a date in the 1970s perhaps around 1973 is more plausible, being the period after Blair had left Fettes but before he attended Oxford.
The Knox Cunningham connection
Some sources suggest close contact between Blair, while at Fettes College, and Sir Knox Cunningham, a Northern Ireland politician.
Cunningham appears to have been a Fettes College old boy who visited Fettes College while Blair was a pupil there. Sources indicate mention of this in John Rentoul’s biography of Blair.
The implication, warranted or otherwise, is that Sir Knox Cunningham may have had a relatioship with Blair, while Blair was a pupil at Fettes College.
Rumours suggest that Cunningham was a member of a homosexual paedophile circle in Northern Ireland, possibly including visits to Kincora.
Hatred of Blair
In my researches on this matter it is clear that some who refer to Blair’s alleged cottaging conviction have deep anger at Blair or, indeed, a deep hatred of him.
It is possible that such feelings might colour the interpretation of the reports about Blair’s (alleged) cottaging conviction.
My view of Blair
My view of Blair formed before I was aware of the allegations relating to the cottaging conviction.
For a number of years I have viewed Blair as a “terrorist” in the meaning of Section 40 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
In 2003, as I recall, I first reported Blair to the Metropolitan Police with respect to suspected offences contrary to Section 56 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
In 2010 I again reported Blair’s suspected Section 56 offences to the Metropolitan Police.
See my letter of 2nd February 2010 to Sir Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates here:
On the same date I raised Blair’s suspected terrorism offences with Sir John Chilcot.
Protection of Blair by the Police and others
In my view the evidence that the Iraq War was “terrorism” in the meaning of Section 1 of the Terrrorism Act 2000 is clear.
See, for example
Similarly I am of the firm opinion that Mr. Blair committed Section 56 offences with respect to his direction of British Military Terrorism in Iraq.
See, for example, my letter of 2nd February 2010 to Sir Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates and my letter of 2nd Februrary 2010 to Sir John Chilcot.
In my estimation both the named senior former Metropolitan Police Service officers and Sir John Chilcot have illegitimately protected Blair.
Later the perceived Police misconduct has successively been raised with the Metropolitan Police Authority, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (Deborah Glass and Graeme Thame) and Keith Vaz MP in his role as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
The perceived protection of Blair by the Police, the Chilcot Inquiry and others does not, so far as I’m aware relate directly to child abuse.
It does, in my estimation at least, serve to illustrate how the Police use various techniques illegitimately to protect powerul public figures. Whether that is an issue of interest to the Child Abuse Inquiry is a matter for the Inquiry to consider.
Important truth or scurrilous lie?
The key question which I suggest the Child Abuse Inquiry has a duty to resolve is whether or not the stories of Blair’s cottaging conviction reflect an important truth or constitute a scurrilous, if widespread, lie.
Statement to Police
I am willing, if the Child Abuse Inquiry considers it appropriate, to make a formal statement to the Police team appointed by the National Police Chiefs Council to assist the Child Abuse Inquiry.
With respect to the alleged cottaging conviction I am a “researcher” and therefore what I could usefully say to the Police may be limited.
With respect to the wider issue of the protection of Blair by Police etc I have extensive documentation of the sequence of events and would be willing to make copies of those documents available to the Police team.
Actions requestedI ask that this formal submission to the Child Abuse Inquiry is promptly acknowledged.
I ask that the Child Abuse Inquiry carefully considers whether it ought to investigate this matter, to determine whether there is any truth in the rumours about Mr. Blair’s past conduct.
(Dr) Andrew Watt