Alleged Tory paedophile’s ‘trial by Twitter’ opposed by No 10
Downing Street has warned against "trial by Twitter" after David Cameron was 'ambushed' with a list of alleged paedophiles earlier.
No 10 signalled its disapproval following the prime minister's appearance on ITV1's This Morning programme earlier, in which presenter Philip Schofield showed Cameron the list.
"There is a danger, if we're not careful, that this could turn into a sort of witch-hunt, particularly against people who are gay," Cameron said.
"I'm worried about the sort of thing you are doing right now – giving me a list of names that you've taken off the internet."
The move looks like backfiring on ITV, as Schofield inadvertently flashed the list to the camera on live television.
Conservative backbencher has written to Ofcom demanding to know whether ITV1 has breached broadcasting rules.
Downing Street repeated Cameron's call for people to go to the police if they have specific allegations, rather than attempting to "smear people" online.
"I would say to [Labour MP] Tom Watson and all these people who are quite rightly inquiring into all of this… go to the police," the prime minister said on the programme.
"The question for the government is if there's any evidence that investigations weren't conducted properly or if inquiries were held that didn't get to the bottom of things, then government has to act. That's exactly what we've done in the case of the north Wales situation."
Ministers continue to face criticism for not agreeing to an overarching inquiry into historic abuse allegations.
There are now nine inquiries into abuse allegations in north Wales and at the BBC, as well as further probes into child protection in Rotherham and Rochdale following recent cases.
Earlier today foreign secretary William Hague, who ordered the judge-led probe into child abuse at north Wales care homes, said it was of "huge importance" that the truth is eventually reached.
"If there's anything more to look at it must be looked at," he said.
"Really, there must be no stone unturned in these matters. So, I welcome what the home secretary [Theresa May] has announced and let's make sure that anything that can be discovered, any additional fact that can discovered is actually found."
May announced earlier this week that the director-general of the National Crime Agency will investigate the behaviour of police in north Wales, while Mrs Justice Julia Wendy Macur probes whether the Waterhouse inquiry ordered by Hague has proved inadequate.