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Minister to be quizzed over Quarrier's inquiry delay

Daily Telegraph, 2004

THE government minister behind a decision not to hold an inquiry into child abuse claims at Quarrier's care homes is to be quizzed by a parliamentary committee.

Education Minister Peter Peacock, who is also responsible for social work, has been ordered to appear before the Scottish Parliament's petition committee.

They want to find out why it took two him years to reach a decision not to hold an inquiry.

Mr Peacock decided not to examine the physical and sexual abuse claims earlier this month, saying that it would re-open old wounds for the victims.

He also said it would undermine public confidence in the childcare system and would not lead to any changes being made.

He was since apologised to the committee for the "unacceptable delay", but members now want to grill him in person.

Quarrier's has been at the centre of a child abuse storm after many former residents came forward with horrific tales of their treatment at the hands of carers.

A number of former carers have faced legal proceedings with four men being convicted in cases stretching back to the 60s.

Former Quarrier's resident David Whelan, whose abuser was jailed welcomed the news that Mr Peacock was to face the petitions committee.

He said: "There should be a public inquiry, and I have written to the clerk of the petitions committee to ask if I can make a representation at the meeting when Mr Peacock appears before them.

"The Quarriers of today should welcome a public inquiry because it would allow them to draw a line under the situation and let everyone move on."

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