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Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Friday, 9 November 2012

Is there a witch-hunt?

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The Guardian has published the name of a prominent Conservative politician in the 1980s, following allegations on the internet that he had been abusing children at the Bryn Estyn children's care home in north Wales.

The Guardian says he has been a victim of mistaken identity. But it could be argued that the damage to his reputation has already been done.

The Times journalist David Aaronovitch told Today presenter John Humphrys that, as far as can be evaluated, evidence of "powerful networks of well-connected paeodophiles... doesn't stack up".

But David Hencke, a freelance lobby journalist working in Westminster for Tribune and the ExaroNews website, said that he did not believe there is a "witch-hunt" against alleged child abusers.

"This has arisen because of the failure, particularly of the police and the authorities, to investigate these allegations in the first place," he explained.

"And this, with the development of the internet, has led to people's names being bandied about."


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