Great Britain

Tom Watson must never set foot in the Lords after promoting Carl Beech’s baseless lies which wrecked innocent lives

Shun Watson

DISGRACED by the Westminster child abuse inquiry, Lib Dem veteran David Steel has quit the Lords. Tom Watson, for the same reason, must never set foot there.

The most notable of yesterday’s findings was that the ex-Labour MP’s lurid paedophile allegations, the very basis for the six-year probe, were wholly false.

Watson said he knew of “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No10”. It was fiction. There was no such intelligence, nor any evidence of a cover-up.

Watson simply promoted a baseless conspiracy theory — a pack of lies with which he and fantasist Carl Beech, now jailed, went on to wreck innocent lives.

Ex-Liberal leader Steel, for his part, has rightly walked the plank. In 1979 he turned a blind eye to MP Cyril Smith’s sex attacks on boys at children’s homes.

But how can Watson still be considered as a NEW peer by the Lords Appointments Commission which vets nominees? If it fears ex-Speaker Bercow will bring the House into disrepute it must have concerns over Watson too.

This long inquiry, costing taxpayers £120million, may have unearthed isolated scandals from a murkier age half a lifetime ago. But its premise was bogus.

It will only add to the outrage if Watson is rewarded for it with a lifetime of lucrative comfort in the Lords.

War on trolls

IT is vital that free speech triumphs over the “woke” thought police who shut down opponents, or worse.

For far too long, social justice warriors have succeeded in silencing anyone to the right of Jeremy Corbyn — in schools, universities and across social media.

Their hate-filled campaigns extend to having political foes stripped of their livelihoods, as with writer Toby Young.

Brain-dead Twitter lefties are even ­trying to bankrupt Yorkshire Tea because the Tory Chancellor drinks it.

Headmistress Katharine Birbalsingh writes opposite how crucial it is to push back — a battle Young’s new Free Speech Union is taking on. But there is another way to neuter these fascists of the Left.

It’s for employers, universities and schools to grow a spine, to refuse to buckle to them, to prioritise open debate and to back staff wherever possible.

The trolls are aggressive and noisy. But, as Labour’s crushing election defeat proves, they repel most of Britain.

Aid insanity

HERE’S a contradiction at the heart of the sweeping new review of defence, ­foreign policy, security and aid.

We like its revolutionary zeal. Why not, then, ditch our insane pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid? Taxpayers loathe it, when there is so much to fix here at home.

Why would Boris Johnson set it in stone?

Tom Watson steps down as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and as an MP for West Bromwich