9 Nov 2012

British PM warns against gay witch-hunt

9:52 pm on 9 November 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron says he fears a witch-hunt against gay people as investigations are launched into allegations of child abuse by Conservative politicians.

Mr Cameron made the comments after appearing on a live daytime television show in Britain on Thursday where he was handed a piece of paper by presenter Philip Schofield.

It contained a list of names of those alleged to have carried out the abuse which Mr Schofield said he had found on the internet after a three-minute search.

Mr Cameron did not look at the card he was handed, the BBC reports.

His office later said the Prime Minister objected to online gossip associating homosexuality with paedophilia and said it was important that people's reputations were not unnecessarily smeared.

Earlier this week, David Cameron ordered an investigation after a victim of child sexual abuse in Wales said a prominent Conservative political figure had abused him during the 1970s and 80s, Radio New Zealand's correspondent in London reports.

The Conservative Party has confirmed it is investigating reports from a victim linking one of Margaret Thatcher's former close aides to the scandal.

Allegations about child sex abuse have spiralled since revelations about the activities of Sir Jimmy Saville surfaced. Police believe the former BBC TV presenter, who died last year aged 84, could have abused as many as 300 girls and women over a 40-year period.

Meanwhile, Sir Jimmy's former chauffeur and a second man have been arrested over historic rape allegations not connected to the current inquiry.

Police in Manchester say a 71-year-old, understood to be Sir Jimmy's friend Ray Teret, and a 61-year-old have been arrested in Cheshire. The arrests follow three separate allegations of sexual abuse.