Liverpool-born MP Nadine Dorries: ‘I was abused by Halewood vicar when I was nine’
Liverpool-born Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has alleged she was abused by an Anglican vicar as a child.
The former I’m a Celebrity contestant, who grew up in a working-class family in Liverpool, detailed the allegations after revealing stories of child sexual abuse described in her novels are based on her own experience.
Ms Dorries alleged she was abused by Anglican vicar and family friend Reverend William Cameron when she was nine.
He was better known to parishioners by his middle name James and made priest-in-charge at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Halewood in 1966 shortly before the abuse began, she told the Mail on Sunday.
The Diocese of Liverpool today vowed the allegations would be “thoroughly, appropriately and sensitively investigated”.
Ms Dorries, who never went to the police, claims the abuse began when she was summoned to the vicarage on the pretence of looking at his stamp collection.
Rev Cameron, who has since died, is alleged to have shown her a Playboy magazine as well as photos of him and his wife having sex.
The Mid-Bedfordshire MP claimed he also used to visit her family home and perform sex acts near her when she was in bed.
She said: “It has taken me 49 years to talk about it.
“It has been slowly coming out and each time I say the words it gets a bit easier.
“My childhood was stolen from me. I was not an innocent girl enjoying things in the way other children were.
“From a young age I was made to be different and ashamed. Even now, I fear that people will say it was me and that I must have done something wrong, that there was bad in me that made other men do that, that I was a child harlot.
“I didn’t know what sex was – I was only nine. But I remember thinking it was bad and wrong and I felt filled with shame.”
Ms Dorries added that she wished she’d had the courage to speak up at the time, but said: “like many victims I was too terrified”.
The MP, who has until now claimed her books are fictitious, said she found healing in writing the thinly-veiled accounts.
The third of Ms Dorries’ books The Ballymara Road – in which she uses the Rev Cameron’s real name in full – came out last week and a fourth will be published in December.
Bishop Paul Butler, on behalf of the Church of England, said: “I want to express my deep sorrow to Nadine Dorries. It is a matter of deep regret and shame that abuse can and has happened in the Church. There are no excuses for this.
“We will also be working with statutory authorities and others in Liverpool to carry out a full investigation.
“In the past fifty years we have made wide reaching changes to all aspects of our safeguarding policies and procedures. There is no room for complacency. We remain committed to implementing the highest standards across our churches.
“We will also be working with the forthcoming public enquiry – called for by the church and others – chaired by Lord Justice Goddard.
“I would urge anyone who may have any information relating to this matter to contact the police or other statutory authorities.”
A spokesman for the Diocese of Liverpool said: “Any survivor of abuse has been through a traumatic experience and have our deepest sympathies. As a diocese we take our responsibilities to protect individuals from abuse incredibly seriously and follow up fully any reports or allegations whether current or historic. The first we heard of Nadine Dorries’ allegations was via the Mail on Sunday.
“We have had our records independently checked twice in recent years and have had no report of an allegation being made. However we can assure Nadine and anyone else who makes an allegation about current or historic abuse that we will make sure that these are thoroughly, appropriately and sensitively investigated.”