CHILD abuse survivors descended on Parliament yesterday to smash the “wall of silence” over decades of abuse in Britain.
Brave victims laid wreaths of white flowers at Old Palace Yard as they spoke out about sex attacks and assaults.
And families losing faith in the government’s response called for its inquiry to be given real powers to bring secret VIP paedophiles to justice.
Social worker and whistleblower Dr Liz Davies was clear that “we’re looking at an Establishment cover-up going right back to the ’40s.”
She said: “Children who’ve been assaulted, sexually harmed, murdered, all in the context of major paedophile networks that got right to the top of this society.
“That is why we want justice and healing for survivors, as well as to protect children now.”
White flowers were laid among photos, cards and tributes to children who were abused and murdered.
A message strapped to another bunch of flowers read: “For the victims of the Westminster paedophile ring.”
Former Lib Dem MP for Rochdale Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, is so far the most high-profile political figure to be named as a paedophile.
But one Sunday newspaper this week claimed that a top Tory MP murdered a 15-year-old girl at a party put on by a Westminster paedophile gang.
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, who penned a book which helped expose Smith, said it was time for prosecutions.
Mr Danczuk said: “Let’s work together to make sure we get a successful inquiry — but also that we get prosecutions for those who’ve raped and abused children.”
The government’s child abuse inquiry has struggled to gain the confidence of victims after two mooted chairs were axed because of their close Establishment links.
This week its leaderless panel is launching its latest wave of evidence-gathering meetings with survivors.
Some came forward to tell their heartbreaking personal testimonies in public at yesterday’s vigil.
Among them was 48-year-old Esther Grace, who said: “I was abused over a long period of time and it was covered up.
“I was wrongly diagnosed for many years with schizophrenia because they wouldn’t listen to me.
“We’ve got to stand up and be counted and not cover up this.”
After hearing their harrowing stories, Rotherham MP Sarah Champion told the victims: “There’s only one thing I want to say — I’m sorry.
“I’m sorry that this happened to you. I’m sorry that you weren’t heard and I’m really, really sorry that the perpetrators are still out there.
“I can guarantee to you that my colleagues are listening to you now.”
Ms Champion has campaigned to win justice for some of the 1,400 children abused in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
Ending a minute’s silence, she added: “You’ve been silent for too long and today you’re going to have your voices heard.”
The White Flowers campaign is calling for the inquiry to have a “truly independent” chair and have a special police team to investigate evidence raised.
A Home Office spokeswoman said Theresa May was “absolutely committed” to ensuring that the inquiry won the confidence of survivors.
The Home Secretary is currently “considering options” for giving the panel statutory powers forcing people to testify, the spokeswoman added.