Hollybrook abuse survivor Mo Simmons backed by Southampton MPs


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Hollybrook abuse survivor wants to take her fight to Parliament

A woman sexually abused in a children's home deserves to see an inquiry take place, MPs have said.

Mo Simmons, 80, spent two years at council-owned Hollybrook Children's Home in Southampton from 1951 and says she suffered "terrible abuse".

After she urged Southampton City Council to "cut the red tape", Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith shared his support.

Alan Whitehead, Southampton Test MP, has also pledged to help Mrs Simmons.

Mo Simmons previously told the BBC how she and her brothers endured 'terrible abuse' at Hollybrook Children's Home

The local authority has so far refused to accept responsibility or launch an inquiry because the allegations pre-date Southampton City Council becoming a unitary authority in 1997.

Leader of the council, Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry, told Mrs Simmons she had "courage" after she demanded justice at a full council meeting.

He told her: "While we don't have the legal powers to have an investigation we will do everything we can - as people first and as politicians and elected representatives across the chamber - to help you on your journey for justice."

Mrs Simmons said she was disappointed with the council's reaction to her speech and intends to take the issue to Parliament.

How does inquiry into historical child sexual abuse work?

Two Southampton MPs have confirmed they will help, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Royston Smith said: "An independent inquiry would be a suitable proposal. It's the least that Mo Simmons deserves."

Alan Whitehead added: "I will call Mo to offer my support and if Mo is in agreement, I will write to Hampshire County Council on her behalf. I will do all I can to assist Mo with this very painful and difficult case."

Mrs Simmons said she was yet to hear from the MPs but was grateful for their support.

A spokesperson for Southampton City Council said the authority would be in talks with Hampshire County Council following Mrs Simmons' speech.

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