Boris Johnson's former prep school had a 'regime of sexual abuse', hearing told

Boris Johnson's former school had a "regime of sexual abuse", a hearing was told. (Geograph.org.uk)

Boris Johnson’s former prep school had a “regime of sexual abuse” which was not reported to authorities, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has heard.

Ashdown House in Forest Row, East Sussex, had an environment where “sexual touching was seen as acceptable”, from around 1969, the hearing was told.

Mr Johnson attended the school in 1975 when he would have been around ten - six years after the first allegations of sexual abuse were made.

Lead counsel Fiona Scolding QC explained it was a “feeder school for the most significant public schools such as Eton” and with past pupils including “the current Prime Minister”.

Ms Scolding said abuse was disclosed at the time by parents, but that the police were not informed.

Ms Scolding told the inquiry: “The regime at the school has been described in the [victims’] accounts as ‘Spartan and unforgiving’.

“The boys who were abused identified a sexualised culture created by the abuse of staff against pupils.

Mr Johnson attended the school in 1975 when he would have been around ten - six years after the first allegations of sexual abuse were made. (Getty Images)

“It was an environment where sexual touching was seen as acceptable and normal.”

Allegations of sexual abuse had been made against at least seven Ashdown House staff, involving 15 complainants.

Two of those staff have since died and one cannot be found, she said.

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One man, named Martin Haigh, who taught at the school between 1973 and 1975, is the only person to have been convicted.

Ms Scolding said: “Haigh admitted sexually abusing three boys to the [then] headteacher and left under a cloud in 1975.”

But she said nobody thought to contact the police or refer the matter to the Department for Education.

Ashdown House is a boarding and day school and now caters for boys and girls aged from five to 13.