THE first cross-party Parliamentary Group to represent victims of sexual abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre set up by a North-East MP went ahead this week.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group was set up and chaired by North West Durham MP, Richard Holden, whose constituency includes the detention centre.

Those attending the meeting included all Conservative MPs from County Durham and Darlington and senior Labour figures, including Baroness Armstrong, a previous MP for North West Durham who was selected to be vice-chair.

Kevin Hollinrake MP, and Andy McDonald, Labour MP for Middlesbrough, also attended and thanked Mr Holden for establishing the group, stressing its importance and relevance across the North-East.

Mr Holden said: “I am absolutely delighted that so many parliamentarians attended the first ever cross-house and cross-party APPG – what happened to young lads from our communities should never be able to happen again.

“I have already held meetings with victims of the abuse and the lawyers who are representing them, as well as Parliamentary colleagues and the Lord Chancellor and Ministers from the Ministry of Justice.

“The APPG I lead will seek to ensure that this work is expanded upon and that more victims have the ability and the space to come forward and speak about their experiences in a way that is appropriate for them, and make sure that they are able to receive the necessary support.”