A City of London priest is at the center of allegations of blackmail and clergy sexual abuse. Rev. William Campbell-Taylor (also known by the alias “Father William Taylor“), is a Church of England cleric at St Thomas’ Church in Hackney, London, who is also a Labour Party councilmember in London City Hall. Abuse survivors organizations in England reported in their press releases how Campbell-Taylor tried to use legal retribution to threaten a vulnerable male for talking publicly in the British Parliament in November 2014 about his allegations that the priest had asked him for a lewd act of oral sex. The video footage of the meeting in the House of Lords at which the abuse victim made his allegations is published on YouTube, and the conference participants included senior judges and attorneys, church leaders, survivors groups and heads of the UK government’s public inquiry into sex abuse.
But journalists who attended to cover the Court hearings have reported that over 20 witnesses have come forward to testify in Court about their own experiences of being deceived or harmed by Campbell-Taylor. One prominent Christian witness, Ian Burleigh, who is a former councilmember from the same City Ward of Portsoken, testified in writing on the public legal record of East London Magistrates Court how he had been similarly “betrayed” and states that while both he and Campbell-Taylor were serving officials of the City of London Corporation “William Campbell-Taylor by his own admission threatened me” and “was in a position to blackmail me.” Another Christian witness, Tanya Dempsey née Paton, testified in writing on the Court record about her experience of the cleric’s “secretive” and deceitful behavior with her. She testifies how deliberately “William sought [the victim] out alone and they left together.” Journalists at Court have reported how a third City of London councilmember who is also a priest described Campbell-Taylor’s conduct on the record as “evil”.
Campbell-Taylor denies the alleged abuse with the vulnerable male, and rejects any suggestion that he had any close personal relationship with the victim. But dozens of letters sent by the cleric to the victim have since come to light which are in submissions on the Court public record in which Campbell-Taylor signs off messages with kisses and “love, William” and “W x” or “yr brother Muffin”. The victim writes to Campbell-Taylor challenging him about “your sexuality and past experience that has wreaked havoc in our personal relationship” and asks about the time “you said [to me] ‘How about a b**w job then?'”. In response, the priest evades the question and strangely writes back the same day “you have been on my mind today because I know it is your birthday” and “I would like to be in a position to stand in solidarity in public with you as a friend” and again signs off “love William”.
The victim further referred to gifts given to him by Campbell-Taylor and emails sent by the priest to the victim which announce “I actually see you as a permanent feature of my life” and “I have various of the objects you have given me which I treasure”, as well as characteristic phrases used by the clergyman including about his having “a stirring in the loins”.
Campbell-Taylor discussed at length with his male victim his past romantic history with boys and men, and clearly writes to his victim “I don’t see sexuality in particularly binary terms”. Astonishingly, even after pressing a legal case to try to silence his victim, other third party eyewitnesses report in their written statements on the public legal record how Campbell-Taylor continued to seek out the vulnerable male and make multiple direct personal approaches to him.
Further witnesses report Campbell-Taylor’s known romantic relationships with both sexes and sightings at London’s gay establishments, and one Christian witness, Marianne Aston, testifies in writing to the Court how, “William was known to have had a non-platonic relationship with a man in the past”. A male contemporary from Campbell-Taylor’s days at the liberal seminary, Westcott House in Cambridge, England, writes about his dating history there, adding “I was definitely somewhat enamored of him – most people were in those days – he was stunning and charming.”
William Campbell-Taylor is currently married to Florida photographer, Kristin Perers, and is a prominent public figure and media spokesman on London and financial issues. He has starred as a celebrity in the film “The UK Gold” about the City of London.