The developing case of the City of London priest and councilmember caught in an abuse row (that’s Brit for scandal) took a new turn as it emerged he had allegedly tried to blackmail a fellow City councilor while both were holding public office.
Rev. William Campbell-Taylor (also known by the alias “Father William Taylor“) is a Church of England cleric at St Thomas’ Church, Clapton Common in Hackney, London, who is also a councilmember in the ward of Portsoken, in London’s financial district. Another former councilor from the same ward, Ian Burleigh, has alleged in witness statements on the public legal record of East London Magistrates Court that while both were serving officials of the City of London Corporation, he had “been threatened by William Campbell Taylor” who “was in a position to blackmail me.” A third councilmember who is also a priest has described Campbell-Taylor’s conduct on the legal record as “evil”.
This development follows a vulnerable male alleging in the British parliament that William Campbell-Taylor, who has an openly bisexual history, had asked the vulnerable individual for a lewd act of fellatio. In a bizarre twist, Campbell-Taylor has since filed legal proceedings against the victim for naming him publicly, under an obscure provision in the law that revealing this embarrassing information caused Campbell-Taylor “distress and alarm”.
Because of the precedent this sets, several national campaigning groups representing survivors of clergy abuse have reported this case to the UK government’s public inquiry on abuse which is headed by the New Zealand judge, Justice Lowell Goddard. Of particular concern to activists is the influence of Campbell-Taylor as a police chaplain in pressing this legal retribution against his victim.
Without an equivalent to the First Amendment, rape and abuse victims in Britain do not have legal protection of speech to talk publicly about their abuse perpetrators or name them. An official in Campbell-Taylor’s London district said “there ought to be a wardmote (electors’ meeting) to discuss this scandal”.