How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring: N

How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring: N

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:20 am

How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring: Now that most of the major figures are dead, the truth is emerging about the systematic sexual abuse of children by members of the British government.
by Nico Hines
03.06.15 12:00 AM ET

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY THE DAILY BEAST

LONDON — A newspaper editor was handed startling evidence that Britain’s top law enforcement official knew there was a VIP pedophile network in Westminster, at the heart of the British government. What happened next in the summer of 1984 helps to explain how shocking allegations of rape and murder against some of the country’s most powerful men went unchecked for decades.

Less than 24 hours after starting to inquire about the dossier presented to him by a senior Labour Party politician, the editor was confronted in his office by a furious member of parliament who threatened him and demanded the documents. “He was frothing at the mouth and really shouting and spitting in my face,” Don Hale told The Daily Beast. “He was straight at me like a raging lion; he was ready to knock me through the wall.”

Despite the MP’s explosive intervention, Hale refused to hand over the papers which appeared to show that Leon Brittan, Margaret Thatcher’s Home Secretary, was fully aware of a pedophile network that included top politicians.

The editor’s resistance was futile; the following morning, police officers from the counter-terror and intelligence unit known as Special Branch burst into the newspaper office, seized the material and threatened to have Hale arrested if he ever reported what had been found.

More than 30 years later, an inquiry into allegations of child sex abuse rings, murder, and cover-ups has been launched by the British government after Scotland Yard detectives said they believed statements by victims who claimed they were systematically abused as young boys at
sex abuse parties attended by judges, politicians, intelligence officers, and staff at the royal palaces.

In 1983, a controversial MP, Geoffrey Dickens, had made a series of incendiary claims about active pedophiles in the corridors of power. He handed a file containing the names of alleged perpetrators to Leon Brittan; publicly the authorities shrugged off the claims and no trial or prosecution would follow. The dossier mysteriously disappeared.

Decades later, Brittan claimed he had simply handed the papers to his subordinates to investigate and heard no more about it. Last year, he was forced to clarify his statement when it emerged that he had later written to Dickens to say the initial investigation had been deemed “worth pursuing” by investigators.


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The Baroness Castle of Blackburn


It is now claimed that confidential Home Office papers collated by Baroness Castle of Blackburn and passed to Don Hale, editor of her local newspaper, the Bury Messenger, claimed that Brittan had played an active role in overseeing the investigation into the pedophile network. “Leon Brittan was mentioned in everything you picked up, his fingerprints were over everything, he was the instigator,” Hale said. “He really had his finger on the pulse, he wanted to know everything about it; all the documents were cc’d back to Leon Brittan or it was an instruction directly from Leon Brittan.”

Brittan, a protégé of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, had been promoted to Home Secretary at the age of 43
, making him the youngest person to preside over Britain’s domestic law enforcement and national security apparatus since Winston Churchill before the First World War.

Brittan, who died in January, has been accused of raping a woman and sexually abusing boys. He denied the allegations and was never charged, although police investigations have continued after his death.

Baroness Castle, then Barbara Castle, a Labour member of the European parliament, told Hale she did not trust Brittan to investigate the allegations thoroughly. “Barbara never said he was a pedophile, she was just very, very hostile about him. ‘He’s the last person you want this to go to,’ she said, which inferred that he was somehow involved,” Hale explained.

Worried about the integrity of the Home Office investigation, Castle had tried to interest the major newspapers in the classified documents but she turned to Hale when they rejected her overtures. “She was saying, ‘I’ve been everywhere else, I’ve been to the nationals, nobody would touch it with a barge pole, but what do you think?’” Hale recalled. “As a journalist of course I was interested.”

Great Britain’s notoriously tough libel laws insured that obviously he couldn’t repeat the allegations included in the Home Office papers that about 16 MPs and members of the House of Lords, and 30 high-profile figures from the Church of England, private schools, and big business, were members of, and advocates for, the Paedophile Information Exchange. The shadowy group, which operated partly in the open, campaigned for the age of consent to be abolished and incest to be legalized. It also allowed pedophiles to send each other secure mail and to meet in person.


Instead, Hale planned to run a story explaining that the Home Office was actively investigating these men and repeat some of the concerns voiced to him by Castle, who died in 2002. He set about contacting some of the men named in the papers, and the Home Office, for their response. The very next morning he was surprised to see the 400-pound figure of Cyril Smith, the Liberal Party MP for nearby Rochdale, arrive at the office. “I’d interviewed him probably four times, and when he came in I was like, ‘Oh, hello, Cyril.’ And he was, ‘Never mind all that.’ And he was straight at me,” Hale said.

“He said to me quite clearly, ‘I know who’s given you this, it’s Barbara Castle.’ I wouldn’t say who it was, but it was pretty obvious he knew. He’s a hell of a sized guy, he’s over six feet tall and he’s huge; took up three seats. He’s not a guy you could deal with easily, he was a horror.”

Hale managed to stonewall Smith but the following morning, he had more visitors. “That’s when Special Branch turned up,” he said.


Three vehicles pulled up to the newspaper offices and about 15 men barged inside. Two pushed him up against a wall and brandished a search warrant and something they described as a “D-notice.” The D-notice system was established in 1912 and was supposed to be used on very rare occasions when national security could be threatened by a news story.

The rest of the men were searching for the files, which they described as stolen, confidential Home Office papers. “These bully boys come storming in, they said, ‘We’re not here to negotiate. Hand them over or we’ll arrest you now.’ I couldn’t argue, because as soon as you opened the files it had got ‘Not to be removed’, ‘Confidential’ and ‘For your eyes only’—all these sort of things on them. I wouldn’t have had a hope in hell legally. I would have ended up in prison and the story would have gone nowhere,” he said.

The story went nowhere for a generation.

A new breed of backbench politician began to reopen these issues in the last couple of years. Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale since 2010, focused on one of his parliamentary predecessors. In a book published last year, he revealed that Sir Cyril Smith, the man who “had steam coming out of his ears” as he remonstrated with Don Hale, was himself allegedly a predatory pedophile with more than 140 complaints filed against him. Throughout his life he had been protected from prosecution.

Among the retired police officers Danczuk interviewed, one recalled the time Special Branch officers forbade them from asking a victim about Smith. Others remembered the day Smith was allowed to walk out of a police station without charge despite indecent images being found in his car after an unexplained telephone call from London.

It wasn’t just Special Branch that seemed keen to keep MPs out of the clutches of the law. In a candid interview for the BBC in 1995, Tim Fortescue, a former Conservative Party chief whip, described the grubby calculations routinely applied within elite political circles:



“Anyone with any sense who was in trouble would come to the whips and tell them the truth, and say now, ‘I’m in a jam, can you help?’ It might be debt, it might be a scandal involving small boys, or any kind of scandal which a member seemed likely to be mixed up in, they’d come and ask if we could help. And if we could, we did. We would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points. That sounds a pretty nasty reason but one of the reasons is, if we can get a chap out of trouble, he’ll do as we ask forever more.”


Fortescue’s callous words could have come directly from the script of House of Cards, the original British version of which was first broadcast in 1990.

There is growing evidence that MI5 and MI6, Britain’s security services, took a similar view. MI5 is alleged to have repeatedly blocked investigations into a sex abuse ring at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland in order to protect its intelligence-gathering operation.

The longtime deputy director of MI6, and former High Commissioner in Canada, Peter Hayman was himself allegedly a pedophile, and was ultimately named as such in parliament by Geoffrey Dickens. Hayman had been caught with explicit material in 1978 but no charge was brought. Secret files discovered at the National Archives this year revealed that the attorney general at the time believed it wasn’t in the public interest for Hayman to be prosecuted. Prime Minister Thatcher ordered his depravity to be concealed from the public.

Thatcher must also have known about the allegations against her Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, because 1984’s most explosive gossip had appeared on the pages of the scurrilous Private Eye newspaper. Her bodyguard Barry Strevens now says he personally warned her that another of her most trusted lieutenants, Sir Peter Morrison, had also abused underage boys. She appointed Morrison to run her 1990 re-election campaign regardless.


Time and again crimes were reported but voices from above silenced the complaints before they came to court. Carl, who does not wish to give his second name, told The Daily Beast that this culture of secrecy, which had apparently paralyzed the British legal system, helped to scare off victims who wanted to report their powerful abusers.

Carl was abused by a pedophile ring from the age of 7, and the emotional and physical torture went on for nine years. Some of his attackers, he says, were men with influence and authority.
“The authority is not what stops people from speaking out, it’s the fear that is instilled by these people,” he said. “It appears the cover-ups did happen and it makes survivors very wary because you don’t know who you can have confidence in to report.”

One of the people who dedicated their lives to amplifying the voices of the victims, trying to ensure the powerful would be held to account, was Liz Davies. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, she was a social worker in Islington, North London, with an unusual problem: Teenage boys, usually so reluctant to seek help, would line up outside her office on Hornsey Road waiting to come inside.

She would later discover that the international office of the Paedophile Information Exchange was just a few hundred yards from her desk, and her patch was home to a host of prolific child attackers linked into a network of powerful abuse rings that stretched from Westminster to Northern Ireland, Wales, and the island of Jersey in the Channel.

In 1990, she raised concerns at a local council meeting that a large number of boys in the area were showing signs of abuse. She claimed that Margaret Hodge, then leader of Islington council and later the Minister for Children under Tony Blair, ignored her warnings. It was 2014 before Hodge would apologize for her “shameful naivety” in failing to properly investigate the claims of abuse. She is now chair of the Public Accounts Committee, which is responsible for oversight of all government spending.

Determined to continue her own investigation into the abuse, Davies began working with a colleague in the police force to gather more evidence. “We started interviewing a lot of the boys. With this being a small area, I knew them, I knew their families, I’d helped their parents, so I wasn’t seen as a bad person,” she told The Daily Beast. “They didn’t like the police because they were always nicking them for things but I would get them to speak to the police officer.”

They started putting maps up around the office, linking the boys, listing those affected and those suspected of abusing them. “We were breaking a lot of ground,” she said.

Then came a call from the regional headquarters. Davies and her boss, and her police counterpart and his boss were summoned for a meeting. “We were both told to drop all our investigations, that we had no evidence and we had no right to be interviewing the boys,” she said.

It was a heartbreaking moment, but this mini-abuse fighting team vowed to continue their work. “We made an agreement that we would carry on under the radar and that’s what we did,” she said.

In 1991, their investigations led to the conviction of a fire official called Roy Caterer. When police officers raided his home they found exactly what her boys had described, along with albums and albums of indecent photos.


Davies thought her work would finally be taken seriously by the authorities; she was wrong.

She had amassed evidence of abuse perpetrated against 61 victims, but she claims council officials continued to tell her to stop causing trouble. A year later she finally quit social services when she says she discovered that the boys she had been trying to save were being sent back into the Islington care home system only to suffer yet more sexual abuse. “I was networking these children into another network which was running within the care homes. I was handing over the most vulnerable, sexually exploited children to more pedophiles,” she said. “I have to live with that.”

Davies took a suitcase stuffed with evidence, including graphic photographs, to the Metropolitan Police. She said the well-intentioned superintendent looked at her haul and mournfully confessed that powerful figures still controlled what might be exposed. “I won’t be able to investigate here at Scotland Yard,” he said.
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Re: How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Rin

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:07 am

MI5 accused of covering up sexual abuse at boys’ home: Court case to address alleged cover-up of British state involvement at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland
by Vikram Dodd and Richard Norton-Taylor
February 15, 2015

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Gary Hoy, an alleged victim at the Kincora home, says the security services should not be allowed to hide the facts. Photograph: Colm O’Reilly/Sunday Life

MI5 is facing allegations it was complicit in the sexual abuse of children, the high court in Northern Ireland will hear on Tuesday.

Victims of the abuse are taking legal action to force a full independent inquiry with the power to compel witnesses to testify and the security service to hand over documents.

The case, in Belfast, is the first in court over the alleged cover-up of British state involvement at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. It is also the first of the recent sex abuse cases allegedly tying in the British state directly. Victims allege that the cover-up over Kincora has lasted decades.

The victims want the claims of state collusion investigated by an inquiry with full powers, such as the one set up into other sex abuse scandals chaired by the New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard.

Amnesty International branded Kincora “one of the biggest scandals of our age” and backed the victims’ calls for an inquiry with full powers: “There are longstanding claims that MI5 blocked one or more police investigations into Kincora in the 1970s in order to protect its own intelligence-gathering operation, a terrible indictment which raises the spectre of countless vulnerable boys having faced further years of brutal abuse.

“It’s only Justice Goddard’s inquiry that will be able to ensure that evidence doesn’t remain hidden in Whitehall filing cabinets and that even senior politicians will have to attend the inquiry.”

Children are alleged to have suffered sustained sexual abuse after being taken from the east Belfast children’s home, run by a member of a Protestant paramilitary organisation, to be offered to men.

Lawyers for the victims will argue in court that “there is credible evidence (and it is therefore arguable) that the security forces and security services were aware of the abuse, permitted it to continue and colluded in protecting the individuals involved from investigation or prosecution”, according to papers lodged with the Belfast high court.


One alleged victim, Gary Hoy, said in a sworn affidavit seen by the Guardian: “If we had had a proper inquiry in the 1980s then I wouldn’t have to relive this again today. MI5 and MI6 cannot be allowed to hide things, and I believe everything needs to be brought out into the open. I find it heart-wrenching that there were security men could have been behind the abuse or involved in it … Because they were in positions of authority or supposed to be protecting the state they get away with it.”

Hoy was placed in Kincora with his younger brother in the 1970s. He says the abuse left him broken as an adult.

At the court case this week, lawyers for Hoy will state that “he (and other individuals) suffered abuse whilst in the care of Kincora boys’ home which would come within the definition of torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment as defined under article 3 of the ECHR [European convention on human rights]”.


Two former British military officials say a full inquiry with proper powers should take place. One says MI5 was complicit in the abuses; another says he reported it to MI5 but no action was taken.

Colin Wallace, a former army information officer in Northern Ireland, said: “There is now irrefutable evidence that previous inquiries were deliberately engineered or manipulated to mislead parliament by concealing the role of government agencies in covering up the abuses.”

The demand for an inquiry with full powers was supported last week by parliament’s home affairs committee.

The government wants the allegations covered by a different inquiry which lacks the powers to compel MI5 to hand over documents and cannot compel witnesses to testify. The government’s preferred option will not fund lawyers for the victims.

Three men were jailed for their part in abuse at Kincora in 1981, but attempts to establish the truth about British state involvement have been blocked. It has persistently been alleged that William McGrath, Kincora’s housemaster and the leader of an extreme evangelical Protestant group called Tara, was an informant for British intelligence. McGrath was jailed for sexual offences in 1981 and is now dead.

There have been limited inquiries into Kincora, but officers of the former Royal Ulster Constabulary, army intelligence officers, a former Northern Ireland ombudsman, and the judges conducting those earlier inquiries all said the truth about what went on there – and why it was allowed to continue for so many years – had been suppressed.

RUC officers were repeatedly refused permission in the 1980s to interview a senior MI5 official about the affair.

The Home Office, the government department responsible for MI5, declined to say if any intelligence official had ever even been questioned about the claims. It also declined to confirm or deny if the allegations of MI5 complicity in the abuse of children were true or a maligning of the security service’s reputation.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The government is cooperating fully with all investigations into allegations relating to the Kincora boys’ home. It is not appropriate to comment further while these investigations are under way.”

In his affidavit, Hoy said: “Joe Mains, who was jailed for offences in the 1980s, he had a room in a [portable building]. His door was always closed, and I remember well-dressed men used to go in with children and the door was locked. Joe Mains took me to a house in Four Winds and abused me, and a man called Semple [also convicted] took me to a house in the Fortwilliam area and abused me.”

Lawyers acting for Hoy and other alleged victims want judges to declare the government’s planned inquiry is inadequate. They are seeking leave to judicially review the government’s decision.

The allegations of security service complicity in the abuses at Kincora have been reported by news organisations in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic for decades.

Kevin Winters, the solicitor for Hoy and other victims of Kincora, said they viewed the government’s proposed inquiry as offering little hope of delivering the justice they had waited so long for: “They see this as a continuation of the cover-up that has existed for decades. They deserve full closure and justice.”

The allegations of British state complicity in the abuse of children initially appeared to be a conspiracy theory. But detectives who investigated Kincora in the 1980s said at least one Tory MP visited the home at the time boys were being sexually abused there. Brian Gemmell, a former army intelligence officer, has said he was warned off his investigations into Kincora by an MI5 officer.

Among the first to accuse the Ministry of Defence and MI5 of a cover-up was the former army information officer Wallace, who was himself the victim of dirty tricks, and subsequently left the MoD.

In 1980, as more people began to take notice of his claims about Kincora, Wallace was arrested and convicted of manslaughter. He spent six years in jail amid suggestions he had been framed. His conviction for manslaughter was quashed in 1996 in the light of fresh forensic evidence and shortcomings at his trial. In 1990, Margaret Thatcher was forced to admit that her government had deceived parliament and the public about Wallace’s role.

An independent investigation by David Calcutt QC had found that members of MI5 had interfered with disciplinary proceedings against Wallace. As a result, Wallace was awarded £30,000 compensation.

He told the Guardian: “Surely some action must be taken against those whose actions deliberately perpetuated the cover-up of the abuses and thus prolonged the suffering of the victims unnecessarily.”

The chair of the current inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart, has asked all UK government departments and agencies to provide him with every file they held on Kincora. A spokesperson for the inquiry declined to elaborate when asked what response Hart had made to his demand.

However, Theresa May, the home secretary, has told Hart and the Northern Ireland secretary, Theresa Villiers, that “all officials, government departments and agencies will give their fullest cooperation”. This, she added in a letter seen by the Guardian, “includes the security service [MI5] and the Ministry of Defence”. May said that if necessary she would place the Kincora allegations into the hands of the England and Wales child sexual abuse panel inquiry under Judge Goddard.
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Re: How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Rin

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:33 am

Thatcher stopped officials publicly naming Sir Peter Hayman as suspected paedophile: MP Geoffrey Dickens accused Sir Peter of being a paedophile in Parliament
by Kashmira Gander @kashmiragander
February 3, 2015

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British Conservative politician and first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher at the Tory Party Conference in Brighton, East Sussex. Keystone/Getty Images

Margaret Thatcher told officials not to publicly name a senior diplomat connected to a paedophile scandal despite being fully briefed on allegations made against him, a newly revealed secret file has shown.

The file was prepared for the late Conservative Prime Minister in the early Eighties, and details allegations of “unnatural“ sexual activity by Sir Peter Hayman in 1966, when he returned from the-West Berlin to the Foreign Office. It also notified Mrs Thatcher that the senior diplomat had been subject to a police investigation, after a parcel containing "obscene materials" was found on a London bus in 1978.

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A page of the previously secret file (PA)

Pornographic materials and personal diaries were also found at his London flat, but Sir Peter was not prosecuted following an investigation into his activities.

The diplomat, who died in 1992, was accused of being a paedophile by MP Geoffrey Dickens under the cloak of parliamentary privilege in 1983, before the file was prepared for the then Prime Minister.

Compiled between October 1980 and March 1981, the 37-page file is now available for public view, and features Mrs Thatcher’s handwritten annotations and notes.

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Sir Peter Hayman was investigated over his connections to the Paedophile Information Exchange (Getty Images)

It confirms that Sir Peter was a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) group, and claims he intended to make "contact with adults with whom he could exchange obscene material."

Documents went on to claim that there was “no evidence” Sir Peter had engaged in sexual activity with children, or incited others to do so.

The papers reveal that security services were not told about his activities, because a secretary forgot to pass on a message to an official, and police did not chase up the claims.

The newly revealed documents show that Mrs Thatcher crossed out a line in a paragraph which said Sir Peter should not be named “in the House”, indicating that she though Sir Peter should not be named publicly at all, the Guardian reported.

Sky News reported that the filed existed last month, prompting the Cabinet Office to announce on Friday it would be released to the National Archives.

The revelations come as Home Secretary Theresa May announced she would be launching an inquiry into historical child abuse, during which Sir Peter’s activities will be investigated.

Confirming the decision to release it, a Cabinet Office spokesman said last week: “This file was originally kept closed as it contained information from the security services and advice from the law officers. We have reviewed that decision and have now released the file into the National Archives.”

Additional reporting by PA
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Re: How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Rin

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:44 am

Thatcher's bodyguard says he warned her about underage sex rumours about close aide amid claims senior ministers were named in dossier
by Matt Chorley, MailOnline Political Editor
08:06 EST, 27 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:38 EST, 27 July 2014

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* Barry Strevens says he told Iron Lady about rumours about Peter Morrison
* Thatcher listened during No.10 meeting, but went on to promote her aide
* New claims emerged about dossier handed to Home Secretary Leon Brittan
* Reports ministers Keith Joseph and Rhodes Boyson were named

Margaret Thatcher and her ministers were warned of child abuse claims against senior Tory figures in the 1980s, it was claimed today.

A former bodyguard to the Iron Lady revealed he told her to her face about rumours about one of her closest aides holding parties with underage boys.

And it was claimed a dossier on Establishment abuse handed to then-Home Secretary Leon Brittan named senior ministers Sir Keith Joseph and Sir Rhodes Boyson.

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Former bodyguard John Strevens claims he told Margaret Thatcher about rumours surrounding her close aide Peter Morrison (right) before he was promoted to be deputy chairman of the Tory party

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Mr Strevens was on hand to intervene in 1992 when an angry women tried to hit Mrs Thatcher with a bunch of daffodils

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Mr Strevens (right) spent years by Mrs Thatcher's side, including during this meeting with US President Ronald Reagan (left)

Westminster has been rocked by claims of senior politicians involved in sex abuse, and allegations of a cover-up.

Home Secretary Theresa May ordered a wide-ranging inquiry into how successive governments, charities, political parties, the NHS, the BBC and the Church failed to protect children from paedophiles.

But its chairman Baroness Butler-Sloss was forced to quit over criticism that her brother, Sir Michael Havers, had been attorney general in the Cabinet in the 1980s, and was accused of a 'cover-up' over a refusal to prosecute Foreign Office diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, who was a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange.

Two weeks on, there is still no sign of a new chairman being appointed, but the tide of allegations about child abuse at the highest levels of the Establishment continue to emerge.

Barry Strevens, who worked as Mrs Thatcher’s personal bodyguard, said that he passed on allegations about her confidant Sir Peter Morrison.

He said that Lady Thatcher appointed Sir Peter deputy party chairman of the Conservatives despite learning of the rumours.

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Thatcher's Cabinet: It has been claimed that a dossier handed to Home Secretary Leon Brittan (circled left) in 1983 named Education Secretary Keith Joseph (circled right) in connection with allegations of child sex abuse

Mr Strevens said that he 'immediately' passed on the information to Lady Thatcher and her private secretary Archie Hamilton at a meeting in Downing Street.

'A senior officer in Chester had told me there were rumours going around about under-age boys - one aged 15 - attending sex parties at a house there belonging to Peter Morrison,' he told the Sun on Sunday.

'After we returned to No10 I asked to go and see her immediately. It was unusual for me to do that, so they would have know it was something serious.

'When I went in Archie Hamilton was there. I told them exactly what had been said about Peter. Archie took notes and they thanked me for coming.

'There was no proof but the officer I spoke to was certain and said local press knew a lot more.'

Responding to the claims, Mr Hamilton said that he remembered that the officer had been at No10 but could not recall any mention of under-age boys.

'I don't remember him saying they were under-age,' he said. 'There may have been but the point he was making to her was that there were only men involved.

'She listened to what he said and that was it. It was merely a party and men were there.'

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It has been claimed a dossier of sex abuse claims against senior politicians named former Tory minister Rhodes Boyson

Sir Peter, an Old Etonian who died of a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 51, has since been linked to claims of sex abuse at children's homes in North Wales.

Mr Strevens, an ex-detective chief inspector, said: 'I wouldn't say she (Lady Thatcher) was naive but I would say she would not have thought people around her would be like that.

'I am sure he would have given her assurances about the rumours as otherwise she wouldn't have given him the job.'

Tory grandee Lord Tebbit has previously stated that he confronted Sir Peter over the allegations and received a flat denial.

Former Conservative MP Edwina Currie also described him as a 'noted pederast' with a liking for young boys.

Educated at Oxford and elected as MP for Chester in 1974, Sir Peter came from a wealthy political dynasty who own the whisky-producing island of Islay in the Hebrides.

His father was close friends with Lady Thatcher while his sister Mary is one of the Queen's most senior ladies-in-waiting.

Knighted in 1988, he later became the prime minister's parliamentary secretary before running her 1990 re-election campaign, which saw her lose office.

Meanwhile, fresh claims have emerged about the controversial dossier handed to Leon Brittan by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens.

The Home Office says it cannot find the file, along with more than 100 relevant files dating from 1979 to 1999 which have been destroyed or lost.

However parts of the file were referred to in papers compiled by Labour's Barbara Castle who investigated allegations linking MPs, peers, the National Council for Civil Liberties and the Paedophile Information Exchange.

It is claimed Sir Keith Joseph and Sir Rhodes Boyson were both named.

A source told the Sunday Mirror: ‘A lot of Baroness Castle's file was made up of Geoffrey Dickens' dossier.

‘She'd been leaked files because the feeling was it was all being hushed up and Dickens was getting nowhere with his campaign to expose this.’

Two weeks ago former Tory activist Anthony Gilberthorpe says he was handed cash and told to ‘fetch entertainment’ - code for young boys – by members of Mrs Thatcher’s government.

He named former former-Education Secretary Keith Joseph and ex-local government minister Rhodes Boyson. Both are now dead.

Lord Brittan, who was Home Secretary from 1983 to 1985, said earlier this month: ‘It has been alleged that when I was Home Secretary I failed to deal adequately with the papers containing allegations of serious sexual impropriety that I received from Geoff Dickens. This is completely without foundation, as evidence from the Home Office's own report supports.

‘I passed this bundle of papers to the relevant Home Office officials for examination, as was the normal and correct practice. I wrote to Mr Dickens on 20 March 1984 informing him of the conclusions of the Director of Public Prosecutions about these matters.’

HOW THE STORY UNFOLDED: CHILLING CLAIMS THAT SEX ABUSE RING MAY HAVE OPERATED IN BRITISH ESTABLISHMENT DATE BACK TO 1983

The chilling claims that a paedophile ring may have been operating within the British establishment first emerged in an investigation by campaigning Conservative politician Geoffrey Dickens.

In November 1983, the MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth in Greater Manchester sent a 40-page document to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan detailing alleged VIP child abusers, apparently including former Liberal party chief whip Cyril Smith and other senior politicians.

In a newspaper interview at the time, Mr Dickens claimed his dossier contained the names of eight 'really important public figures' that he planned to expose, and whose crimes are believed to have stretched back to the 1960s.

November 1983:

Geoffrey Dickens produces a huge dossier detailing allegations of sexual abuse against prominent figures in the British establishment. He tells his family the claims will 'blow apart' the VIP paedophile ring.

March 1984:

Home Secretary Leon Brittan tells Mr Dickens that his dossier has been assessed by prosecutors and passed on to the police, but no further action is taken. The dossier is now either lost or missing.

May 1995

Geoffrey Dickens dies. A short time later his wife destroys his copy of the paedophile dossier. The only other copies - one received by Mr Brittan and another allegedly sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions - are believed to have been lost or destroyed.

September 2010

The 29-stone Rochdale MP Sir Cyril Smith dies aged 82 without ever being charged with sex offences.

2011/2012:

Following the death of Sir Jimmy Savile, dozens of claims of historic child abuse emerge - including a number of alleged victims of Smith, who is said to have spanked and sexually abused teenage boys at a hostel he co-founded in the early 1960s.

October 2012

During Prime Minister's Questions, Labour MP Tom Watson claims there is 'clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No10'.

November 2012

Lancashire Police announced they will be investigating claims of sexual abuse by Smith relating to incidents before 1974, while Greater Manchester Police will investigate claims after 1974.

November 2012

The Crown Prosecution Service admits Smith should have been charged with crimes of abuse more than 40 years earlier. The CPS also admitted Smith had been investigated in 1970, 1974, 1998, and 1999 but rejected every opportunity to prosecute him.

November 2012

A former special branch officer, Tony Robinson, says a historic dossier 'packed' with information about Smith's sex crimes was actually in the hands of Mi5 - despite officially having been 'lost' decades earlier.

December 2012

Scotland Yard sets up Operation Fairbank to investigate claims a paedophile ring operated at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, southwest London, in the 1970s and 80s. Among those abusing children are said to have been a number of prominent politicians.

February 2013

Operation Fernbridge is established to investigate the Elm Guest House alleged paedophile ring.

February 2013

It is claimed a 'paedophile ring of VIPs' also operated at the Grafton Close Children's Home in Richmond, Surrey.

February 2013

Two men, a Catholic priest from Norwich, and a man understood to be connected to Grafton Close, arrested on suspicion of sexual offences and questioned by Operation Fernbridge officers.

June 2013

Scotland Yard claims that seven police officers are working full time on Operation Fernbridge and are following more than 300 leads.

June 2013

Charles Napier, the half-brother of senior Conservative politician John Whittingdale, is arrested by Operation Fairbank officers.

December 2013

Some senior Labour party politicians linked to pro-paedophile campaign group the Paedophile Information Exchange, which was affiliated with the National Council for Civil Liberties pressure group, now known as Liberty, in the 1970s and early 1980s.

December 2013

Police search the home of Lord Janner as part of a historical sex abuse investigation. He is not arrested.

February 2014

Current deputy leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman, who was NCCL's in-house lawyer at the time of its affiliation with PIE and even met her husband Jack Dromey while working there, is forced to deny she supported the activities of the pro-paedophile collective.

February 2014

Patricia Hewitt, Labour's former Secretary of State for Health who was NCCL's general secretary for nine years, later apologised and said she had been 'naive and wrong' to consider PIE a legitimate campaign group.

June 2014

Lord Janner's Westminster office is searched by police. Again the peer is not arrested.

July 3, 2014

Labour MP Simon Danczuk called on Leon Brittan to say what he knew about the Dickens dossier. It emerges the dossier has now been either lost or destroyed and the Home Office admits it can find no evidence of any criminal inquiry relating to it.

July 5, 2014

More than 10 current and former politicians are said to be on a list of alleged child abusers held by police investigating claims of an alleged paedophile ring.

July 6, 2014

Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill reveals that 114 files relating to historic allegations of child sex abuse, from between 1979 and 1999, have disappeared from the Home Office.

It is also revealed that former Home Secretary Lord Brittan was accused of raping a student in 1967. The 2012 allegation was not investigated until Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders ordered the Met Police to re-open the case in June this year.
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Re: How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Rin

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:56 am

Margaret Hodge 'sorry’ as council she led told to investigate Savile abuse allegations: Ex-children’s minister apologises for council’s 'shameful naivety’ in ignoring victims’ voices
by Robert Mendick, and Eileen Fairweather
8:30AM BST 06 Apr 2014

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Former children's minister Margaret Hodge Photo: JIM WINSLET FOR THE TELEGRAPH

One of Labour’s most senior MPs has confessed to “shameful naivety” in ignoring the pleas of victims of paedophiles who were assaulted in children’s homes in a scandal-hit council she used to run.

Margaret Hodge, a former children’s minister, issued an apology amid a growing furore over the latest investigation into widespread sexual abuse in the London borough of Islington.

Police have uncovered possible evidence that Jimmy Savile sexually assaulted vulnerable children in a care home in Islington. It is the first time Savile has been connected with the abuse in Islington in the Seventies and early Eighties that has resulted in the council paying hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation to victims. It is thought dozens of vulnerable children were abused by a number of paedophiles.

However, most of the abusers escaped justice because allegations made at the time by victims were ignored and many files, which contained corroborating evidence, have been lost or shredded. Mrs Hodge was a councillor from 1973 and leader of the council for a decade from 1982.

The Department for Education has announced that Islington should now examine claims that Savile abused children from one of its homes for itself. The home has not been identified and one of Islington’s tasks will be to find it and to see if staff aided and abetted Savile.

An investigation by The Telegraph can disclose:

• At one Islington children’s home, a victim of abuse recalled “Jimmy Savile taxis” being despatched to the hostel where she was living 40 years ago. She has no recollection of Savile ever visiting the home.

• A man closely connected to the same children’s home was accused of rape and attempted rape of young girls;

• The allegations against the man were ignored and the alleged attacker went on to work overseas in a hospital for seriously ill children;

• Concerns over Islington’s ability to conduct an independent investigation have intensified after it emerged that the councillor in charge of children’s social services is Mrs Hodge’s son-in-law.

Victims of abuse in Islington are still coming forward, in some cases more than 40 years after the alleged incidents. One person has claimed she was regularly sexually assaulted in a park and her sister raped by a man connected to one of the children’s homes in the borough in the early Seventies. The alleged suspect was allowed to leave Britain and went on to work with dying and seriously ill children in a hospital abroad.

A friend of the woman said: “She just came out with what happened to her only last year. She is still very damaged. She was about 10 at the time.

“She would be taken to the park and he attempted to rape her. Her sister was raped. She said she reported it to the authorities, but she was simply moved to another children’s home. Her attacker is now living overseas.”

The victim also spoke of “Jimmy Savile taxis” coming to the home, suggesting that children were collected there and ferried to Savile, who used his position as a celebrity to procure children. The victim was unable to provide any further details and had no recollection of Savile visiting the home. Savile is reckoned to be the most prolific child sex offender in modern British criminal history.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has instigated investigations into 21 children’s homes around the country where Savile is suspected of abusing vulnerable young people. In almost all the cases, the identity of the home is known. Local authorities or organisations have been asked to conduct their own inquiries in each case.

Islington Council dismissed calls for Joe Caluori, who is married to Mrs Hodge’s daughter, to step aside from his post while its investigation is ongoing. The council insisted there was no conflict of interest and that the council’s director of social services would report directly to the Department for Education rather than to Mr Caluori.

But victims, lawyers and whistle-blowers are demanding an independent inquiry.

Demetrious Panton, who was repeatedly abused by Bernie Bain, the former head of an Islington children’s home in the late Seventies, said: “An independent police investigation into Islington is crucial. I know so much. Yet, throughout all the 13 inquiries into Islington, I was never once asked to give evidence.”

Mr Panton, who is a lawyer, added: “We still don’t know the full extent of Islington’s corruption. There are a lot of individuals who I know, abuse survivors, who have not yet contacted Islington or the police about what they know. There is a real lack of trust.”

Mr Panton first complained about Bain in 1979 but was ignored. When Mrs Hodge was children’s minister in 2003, and her job under pressure over her former role at Islington council, she accused Mr Panton of being “extremely disturbed” in a private letter to the BBC in an attempt to discredit his testimony.

Asked if he thought it right that Mrs Hodge’s son-in-law now held a key position in the council, he replied: “Of course not. I don’t know him at all and he may be a fine councillor, but I would think it is better that he is not in this position, given the association.”

Mrs Hodge told The Telegraph in a statement: “I have apologised a number of times over the last 10 years for our failure to understand about child abuse and take children’s voices seriously in the Eighties. I am sorry. Our naivety was shameful and I’m really glad we’ve learned since then the importance of listening to the voices of children who have been abused.”

Frances Swaine, the managing partner at Leigh Day law firm, which represented several Islington abuse victims, underlined calls for an independent inquiry. “In her position as leader of Islington Council [Mrs Hodge] was under a duty to investigate evidence of the sexual abuse of children in her council’s care,” she said. “Sadly, for whatever reason, this did not happen for several years.”

Dr Liz Davies, a reader in child protection at London Metropolitan University and a senior social worker who first reported concerns to her superiors, said: “If ever there was a case for a national police investigation team, it must be in this instance [Savile’s crimes], to coordinate all the inquiries.

“Yet, Mr Gove has asked Islington to conduct its own investigation and it is now firmly the responsibility of this authority. Historic child abuse cases are not simple and Islington has not got the best of reputations for retention of children’s and adult’s files and relevant documentation.”

A spokesman for Islington council said: “The council’s Director of Children’s Services has been asked by the Department for Education (DfE) to oversee this investigation. She will appoint an independent person from outside the council to lead our investigation.

“Our investigation will follow the clear and detailed guidance provided to us, and we will then submit a draft report to Lucy Scott-Moncrieff – appointed by the DfE to provide the Secretary of State for Education with assurance that all investigations are robust and thorough. Elected members never take part in investigations of this nature. It will be carried out by suitably qualified professional officers.”
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Re: How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Rin

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:59 am

Jimmy Savile: Abuse extended to hospice for the terminally ill: Some of the victims of Jimmy Savile’s decades of abuse included the patients and staff of at least one hospice for the terminally ill, it has been reported.
by Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent
1:02PM GMT 06 Jan 2013

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Jimmy Savile on the BBC's pop music programme 'Top of the Pops' Photo: PA

The late entertainer will be accused of assaulting the sick and dying as well as hundreds of other people including children, when the police publish its report into the scandal later this week, according to The Sunday Times.

The Metropolitan Police is expected to reveal more details of the allegations that have poured in against Savile since revelations were first made public on a television documentary last October.

A report will list all the establishments, including hospital, prisons and schools where Savile preyed on his victims.

But it is also expected to reveal for the first time that Savile attacked the patients and staff of a hospice he visited under the guise of carrying out charity work.

Savile’s association with Stoke Mandeville, Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor hospitals is well known, but it is thought he may have abused people in at least seven other institutions around the UK.

Some hospitals allowed him to wander the wards freely and in some cases he was even given keys allowing him to come and go as he pleased.

Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: “This will really shake people. There seems to be no end to the places where that guy attacked people.”

Mark Williams-Thomas, the former detective, whose ITV documentary exposed the Savile allegations, added: “There seems to be nowhere Savile went where he did not abuse people.”

Police have already revealed that a total of 450 people have contacted detectives to report allegations against Savile.

Officers have already recorded 199 crimes in 17 police force areas in which the former BBC radio DJ and TV presenter is a suspect, among them 31 rape allegations in seven different parts of the country.

Some 82% of those who have come forward to report abuse to police are women, and eight out of ten of Savile’s alleged victims were children at the time of his attacks.

Commander Peter Spindler, who is heading the inquiry, said the pattern showed that the star’s offending peaked in the 1970s.

Ten people have now been questioned by police as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into historic sexual offences, which was set up in the wake of the Savile revelations.
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Re: How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Rin

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:07 am

Another minister under fire: call for Hodge to quit over child abuse scandal. Minister for Children admits a 'lack of understanding' when she was a council leader but denies ignoring pleas for help
by Paul Waugh, Deputy Political Editor
30 June 2003 23:00 BST0

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The Tories called for the resignation of Margaret Hodge, the minister for Children, last night after social workers accused her of failing to confront one of Britain's worst child abuse scandals when she was leader of Islington council.

Two former officials at the London borough have claimed publicly for the first time that Mrs Hodge failed to back them over allegations that youngsters in care had been subjected to sex abuse. The scandal was first exposed by the London Evening Standard.

Mrs Hodge admitted yesterday that she had shown a "deep lack of understanding" of what was happening in children's homes run by Islington.

But she insisted she had never ignored a single allegation of abuse against a child and her experience in Islington made her "well equipped" to learn the lessons of past mistakes and apply them to her new post.

Yesterday, the Evening Standard printed a memo from Mrs Hodge rejecting a request for extra staff from the local office running an investigation into abuse. She also criticised social workers for alerting parents to the allegations at a public meeting.

The fresh allegations prompted Eleanor Laing, the new shadow minister for Children, to attack Tony Blair for appointing one of his close friends to such a sensitive post.

"I don't see how anyone can have faith in Margaret Hodge to do this vitally important job properly. The allegations made today by the two senior Islington social workers are shocking. Islington council failed to protect children in its care from paedophiles, Margaret Hodge was leader of that council," Ms Laing said.

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Michael Fitch: Abused at care home in Islington

"She herself has accepted some responsibility for the dreadful things that happened. She let down those vulnerable, innocent children. Why has Tony Blair chosen her to speak for children now? There are hundreds of other Labour MPs; couldn't he have given this responsibility to someone who has shown themselves worthy of it?"

One paedophile, Roy Caterer, a sports instructor at a boarding school used by Islington, was sent to prison for seven and a half years for abusing seven boys and two girls. In 1995, an independent investigation strongly criticised the "chaotic" organisation of the council and its "conditions for dangerous and negligent professional practices in relation to child care".

When the Evening Standard first exposed the scandal, Mrs Hodge, who led Islington from 1982 to 1992, originally attacked it for "gutter journalism". But by 1995, she said: "I accept responsibility. I was leader of the council at the time."

Yesterday the newspaper identified the two whistleblowers who revealed the failures at Islington, as well as one of the victims of sex abuse.

Michael Fitch, who was subjected to abuse by Caterer while in Islington's care, also called on Mrs Hodge to quit. "That woman. Get her out of there. She shouldn't be minister for Children. I'd like to tell her to her face," he said.

Mrs Hodge, whose new ministerial role gives her sweeping powers over child policy, including abuse cases, yesterday said that she "deeply regretted" the abuse of children by her staff. "I've had 12 years to think about those issues, to read about them, to talk to people about them, to learn about them," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"I think that equips me better than most, having been through that experience, in thinking about how we now create a safe environment for those children at risk, and really put the children at the heart of all the policies and the structures that we develop.

"There were terrible things happening in children's homes, and I deeply, deeply, deeply regret it. Never a month goes by when I don't think about it."

But she added: "Of course it was happening in Islington, but there were 500 investigations going on into children's homes across the country. I think there was a deep lack of understanding, by myself, by the social services, by policy makers, by all of us as to actually the state of what was happening in children's homes."

Mrs Hodge stressed that whenever an allegation was brought to her attention, the council investigated it and in some cases called in the police. "We can't find an easy quick fix to these issues. But have I learnt? Of course I have. And I'll bring that experience to bear in how we now take forward those services for children," she said.

Mr Fitch, who was identified as "Dean" in the original Standard stories, was in care from the age of nine to 19, the latter half during Mrs Hodge's reign. He twice tried to tell Islington social services that he was being abused by Caterer at Shepall Manor Special School in Stevenage. "Caterer took me to the woods at the back of the school one lunchtime and had sex with me," Mr Fitch said. "Afterwards, he showed me a nine-foot pit he had dug and told me, 'If you tell anybody I'll bury you alive'. I was terrified." Despite the threats, he went to the headteacher but was ignored. When back in Islington in the school holidays, he "begged" social workers not to send him back. "But nothing was done."

Even after he left the school and went to a care home in Islington, Caterer continued to visit him. Again, he told social workers he was being abused and again they "did nothing".

"Nothing I told them seemed to make an impression. I realised that to them I was meaningless. That's when I started to cut my arm with a knife," Mr Fitch said. Mr Fitch's eight-year-old brother, Doug, was subsequently harassed by Caterer. Mr Fitch now takes antidepressants, is plagued by gender confusion, panic attacks and insomnia. He has tried to commit suicide more than a dozen times.

THE ISLINGTON SCANDAL

1982 Margaret Hodge becomes Islington council leader. Forms friendship with Tony Blair, at one stage living a few doors away.

February 1990 Liz Davies and David Cofie, senior social workers, discover evidence of sex abuse of children and report it to a residents' meeting attended by Mrs Hodge.

May 1990 Mr Cofie and Ms Davies are told by Lyn Cusack, assistant director of social services, to stop interviewing children about the claims.

1991 Roy Caterer, a sports instructor at a boarding school used by Islington, arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing seven boys and two girls.

October 1992 Mrs Hodge steps down as council leader.

February 1994 Mrs Hodge accepts there was abuse, blaming her initial response on officials' "misleading information".

May 1995 Report says Islington's ideological policies stopped complaints being investigated. Mrs Hodge says: "Of course I accept responsibility. I was leader of the council at the time."

1 May 1997 Tony Blair moves from Islington to Downing Street.

June 2003 Mrs Hodge made minister for Children.
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Re: How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Rin

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:17 am

MI5 and Liberal party allegedly 'covered up' MP Cyril Smith's four decades of abusing children. Police received at least 144 complaints by victims about late Liberal MP Sir Cyril, but MI5 and Special Branch put pressure on officers to drop investigations, new book claims
by Melanie Hall
11:22AM BST 12 Apr 2014

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Cyril Smith Photo: PAUL ARMIGER

Politicians, police and M15 covered up former MP Sir Cyril Smith’s sexual abuse of vulnerable boys as young as eight for four decades, it has been claimed.

Police received at least 144 complaints by victims about the late Liberal MP Sir Cyril, but MI5 and Special Branch put pressure on officers to drop investigations, according to a new book.

The 29st MP for Rochdale was able to continue his abuse while the authorities blocked prosecutions, and the Liberal Party even put his name forward for a knighthood in 1988 in spite of the rumours of his activities circulating around Westminster, it has been alleged.

Former Liberal party leader David, now Lord Steel, nominated Sir Cyril for the honour despite knowing of the allegations about the MP, it was reported.

Lord Steel’s involvement only emerged in recent weeks after a Freedom of Information battle.

The current Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg sent a celebratory message that was read out at Sir Cyril’s 80th birthday party, which said: “You were a beacon for our party in the '70s and '80s and continue to be an inspiration to the people of Rochdale.”

A new book, written by one of Sir Cyril’s successors as MP for the Lancashire constituency, Labour's Simon Danczuk, also reveals that child porn was found in the late MP’s car but police were ordered to release him.

Sir Cyril, who died aged 82 in 2010, was arrested repeatedly for “acts of gross indecency with young lads” in public toilets but no action was taken, according to the book Smile for the Camera: the Double Life of Cyril Smith.

A member of the Liberal party, which later merged with the Social Democratic Party to become the Liberal Democrats, Sir Cyril was also a visitor to the notorious Elm Guest house in South-west London, which is now the focus of a Scotland Yard investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring, the Daily Mail reported.

Sir Cyril, who was MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, was governor of almost 30 schools, and in the 1960s he helped to open Cambridge House children's home, where he abused boys, often subjecting them to spurious medical examinations, according to the book.

But when police launched an investigation, a senior police officer intervened to stop it, it has been claimed.

The book, co-written by Matthew Baker, also claims that senior Labour figures' support of the Paedophile Information Exchange helped keep Sir Cyril “hidden from scrutiny”.

It claims that police officers were threatened with dismissal and gagged by the Official Secrets Act if they tried to expose the Sir Cyril’s sexual abuse of boys.

Mr Danczuk, Rochdale MP since 2010, first raised Sir Cyril’s case in the House of Commons in 2012 after victims contacted him to tell of their ordeals.

Lord Steel was unavailable for comment. Last year, he said he had asked Cyril Smith about the allegations of child abuse and accepted his denial of wrongdoing, the Daily Mail reported.

A spokesman for Mr Clegg said: “Clearly he would never have paid tribute to Cyril Smith if he had had any idea about these horrible allegations.”

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: "Cyril Smith's acts were vile and repugnant and we have nothing but sympathy for those whose lives he ruined. His actions were not known to or condoned by anyone in the Liberal Party or the Liberal Democrats."
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Re: How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Rin

Postby admin » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:24 am

Hodge Comes Under Growing Pressure: Minster and the Sex Ring Warning
by David Cohen and Joe Murphy
Evening Standard
July 1, 2003

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Children's Minister Margaret Hodge faces a growing furore today over her handling of the Islington child abuse scandal.

The Evening Standard has obtained a document which shows the then council leader was warned explicitly that a "sex ring" was preying on local children.

Written in April 1990, it said 14 children -- some as young as nine -- were at immediate risk and it recommended a broad-ranging investigation.

The disclosure comes 24 hours after Mrs. Hodge claimed she did not learn the nature of the crisis until 1992 -- too late to do anything to stop it. In addition, a former head of an Islington children's home has confirmed that council staff were worried for several years before the council admitted the problem.

Cynthia Morris, who ran Sherringham Road residential unit where paedophile Tom Yeomans worked, told the Evening Standard: "I am speaking out at great cost. The entire saga was handled very badly at the time. Many people had concerns over a number of years. There were opportunities to do something that were not taken very early on."

As social workers we wish to draw the attention of the Forum to a problem was have identified. Children age 9-16 years are very much at risk in this Neighborhood through sexual exploitation. We can immediately mention 14 such children, mainly under 14 years old.

-- Evidence: a section from the report dated 23 April 1990 by senior social workers which Margaret Hodge would have received


Ms. Morris, who now works for the charity The Children's Society, in Devon, added: "Warning signals were not heeded and voices were not heard. Of course I regret that deeply. Personally, it was very painful."

Mrs. Hodge was under mounting pressure from Opposition MPs to explain her role. Shadow children's minister Eleanor Laing was today seeking an emergency statement by Mrs. Hodge in the Commons. She said: "It is shocking that Margaret Hodge, in a position of significant responsibility as leader of Islington council, did not take the necessary action to protect vulnerable children from disgusting paedophiles.

"This new information shows how culpable she was. It is astounding that the Prime Minister appointed her when there are hundreds of other Labour MPs. Why didn't he appoint someone with ability and a sense of responsibility -- instead of someone proven to have failed."

The disclosure that Mrs. Hodge was clearly warned of concerns about organised paedophilia in April 1990 will fuel criticism of her failure to halt the scandal. The report was written by David Cofie and Liz Davies, the two social workers who mounted the first investigations. They said: "As social workers we wish to draw the attention of the forum to a problem we have identified. Children aged 9-16 years are very much at risk in this neighborhood through sexual exploitation.

"We can immediately mention 14 such children, mainly under 14 years old." The report was circulated to Mrs. Hodge and other members of the monthly neighborhood forum for the Irene Watson area.

The authors' aim was to press for a fuller investigation and also to alert local parents, some of whom attended the forum which sat in public.

"We need to explore the real possibility of sex ring functioning in this area," the report concluded.

Yesterday, the minister tried to absolve herself of any blame by claiming: "One of my deep regrets is that much of this emerged just in literally the last two weeks of when I was leader in Islington. I never therefore had the opportunity really to put right some of the things that were going wrong."

Mrs. Hodge stood down from the council leadership in 1992 -- more than two years after she was sent the report.

The minister also insisted yesterday that she acted correctly whenever "an individual case was brought to me."

But the 1990 report clearly warned that the problem required a more proactive response. "This problem cannot be dealt with solely on an individual basis," wrote Mr. Cofie and Mrs. Davies. "Some children have close contact with their social workers but others are sadly unallocated or beyond reach."

Today, Mr. Cofie said he now suspects Mrs. Hodge wanted to protect the council's image. He added: "I formed the impression she thought if something like that came out, it would confirm what people were saying about the 'loony Left' authority.

"I felt she wanted to protect the image of the Labour Party more than she wanted to protect the vulnerable children of Islington."

He also challenged the statement Mrs. Hodge made to the Evening Standard yesterday, in which she insisted that a full police investigation was mounted.

Mr. Cofie said: "She is talking about a single isolated example in which Liz [Davies] and myself had already involved the police -- Hodge had nothing to do with calling them in. But it is disingenuous of her to bring this up because it paints a false picture."

Mrs. Hodge came under fire from experts for claiming child sex abuse was not well understood in 1992 when she denied there was a problem in Islington.

Her ignorance did not "seem plausible," said Alan Levy, QC, who chaired the Staffordshire "pindown inquiry" which reported in 1991.

In a statement today, Mrs. Hodge said the 1990 report vindicated her claim that cases were acted on.

Mrs. Hodge's full statement said: "As Mr. Cofie and Ms. Davies's April 1990 report to the Neighbourhood Forum quoted in today's Evening Standard confirms: 'Recently certain cases of sexual exploitation of this group have to come to our attention and our Child Protection Procedures have been put in to action'. This supports my comments yesterday that allegations about individual cases of sexual abuse were dealt with extremely seriously by the authority and where appropriate the police were brought in.

No excuses

SORRY, Mrs. Hodge, your justifications won't wash. You claim that you have learned from your mistakes, and that the whole sorry experience actually makes you better equipped to oversee the problems of children at risk.

A decade after the scandal which ruined the lives of so many children -- two more of whom we report on today -- it is easy to be glib. But politicians either have judgment about things that matter, or they do not.

The abuse of Islington children was the single most serious issue which ever crossed your desk as leader of Islington council -- and you failed to appreciate its significance and deal with it. You say that the scandal only came to light during the last few months of your leadership -- yet you were alerted to it at least two years before your departure.

Your failure to pursue the social services reports was not a one-off misjudgment: it amounted to a series of misjudgments. Your failure now to admit full responsibility for them is one more misjudgment. Parents will draw their own conclusions. So should Downing Street.


"At the time I received many conflicting reports from a wide range of professionals working within the child protection field.

"Mr. Cofie and Ms. Davies confirm in their memo of 23/4/90 that the appropriate child protection mechanisms were put into action and the result of those investigations, which included the police, concluded that the allegations could not be substantiated.

"Mr. Cofie disagreed with the police conclusion, although to the best of my knowledge no further evidence was brought forward.

"To the best of my knowledge, at no time during my period as council leader was any accusation of sexual abuse ignored. Whenever accusations were made child protection procedures were always followed.

"Again to the best of my knowledge, no evidence emerged from these investigations which enabled the authority to take appropriate action.

"Where evidence was found, for example as the Evening Standard pointed out yesterday, in the case of Roy Caterer in 1991, police proceedings were brought which led to his conviction."
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