It revealed that a former newspaper editor, Don Hale, was handed a dossier at some time in the early 1980s about 16 high-profile political figures who appeared sympathetic to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).
The document was given to Hale, the then editor of the Bury Messenger, by the late Barbara Castle, the veteran Labour politician. At the time, Castle was a member of the European parliament for Greater Manchester after her 34-year stint as MP for Blackburn.
According to the Star’s report, once Hale began to investigate the claims made in the dossier “an astonishing operation kicked in to silence the claims.” First, Hale said he was visited by the Liberal MP for Rochdale, Cyril Smith, who tried to persuade the journalist that it was “all poppycock”. Second, Hale said special branch officers arrived at the Messenger’s office, showed him a D-notice and warned him of imprisonment if he failed to hand over the dossier.
Special Branch? Curious.