Scotland Yard officers have said they believe allegations that a ring of prominent politicians and members of the establishment abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys.
Detectives appealed for victims and witnesses to come forward and identified a flat in Dolphin Square, London, near the Houses of Parliament, as a scene of some of the alleged abuse, as well as military premises and other locations across London and the home counties.
So far one victim, known by the pseudonym Nick, has come forward to tell of a decade of abuse he suffered at the hands of people including senior politicians and members of Britain’s establishment, and of three homicides. Police as yet have no bodies, full names of those abused or killed, or exact locations where the killings took place.
But the detective in charge of the investigation pointedly described Nick’s allegations as “true” and said Nick had been abused from 1975 to 1984, between the ages of seven and 16.
Now in middle age, Nick has given partial names of other children who were abused, the Guardian understands, and has given names of “VIPs” alleged to be involved in the abuse. He is understood to have been scared of reprisals for telling detectives about the things powerful people did to him and other children.
If the allegations are correct, it represents one of the worst scandals in modern British history and endangers already thin public trust in the politicians who govern the country.
The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed.
Two newspaper executives have told the Observer that their publications were issued with D-notices – warnings not to publish intelligence that might damage national security – when they sought to report on allegations of a powerful group of men engaging in child sex abuse in 1984. One executive said he had been accosted in his office by 15 uniformed and two non-uniformed police over a dossier on Westminster paedophiles passed to him by the former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle.
The other said that his newspaper had received a D-notice when a reporter sought to write about a police investigation into Elm Guest House, in southwest London, where a group of high-profile paedophiles was said to have operated and may have killed a child. Now it has emerged that these claims are impossible to verify or discount because the D-notice archives for that period “are not complete”.
It really is all very curious. I can think of three reasons why the investigations thwarted. Stopped by high ranking paedophiles? Stopped to protect the establishment? Or stopped because the whole ring was being monitored for the wider blackmail potential?
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.