- Former government employee says he saw evidence PIE was given grant
- He claims the money was paid to group under orders of Special Branch
- Insider says he thought funding was ‘inappropriate and outrageous’ but his pleas were shrugged off by his boss at the time
- Follows report which found that abuse ring ‘might have been covered up’
A Home Office whistleblower today repeated his claims the government department funded the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) on the orders of the police.
Former civil servant Tim Hulbert said money was transferred to the organisation on the orders of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch.
Mr Hulbert worked in the Voluntary Services Unit of the Home Office which approved grants to various outside organisations in the late 1970s and early 80s.
He said he went to his manager after seeing that funding was being given to PIE – the lobby group formed in the 1970s to campaign for a reduction in the age of consent – but his concerns were shrugged off.
Former Home Office employee Tim Hulbert said the department provided funding to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), on the orders of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch
The retired government worker told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Every quarter, the list of current grants that were up for consideration for financial support would be circulated through the office and I believe that I saw a copy of that which referred to the re-funding of PIE.
‘It was an organisation that was campaigning for the reduction of the age of consent to four. I thought that was inappropriate and outrageous and for a government department to be funding it, I thought was wrong.
‘I went to see my boss and he told me, firstly, that PIE was a legitimate campaigning organisation and it did have significant links to the National Council for Civil Liberties and other organisations that were recognised.
‘Secondly, I was told that it was being funded a the request of Special Branch.’
His claims come the day after a report by NSPCC boss Peter Wanless and Richard Whittam QC, which found it was impossible to say if 114 files linked to alleged Westminster child abusers had been destroyed as part of a cover up.
Home Secretary Theresa May said of the findings: ‘It doesn’t prove or disprove the Home Office acted appropriately in the 1980s.’
She added: ‘There might have been a cover-up.’
The report failed to rule out Mr Hulbert’s claims that the Home Office directly awarded tens of thousands of pounds of public money to the PIE, noting that record keeping at the department was in disarray.
Don Hale yesterday revealed he was given a bundle of documents which included the identities of senior politicians who were actively promoting the Paedophile Information Exchange by the late Labour minister Baroness Castle.
He said police later arrived at his newspaper office, pushed him against a wall and demanded to take possession of the dossier.
His claims are now being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.
The Home Secretary said of his claims: ‘I recognise the allegations [Mr Hale] has made so my office has been in discussions with the Metropolitan Police today and the Metropolitan Police have agreed they will now look into those allegations that have been made.’
by RIchard Spillett