Tory grandee died before probe into paedo network could quiz him over child sex allegations
Tory grandee Leon Brittan died before he could be quizzed over claims he was at parties where children were sexually abused and killed.
The former Home Secretary was named by an alleged victim as being among a group of powerful men who he saw at the luxury Dolphin Square apartments close to Westminster.
The claims, including allegations the VIP paedophile ring murdered three children, are being treated as “credible and true” by Scotland Yard.
Lord Brittan made no public comment on the abuse network allegations before his death from cancer at the age of 75 on Wednesday night, but it is understood he was horrified by them.
Yesterday, former officer Jim Gamble, who ran the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, said: “Leon Brittan’s death is a personal tragedy for his family, friends and former colleagues, to whom I offer my condolences.
“But a wider tragedy stretches beyond that intimate circle, as the opportunity for him to give evidence to the child abuse inquiry, to clarify issues concerning allegations of a missing dossier, has been lost forever.”
Lord Brittan had come under fire over his handling of papers on high-profile paedophiles, passed to him by MP Geoffrey Dickens while he was at the Home Office.
He confirmed he received the dossier and passed it to his civil servants but denied accusations there was a cover up.
Police said the allegations of abuse by a Westminster-based paedophile network spanned a decade at locations across London and the Home Counties.
Det Supt Kenny McDonald, who is leading the murder inquiry called Operation Midland, said last month that detectives believed the witness’s claims.
The allegations emerged when a man known only as “Nick” claimed he was abused during a decade of his childhood when he was driven to “parties” in the capital and Home Counties.
He said one of the locations was the flats at Dolphin Square, an upmarket residential development near Westminster. Nick claims to have identified a number of high-profile individuals attending the gatherings in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The names include Lord Brittan, former diplomat Peter Hayman and a former Tory MP who is not being identified.
Two further alleged victims have told investigative journalism website Exaro that they saw the same cabinet minister at similar events where children were abused at Dolphin Square.
Yesterday, a Scotland Yard spokesman refused to confirm whether officers from Operation Midland had made any contact with Lord Brittan.
The spokesman added: “We would not discuss individuals we may speak to as part of any investigation. Operation Midland remains a live investigation.”
It is not the first accusation made against the peer.
Last October he was accused in the House of Commons by Labour MP Jim Hood of “improper conduct with children”.
Under parliamentary rules, politicians can make accusations at Westminster without being sued for libel.
Separately, Lord Brittan was being investigated by officers over an alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman following a date in 1967.
The woman, who is now aged 66, complained to the Metropolitan Police back in 2012.
Lord Brittan, who denied the allegations and said they were “wholly without foundation”, was questioned under caution last summer. Scotland Yard said on Thursday that their investigation was continuing.
by Nick Somerlad