A former MI5 director warned Margret Thatcher’s administration that allegations concerning one MP who had a “penchant for small boys” could cause the government serious political embarrassment.
Investigators currently looking into the historic child sex abuse scandal found that nothing had been done about the potential threat to children, but rather the security service had warned the allegations could damage the reputation of Thatcher’s government.
Newly discovered files show former spy chief Sir Anthony Duff had written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Robert Armstrong in 1986 to warn him of claims made about the behavior of one MP.
The new documents were analyzed by the head of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Peter Wanless and Richard Whittam QC.
Other politicians whose names were mentioned in the review of new material include former Cabinet minister Leon Brittan, Thatcher’s aide Peter Morrison, ex-diplomat Sir Peter Hayman and former minister William van Straubenzee.
Wanless and Whittam said the documents showed that threats to children were not taken seriously.
“There were a number of references across the papers we saw that reinforced the observation we made in our review that issues of crimes against children, particularly the rights of the complainant, were given considerably less serious consideration than would be expected today.
“To give one striking example, in response to claims from two sources that a named Member of Parliament ‘has a penchant for small boys’ matters conclude with acceptance of his word that he does not and the observation that ‘at the present stage … the risks of political embarrassment to the government is rather greater than the security danger.’ The risk to children is not considered at all.”
The new group of papers, which name former establishment figures as well as references to the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland where boys were abused, were “found in a separate Cabinet Office store of assorted and unstructured papers.”
Wanless and Whittam’s inquiry noted last year that they hadn’t unearthed evidence that any records had been deliberately destroyed and added they had “found nothing to cause us to alter the conclusions drawn or recommendations made in our review.”
But they also said the discovery of new papers would not be “helpful” in recovering public trust in the inquiry, which was completed last year.
An NSPCC spokesman said: “This is a clear illustration, as the original review revealed, of the misplaced priorities of those operating at [the] highest levels of government, where people simply weren’t thinking about crimes against children and the consequences of those crimes in the way that we would expect them to. It reiterates the need for an inquiry that will explore this in depth.”
The investigation of alleged corruption in the Metropolitan Police relating to child sex offences from the 1970s to the 2000s leaves a lot to be desired, writes Steven Walker
The news that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating 14 separate referrals of alleged corruption in the Metropolitan Police relating to child sex offences from the 1970s to the 2000s might at first glance be seen as hopeful, especially to survivors of child sexual abuse who are pinning their hopes on receiving justice.
But the Home Secretary’s qualified answer to a question put to her by the home affairs select committee regarding immunity for police officers from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act gave the game away.
Her lack of certainty is guaranteed to stop any police officer coming forward with relevant information for the IPCC.
This latest twist in the long-running scandal of an Establishment cover-up of historic sexual abuse against vulnerable children could have another consequence. The long-delayed Goddard inquiry has just got under way after two false starts with inquiry heads acknowledged as too close to the Establishment and unable to secure the confidence of sexual abuse survivors.
But with these twin investigations pursuing parallel courses, covering much of the same ground and focussing on the activities of notorious paedophile Cyril Smith and other MPs, there is a danger of confusion and potential legal conundrums. This could lead to witnesses being called by both inquiries and evidence compromised.
The result could be a legal nightmare leading to stalemate and further delay at best. All of which will suit the Establishment which on past record is very adept at concealing truth, losing evidence and making sure the tracks of abusers are completely covered.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg still refuses to order a full-scale investigation into which senior Liberal Party figures knew all about Cyril Smith and his prolific paedophile activity.
Conservatives Edwina Currie, Gyles Brandreth and Rod Richards have previously made damning statements of how well known in Westminster circles it was that MP Peter Morrison was a dangerous paedophile and yet his career was unaffected as he rose to be deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. He was Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary in 1990 and her campaign manager that same year despite this knowledge having been around for many years.
Tim Fortescue, Edward Heath’s Chief Whip from 1970-73, made public on Michael Cockerell’s BBC documentary in 1995 Westminster’s Secret Service that there was a tried and tested method for cover-ups named the dirt book system.
Talking about the role of the chief whip, Fortescue said: “For anyone with any sense who was in trouble would come to the whips and tell them the truth … a scandal involving small boys … we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points and if I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then, he will do as we ask forever more.”
Just after announcing, 18 months ago, that the Metropolitan Police were about to arrest a former Tory Cabinet minister,
Commander Peter Spindler, who had been leading the police criminal investigation into organised paedophiles sexually abusing young children from a council children’s home in Richmond upon Thames, was taken off the investigation and moved sideways to another job.
The suggestion is that powerful figures had complained about Spindler’s work in pursuing three major paedophile investigations and he had to be stopped.
More evidence of an Establishment cover-up has emerged as another former local newspaper executive has now claimed that he too was issued with an official warning against reporting on an exclusive paedophile ring, when he was interviewed by an officer working for Operation Fernbridge, the major criminal investigation examining very specific claims of sexual abuse and grooming of children.
Hilton Tims told a Fernbridge detective that his paper, the Surrey Comet, was issued with a D notice in 1984 — an official warning not to publish intelligence that might damage national security — when he sought to report on a police investigation into the notorious Elm Guest House. This is the guest house where Cyril Smith MP and other Establishment figures preyed upon vulnerable children taken there from a nearby children’s home.
Tims joins a list of newspaper editors who have gone on record to testify that similar gagging action took place around the same time. They include Don Hale, former editor of the Bury Messenger who recalled that Special Branch officers seized a paedophile dossier naming Establishment figures drawn up by Labour peer Barbara Castle in the 1980s.
Officers citing “national security” confiscated the file which listed 16 MPs along with other local VIPs.
The dossier was collated with help from concerned social workers by the former Labour MP for Blackburn who personally handed it to him. As well as key members of both the Commons and Lords, the dossier named 30 prominent businessmen, public school teachers, scoutmasters and police officers who had links to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a group dedicated to legalising sex with young children.
Under the 30-year secrecy rule the National Archives has just released a file prepared for Thatcher which details the paedophile activities of Sir Peter Hayman, a former career diplomat and head of MI6. He was named by Geoffrey Dickens MP in the House of Commons when his name along with many other MPs and government officials, was discovered in a dossier Dickens had collated.
This file is the first clear evidence that Thatcher herself was part of the cover-up.
The director of public prosecutions at the time did nothing either despite correspondence within the dossier showing Hayman’s link to the PIE and evidence of his interest in the sexual torture of young children.
This lack of action mirrored those of the then home secretary Leon Brittan who did nothing and allowed the dossier to get lost in the Home Office.
The historic child sexual abuse scandal continues as the Establishment settle down for the longterm, safe in the knowledge that their sordid secrets are safe from scrutiny, while witnesses are deterred from giving evidence.
Bulic Forsythe was allegedly killed as a part of a cover up to the abuse against women and children at
Senior council officials apparently violently raped and abused women and children in a London council basement during the 1990s, an explosive new report has revealed.
Until now allegations of a paedophile ring operating at Lambeth Council have never been made public.
According to a report, obtained exclusively by Sky News, council figures used the basement of Lambeth’s housing headquarters to carry out the horrific abuse on women, children and even animals “without fear of interruption by other staff”.
Among the allegations includes a female member of staff who described being raped “of horrendous proportions” – suffering serious injuries still one month afterwards. The broadcaster also reported she was raped alongside children and animals by senior members of the council.
Three male employees, including one in a senior position, were suspended from their jobs in the housing department in light of the findings following an internal investigation. But they were removed on grounds of breaching the authority’s ‘equal opportunities policy’. No criminal investigation was launched at the time despite the claims in the report.
But now the Metropolitan Police are investigating the abuse allegations and the 1993 murder case of Lambeth Council’s housing manager Bulic Forsythe under Operation Trinity – linking it to the Westminster paedophile ring that involves high profile politicians and MPs during the 1970s and 1980s.
It is alleged Forsythe could have been killed as part of a cover up after he was made aware of the abuse and wanted to “spill the beans” after visiting one of the council sites.
In the report, it states he told colleagues that he felt at risk and was trying to move from the housing services. It was also claimed he had clashed with a senior council official who is named in the report as the head of the ring.
The report stated: “The murder of Bulic Forsythe was seen by some witnesses as a possible outcome for anyone who strayed too far in their investigation or for those who asked too many questions.
“The panel heard evidence about Bulic Forsythe whilst he was working in social services visiting Hambrook House and speaking to a colleague and telling her that he was going to ‘spill the beans’. Three days later he was killed.”
According to Sky’s investigation, people who held senior positions at the time of the alleged incidents said “the council had elements of dysfunctionality and was plagued by corruption and fear”.
Forsythe’s daughter Kiddist told the broadcaster: “Some of the stuff that’s in here, [the report], I honestly can’t believe happened. I was very shocked.”
Met Police’s detective inspector Sean Crotty said: “This report provides the context to people who were abused in Lambeth. What we need is for people who were children at the time and who were abused to come forward.”
Lambeth Council said it was supporting the police in its investigation.
A spokesman said: “Lambeth Council is determined to do all that we can to support this renewed push to tackle the issue, and ensure that offenders who had previously escaped justice are now held to account.”
It’s the latest scandal to hit the country amid claims of other paedophile rings involving public figures, which the Home Secretary Theresa May calls are just “the tip of the iceberg”, shockingly claiming the scale of the abuse was “woven, covertly, into the fabric” of British society.
Lambeth Council Alleged Abuse Findings:
There were two sites on Lambeth council property used to carry out sexual assaults. They were used for this purpose “on many occasions over the years”.
Two private removal firms were “frequently” on site, and were believed to have removed evidence of equipment used during sexual assaults, and washed the area down. One firm had keys to all internal lockers, including a cabinet where evidence in a criminal case was kept and later went missing.
Items handed to police following the rape of a female member of staff by a colleague on council premises included a semen-stained blanket, soiled tissues, cassettes and a penknife.
Bulic Forsythe, a manager in the housing department, told colleagues he was going to “spill the beans” after a visit to one of these sites.
He clashed with an individual who held a senior position and is named in the report as the head of the ring involved in abuse, and then moved from the housing department to social services.
While in social services Bulic told another colleague he believed the individual in housing could still ‘get to him’. After his death in 1993, colleagues reported that a report he had compiled went missing from his office.
Three male employees, including one in a senior position, were suspended from their jobs in the housing department as a result of the investigation.
Despite the findings of rape and sexual assault, and possessing indecent images of children, they were suspended on grounds of a ‘breach of the council’s equal opportunities policy’.
The report recommended a criminal investigation into the allegations of rape, child rape and images of abuse, which the Metropolitan Police confirmed never took place.
Claims that police officers were ordered to hand over evidence are ‘very credible and very frightening’
The Metropolitan Police are facing fresh allegations after it was revealed that an undercover police investigation that gathered evidence of child abuse by MP Cyril Smith was scrapped shortly after his arrest.
The Liberal MP, who died in 2010, was arrested for his alleged involvement in sex parties with teenage boys in south London during the 1980s, a former police officer told BBC Newsnight.
During a three-month secret inquiry into a high-profile child sex abuse ring, police collected compelling video evidence of men abusing boys as young as 14, the source said.
Newsnight was also told that police had evidence that a senior member of Britain’s intelligence agencies and two high-ranking police officers took part in the abuse.
The inquiry is reported to have led to a house in Streatham, where Smith and several others were arrested. Newsnight alleges he was released just hours later without charge.
The decision to scrap the inquiry was made by a high-ranking police officer, whom the undercover team had no prior contact with, the source alleges.
“Officers were then ordered to hand over all their evidence – including notebooks and video footage – and were warned to keep quiet about the investigation or face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act,” reports The BBC’s Nick Hopkins.
Former Scotland Yard detective Clive Driscoll has described the claims as “very credible and very frightening”.
“Smith was being protected by some fairly powerful people […] because he knew of other paedophiles in the networks in which he operated,” said Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who has worked to expose Cyril Smith as a prolific paedophile.
This latest revelation comes just hours after the police watchdog announced that it would be beginning an investigation into claims that the Met Police covered up child sex offences because of the involvement of high-level politicians and police officers.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has described the allegations as “historic, high-level corruption of the most serious nature”.
The police force refused to comment on the recent allegations, but said that it was investigating allegations that police officers “acted inappropriately” in relation to historic child abuse investigations. It urged anyone with information to come forward.
Met Police probed over claims it covered up child sex abuse
An investigation has begun into claims that the Metropolitan police covered up child sex offences because of the involvement of high level politicians and police officers, the police watchdog has announced.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is looking into 16 allegations of high-level corruption in the force from the 1970s to 2005.
“These allegations are of historic, high-level corruption of the most serious nature,” said deputy chairman of the IPCC, Sally Green. “Allegations of this nature are of grave concern and I would like to reassure people our commitment to ensuring that the investigations are thorough and robust.
The investigation will look at claims that London’s police force suppressed evidence and hindered or halted investigations because of the involvement of MPs and police officers.
Police officers sexually abused a young boy and then carried out surveillance on him
Surveillance of a child abuse ring was shut down because of “high-profile people being involved”
A document, which originated from within the Houses of Parliament, was discovered at a paedophile’s address and listed a number of high-level individuals as being involved in a paedophile ring, but no further action was taken.
The Metropolitan police told the BBC that the force had voluntarily referred the cases to the IPCC because it “recognised the severity of the allegations and the importance of understanding whether or not our officers had in the past acted inappropriately”.
It also said that its ongoing investigations and recent convictions have shown that the service is “fully committed” to investigating non-recent allegations of sexual abuse.
The IPCC is to investigate 14 allegations of corruption in the Metropolitan Police concerning establishment child abuse between 1970 and 2005
Scotland Yard is being investigated over explosive claims it covered up child sexual abuse by senior politicians, the police watchdog revealed today.
They include allegations uncovered by the Daily Mirror that a detective was removed from a paedophile probe in 1998 when he named a minister in Tony Blair’s government as a suspect.
The Lambeth children’s home case tops a list of 14 police corruption claims being probed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission between 1970 and 2005.
Labour MP Tom Watson tonight praised the Daily Mirror and our sister paper the Sunday People for uncovering the scandal.
Mr Watson, who sparked the police investigations by raising concerns about a cover-up of abusers linked to Westminster, said: “This is potentially a very serious milestone in pursuit of justice for survivors of serious sexual crimes.
“For many years they were dismissed as conspiracy theorists and fantasists. Now they are being taken seriously.
“All credit to the Daily Mirror and the Sunday People for digging away at this story for the last two years.”
The anti-corruption probe could see police officers, politicians and civil servants being convicted of perverting the course of justice or misconduct in public office.
It is the largest ever corruption investigation involving allegations the police protected establishment figures.
Among the 14 referrals is a claim that a police surveillance operation of a child abuse ring was shut down because former Liberal MP Cyril Smith was among the suspects.
An investigation into young men being targeted in Dolphin Square, the apartment complex popular with MPs, was also allegedly stopped because officers were “too near prominent people”, the IPCC said.
Another case involves a Houses of Parliament document found at a paedophile’s home linking a number of MPs and senior police officers to an abuse ring, but no further action was taken.
Officers are also investigating claims that an abuse victim’s account was altered to omit a senior politician’s name, while it is also alleged that no further action was taken into claims of child sex abuse involving a former senior Met Police officer and “further members of the establishment including judges”.
Another is that police officers sexually abused a boy and carried out surveillance on him.
Sarah Green, deputy chair of the IPCC, said: “These allegations are of historic, high level corruption of the most serious nature.
“Allegations of this nature are of grave concern and I would like to reassure people of our absolute commitment to ensuring that the investigations are thorough and robust.”
Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said: “Child abuse is a horrific crime and the allegations the IPCC is investigating are of the utmost seriousness.
“Given the gravity of the crimes being investigated, it is worrying this is not a fully independent investigation.
“Instead the Met will lead this work with oversight from the IPCC. Surely this should be done by an independent investigator or, at the very least an alternate force.
“For too long the voices of abused children have been ignored and the crimes against them have gone un-investigated.
“In too many cases, people in a position to protect children failed to act and let them down. In the worst cases, there were attempts to undermine or discredit children reporting abuse.
“It is vital this investigation is able to get to the truth of these appalling allegations, root out anyone involved in wrongdoing and pursue criminal proceedings wherever needed.”
Campaigning MP Simon Danczuk said: “I’m not surprised that the IPCC has taken the decision to investigate this.
“Really this is a significant development in what has been the whole story around the historic child sex abuse around Westminster.
“If what I’ve been told over the last couple of years is true then it does indeed involve senior politicians.
“I think we are on the cusp of finding out exactly what went on in the 70s and 1980s and I’m sorry to say that I think it will be shown that senior politicians were involved in abuse and there was a cover-up.
An alleged victim of a Westminster paedophile ring told police Leon Brittan had abused him more than a dozen times.
The witness, known as Nick, said he also saw most of his friends molested by the former Home Secretary, who died in January, aged 75.
Nick identified Mr Brittan as being present at VIP abuse parties when he spoke to the investigative website Exaro.
Asked how he knew who he was, Nick said: “He told me. Not his full name. He told me it was Leon.” As he got older, he had realised it was Brittan.
The 14 referrals being investigated by the IPCC are allegations that:
There was a potential cover up around failures to properly investigate child sex abuse offences in south London and further information about criminal allegations against a politician being dropped.
An investigation involving a proactive operation targeting young men in Dolphin Square was stopped because officers were too near prominent people.
A document was found at an address of a paedophile that originated from the Houses of Parliament listing a number of highly prominent individuals (MPs and senior police officers) as being involved in a paedophile ring and no further action was taken.
An account provided by an abuse victim had been altered to omit the name of a senior politician.
An investigation into a paedophile ring, in which a number of people were convicted, did not take action in relation to other more prominent individuals.
A politician had spoken with a senior Met Police officer and demanded no action was taken regarding a paedophile ring and boys being procured and supplied to prominent persons in Westminster in the 1970s.
In the late 1970s a surveillance operation that gathered intelligence on a politician being involved in paedophile activities was closed down by a senior Met Police officer.
A dossier of allegations against senior figures and politicians involved in child abuse were taken by Special Branch officers.
A surveillance operation of a child abuse ring was subsequently shut down due to high profile people being involved.
Child sex abuse against a senior politician and a subsequent cover-up of his crimes.
During a sexual abuse investigation a senior officer instructed the investigation be halted and that that order had come from ‘up high’ in the Met.
A conspiracy within the Met to prevent the prosecution of a politician suspected of offences.
No further action was taken following allegations against a former senior Met Police officer regarding child sex abuse and that further members of the establishment including judges were involved
Police officers sexually abused a boy and carried out surveillance on him. There are further allegations of financial corruption in a London borough police force.
Police investigating Westminster-linked child abuse are examining whether a man was murdered because he was about to expose a paedophile ring operating within a London council.
Sky News has obtained details of an internal investigation documenting sexual assaults and abuse carried out by officers within Lambeth Council in the 1990s.
The unpublished report reveals claims from those within the council that Bulic Forsythe, a manager in the housing department whose murder sparked a nationwide appeal in 1993, may have discovered council property was being used to carry out abuse.
That abuse involved senior figures in Lambeth who were using council premises for the rape of women and children, according to the report’s remarkable findings.
They used the basement of Lambeth’s housing headquarters, the report says, because “sexual assault could be performed without fear of interruption by other staff”.
A senior staff member is accused of watching material with “sadistic, bestial and paedophile themes” which “may have been home-produced by staff of people with whom they associated”.
One female staff member was subject to a rape on council premises “of horrendous proportions”, such that she was still suffering from serious injuries one month on.
She described being raped alongside children and animals by senior figures in the council.
Although the report, which was prompted by alleged breaches of the council’s equal opportunities policy, recommends a criminal investigation, its findings were never formally investigated by the police at the time.
Instead, the perpetrators within the council were dismissed from their positions. The report has never before been made public.
It also reveals that colleagues of Bulic Forsythe, whose family have long believed he was murdered to prevent him from blowing the whistle on events at Lambeth, also feared he had been killed as part of a cover up.
“The murder of Bulic Forsythe was seen by some witnesses as a possible outcome for anyone who strayed too far in their investigation or for those who asked too many questions,” the report says.
“The panel heard evidence about Bulic Forsythe whilst he was working in social services visiting Hambrook House and speaking to a colleague and telling her that he was going to ‘spill the beans’.
“Three days later he was killed,” the report says.
Sky News showed the report to Kiddist Forsythe, 21, the daughter of Bulic Forsythe, who was born three months after his murder.
She said: “Some of the stuff that’s in here, I honestly can’t believe happened. I was very shocked.
“It’s really clear the fear that operated in the council – it seems from the report my father felt that fear,” she went on, adding he was scared that if he moved jobs “people in power could still get to him”.
Sky News contacted a number of people who held senior positions in Lambeth at the time of the alleged incidents. All said the council had elements of dysfunctionality and was plagued by corruption and fear.
Dr Nigel Goldie, former assistant director of social services, said: “There were often rather strange things happening. Things going on behind the scenes that were never properly explained or known about.
“This was in the context of an organisation that displayed dysfunctional features.”
There has been a renewed focus on events in Lambeth in the 1980s and 1990s amid growing evidence of a series of paedophile rings operating across England involving the abuse of children in care homes, in some cases allegedly by politicians and other senior figures.
The Metropolitan Police, which has been investigating events in Lambeth at the time under Operation Trinity, said it was considering the report as part of its investigation.
Detective Inspector Sean Crotty said: “This report provides the context to people who were abused in Lambeth.
“What we need is for people who were children at the time and who were abused to come forward.”
Lambeth Council said it is supporting Operation Trinity and is working closely with specialist police investigators.
A spokesperson said: “Lambeth Council is determined to do all that we can to support this renewed push to tackle the issue, and ensure that offenders who had previously escaped justice are now held to account.”
TEHRAN (FNA)- British spy service 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 Guardian reported.
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 specter 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 organization, 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.