- New claims reportedly made in written statements by two retired officers
- Emerged after witness ‘Nick’ claimed he saw Tory MP throttle a boy, 12
- Scandal revolves round Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square in London
- Two journalists say they were barred from reporting for ‘national security’
- But ‘D-notice requests from government in 1984’ have now been destroyed
- Home Secretary Theresa May admits revelations only ‘tip of the iceberg’
- Scotland Yard chief Bernard Hogan-Howe says 40 detectives investigating
Two retired detectives have reportedly backed claims that young boys were murdered by politicians at paedophile orgies.
The claims, said to be in new written statements handed to the Metropolitan Police, have emerged just a week after a witness called ‘Nick’ claimed he saw a Tory MP throttle a 12-year-old boy to death.
Scotland Yard has already confirmed it is examining a ‘possible homicide’ committed 30 years ago by a paedophile ring whose ranks included senior Establishment figures.
The revelation came as the Home Secretary Theresa May admitted the recent spate of child abuse allegations were only the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
The Home Secretary, speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show this morning, said it was crucial for society to ‘get to the truth’ of what happened in the 1970s and 1980s.
But Mrs May told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show she was determined that the issues would be fully investigated.
She said: ‘We must as a society, I believe, get to the truth of that and because I think what we’re seeing is frankly – what we’ve already seen revealed – is only the tip of the iceberg on this issue.’
It came as Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe insisted police are taking claims ‘seriously’ and promised there will be no cover-up.
He said: ‘We have got 40 detectives looking into these relatively new claims. There are a series of claims over a relatively long period of time and not all of them are linked, although in the public’s imagination they may be.
‘We have now had more recently this discussion or these claims about murder and, of course, that makes it even more serious.’
The alleged Westminster paedophile ring at the centre of the scandal reportedly met at the now-notorious former Elm Guest House in Barnes, south west London, and a luxury apartment at Dolphin Square in Pimlico.
The two retired officers provided their information today to the Sunday People, which last week revealed the testimony of ‘Nick’ with the help of the Exaro investigative agency.
According to the newspaper, the officers were part of the team which originally investigated the claims in the 1980s but it is thought they were told not to probe further.
Their claims appear to support those of ‘Nick’, now an adult, who said he was in the same room as a 12-year-old boy who was murdered by a Tory MP.
He told the Sunday People last week: ‘I watched while that happened. I am not sure how I got out of that. Whether I will ever know why I survived, I am not sure.’
And the notion that they could have been told to halt their investigation backs claims of a cover-up made by several MPs, including campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson.
Mr Watson, who first raised allegations of a Westminster paedophile ring in Parliament, said last week: ‘We are at the point where the government should consider a national police inquiry made up of specialists from around the country.
‘It is unfair to ask the police in London alone to investigate alleged crimes that took place in many regions of the UK. I am writing to the PM to make this request.’
Two former local newspaper executives have now claimed they were told to stop their reporting of a Westminster paedophile ring in the name of ‘national security’.
The two men, Don Hale of the Bury Messenger and Hilton Tims of the Surrey Comet, told the Observer they were both served with D-notices around 1984 when they tried to report the story.
Now called DA-notices, the rarely-issued orders come from the government and strongly advise journalists not to reveal issues which could compromise the security services.
But the men’s claims cannot be proved because D-notice correspondence ‘with no historical significance’ is destroyed after 20 years, the Observer reported.
Mr Tims, now 82, told MailOnline: ‘We had a tip-off that there was something going on at a guest house in Barnes and I put a reporter onto it.
‘He started making enquiries and didn’t get very far with it, but got some information that some high-profile people had been using this guest house for their antics.
‘The following day the reporter came to me and said we couldn’t carry on with it, we’d had a D-notice. I think it was by phone, as I never saw any document and the editor at the time dealt with most of it. I was the news editor at the time.
‘It was the only D-notice I ever encountered in my career. I was on the Daily Mail for six years and also worked at the BBC.’
Air Vice-Marshall Andrew Vallance, secretary of the current DA-notice committee, insisted it was ‘inconceivable’ that genuine D-notices would have been issued to cover up child abuse – or that they would have then been destroyed.
He said: ‘The 20-year rule is standard throughout government. You get this mass of files that you haven’t used for years and years and some of them have to be destroyed, but not all.
‘Anything which contained letters of advice to the newspapers concerned would not have been destroyed.
‘The more relevant question is where are these D-notices? If individuals claim to have received D-notice correspondence, let’s see it.’
Last week Theresa May admitted there ‘might have been a cover-up’ of an Establishment paedophile ring after more than 100 files went missing from the Home Office.
NSPCC boss Peter Wanless and Richard Whittam QC had tried to track down 114 files dating to the 1980s.
Just one was found while another was shredded by the Ministry of Justice, which took possession of the dossier, just three years ago.
In their government-commissioned report, the men concluded: ‘It is … not possible to say whether files were ever removed or destroyed to cover up or hide allegations of organised or systematic child abuse by particular individuals because of the systems then in place.
‘We cannot say that no file was removed or destroyed for that reason.’
In separate claims Vishambar Mehrotra, whose son Vishal was eight when he vanished on the day of the Royal wedding in 1981, said he may have murdered by Westminster-based abusers.
Nick Clegg called on Scotland Yard to investigate the ‘grotesque’ claims after Mr Mehrotra said a male prostitute phoned him and said the boy had been taken to the Elm Guest House.
A Met Police spokesman said last week: ‘Our inquiries… have revealed further information regarding possible homicide. Based on our current knowledge, this is the first time that this specific information has been passed to the Met.
‘Detectives from the Child Abuse Investigation Command are working closely with colleagues from the Homicide and Major Crime Command concerning this information, which is being looked at under the name of Operation Midland.
‘We will not be giving a commentary as this inquiry develops, and it is important that officers are allowed to pursue their work without interference.’
TIMELINE: HOW THE PAEDOPHILE SCANDALS MUSHROOMED IN TWO YEARS
October 2012: Labour MP Tom Watson claims at Prime Minister’s Questions there is ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10’ and that a ‘senior aide to a former prime minister’ had links to a child sex gang member.
November 2012: Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk uses parliamentary privilege to claim Cyril Smith, right, sexually abused boys.
November 2012: The CPS reveals it considered Smith allegations in 1970, 1998 and 1999. It admits Smith should have been prosecuted.
December 2012: Operation Fairbank set up to examine allegations that VIPs, including politicians, abused young men at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, in the 1970s and 1980s .
February 2013: Operation Fernbridge begins investigating the alleged paedophile ring linked to Elm Guest House. The Mail reveals Peter Hatton-Bornshin – allegedly abused there as a teenager – killed himself in 1994, aged 28.
December 2013: Ex-Labour MP Lord Janner’s home searched by police investigating historical child sex abuse. He is not arrested.
June 2014: Lord Janner’s Westminster offices searched by police. Again, he is not arrested.
July 3, 2014: It emerges Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens’ dossier on suspected Establishment paedophiles – sent to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan in 1983 – disappeared. But the Home Office could find no record of it, fuelling claims of a cover-up. Lord Brittan amends his story twice over his dealings with the original document.
July 5, 2014: More than ten current and former politicians reported to be on list of alleged child abusers held by police investigating Westminster paedophile ring claims. The Mail reveals the Establishment protected diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, when police found child sex abuse images at his flat in 1978.
July 6, 2014: Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill reveals 114 files relating to historical allegations of child sex abuse, 1979 to 1999, have disappeared from the department.
July 7, 2014: Home Secretary Theresa May asks NSPCC’s Peter Wanless to head inquiry into Home Office handling of historical sex abuse cases. She also announces overarching inquiry. Chairman Baroness Butler-Sloss is forced to step down amid questions over the role played by her late brother, Lord Havers, who was attorney general in the 1980s.
October 2014: Replacement Fiona Woolf resigns amid criticism over her ‘Establishment links’, most notably in relation to Lord Brittan.
Dan Bloom & Tom McTague