Geoffrey Dickens

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MP who exposed suspected Westminster paedophile ring feared he was on a “hit list”

Published November 15, 2014 by misty534

Geoffrey-Dickens

Tory Geoffrey Dickens was so afraid for his life that he hid copies of his damning files in a “safe place”

An MP feared he was on a ‘hit list’ after drawing up a dossier that threatened to expose a suspected Westminster paedophile ring, a close friend has claimed

Tory Geoffrey Dickens was so afraid he hid copies of his damning files – naming eight public figures suspected of child abuse – in a “safe place”.

The MP also told Geoff Hope he had a secret alliance with former Labour minister Barbara Castle, who had her own dossier naming 16 MPs and Lords.

Both politicians’ claims are at the heart of a public inquiry and police investigation into allegations of child sex abuse at Westminster in 70s and 80s.

The late Mr Dickens handed the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan his dossier in 1983. It has since gone missing.

Lord Brittan
 Former Home Secretary Lord Brittan

Mr Hope, 83, has decided to speak out after being disgusted by theWanless Report, a Home Office inquiry that has failed to locate the documents.

He said: “Geoffrey feared repercussions for his family and friends. He said he had names that would ‘blow the roof off Westminster’.”

Mr Hope ran a service station near Mr Dickens’ constituency home and was a family friend. He said the MP came in with his dossier in the 80s.

“He used to pop in on Saturdays for a chat,” said Mr Hope. “This time he had a document case. I jokingly asked if it was full of money but he said it was his research into paedophiles.

“He said MPs, people in the church, and in other high places were involved.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens

“He told me he was worried for his own welfare and would be worried for my safety if he showed me the contents.

“I said he could use my photocopier to make a copy to keep safe, but he said he’d already done it. I told him to go to Scotland Yard but he thought the Met and Special Branch had been infiltrated by them.”

Mr Hope said the MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth in Greater Manchester told him he believed he was on a “hit list”.

Mr Dickens, who died of cancer in 1995, campaigned for more than a decade to expose the alleged ring and its links to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) which wanted a Bill to legalise sex with children.

By Don Hale

Child abuse claims did not involve prominent politicians, report finds

Published November 11, 2014 by misty534

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 14.50.35

Wanless inquiry into missing Home Office files also finds no evidence they were deliberately or systematically destroyed

Specific allegations of child abuse made by the former Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens were taken seriously by Lord Brittan when he was home secretary, but they did not involve prominent politicians or celebrities, according to a new Home Office file uncovered by the Wanless inquiry.

Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), concludes in his inquiry report into 114 missing Home Office files relating to child abuse in the 1980s that there is no evidence that they were “deliberately or systematically removed or destroyed to cover up organised child abuse”.

Wanless says the record keeping practices inside the Home Office at the time mean it is not possible to reach a categorical conclusion but “we found nothing specific to support a concern that the Home Office had failed in any organised or deliberate way to identify or refer individual allegations of child abuse to the police”.

The home secretary, Theresa May, responded to Wanless’s review of the original Home Office internal investigation into the missing files by asking him to look further at how the police and prosecution authorities handled the child abuse allegations that were passed on to them by the Home Office at the time.

She has also asked Wanless and his co-author, Richard Whittam QC, to establish whether any of the material mentioned in the internal inquiry or in connection with the 114 missing files was passed to the security services, and if so, what action they took.

MI5 responded to the Wanless inquiry by carrying out a search of its own files but said it had not found any relevant to the review.

Wanless says that one relevant 1983 Home Office file, the “Brighton assaults” file, was found after the initial investigation had been completed. It contains correspondence between officials and ministers relating to meetings between Brittan and Dickens in 1983 and 1984, mostly prompted by a desire to respond to a horrific attack on a child in Brighton that had led to front-page headlines.

The file includes a paper setting out the case for and against banning the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) that was presented to Brittan on 31 August 1983. “He is recorded in discussion as accepting advice that, with ongoing police investigation into PIE activities, it was not right to be commenting further on banning the organisation,” reports Wanless.

It also contains a departmental briefing for Brittan for a meeting with Dickens on 24 November when he handed over two letters containing specific allegations. In addition, it contains a subsequent letter from Dickens with further enclosed cases for investigation and thanking the home secretary for his “splendid support”.

The cases were passed on to the director of public prosecutions and Dickens was subsequently told that two of the cases could form the basis for police investigations.

“There is no mention of prominent politicians or celebrities in the cases under discussion [in marked contrast to media commentary about these meetings at the time],” adds Wanless.

The inquiry also reviewed the evidence of alleged funding of PIE by the Home Office’s voluntary services unit and concludes on the balance of probabilities that it did not take place. They say they cannot dismiss entirely evidence from a whistleblower that PIE might have been funded as part of a police or security service effort to infiltrate the organisation but found no evidence to support it.

Alan Travis