Labour MP Tom Watson made extraordinary claim in an online blog post
Said he was told journalist was mistakenly copied in on top Tories’ emails
Officials speculated about which Labour MPs were paedophiles, he claimed
Top Tories swapped emails discussing how to smear Labour MPs with paedophile allegations, it was claimed yesterday.
A series of the messages between staff at Conservative Campaign Headquarters were allegedly sent to a national newspaper journalist by accident.
Labour MP Tom Watson made the extraordinary claim in an online blog. He said he was told that the journalist was mistakenly copied in on emails in which Tory officials speculated about which Labour MPs were paedophiles.
The MP claimed the alleged messages meant that senior Conservative officers were either withholding ‘vital intelligence’ from the police or engaging in a ‘smear campaign’ against their opponents.
Mr Watson, former Labour Party deputy chairman and general election co-ordinator, wrote to David Cameron about the alleged emails last month.
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps replied to Mr Watson saying he had looked into the claims and found no evidence to back them up.
Separately, a senior executive at the newspaper told Mr Watson the emails in fact related to well-established links between senior Labour politicians and notorious campaign group, the Paedophile Information Exchange.
A Tory Party spokesman said last night that Mr Watson’s allegations were ‘completely false and without foundation’.
The source added: “They got wind of this after an incident at Balmoral when he screamed in the night.”
The concerned friend, who worked for the royals at the time, immediately alerted the boy’s parents.
He told them: “This is something that you should have nothing to do with.”
Reports from the time reveal further details of the boy’s ordeal.
One says his parents discovered a handwritten note from him.
It read: “What Buckingham Palace did for me was exploitation of the highest order.”
The boy’s mother said at the time: “My son was happy and normal until he went there.
“Then he changed completely. He refused to talk to us or discuss what he was up to.”
The boy’s father also claimed that young Palace staff were lavished with expensive gifts for “entertaining men”.
He added: “In some cases Palace officials were involved.
“Afterwards, the servants got good references to take up posts abroad with wealthy employers.”
According to the Home Office files, the desperate parents wrote to Geoffrey Dickens for help.
The MP raised the mother’s concerns with the Home Secretary in 1983.
But Mr Dickens received a reply saying Leon Brittan felt it would not be practical to carry out a detailed investigation.
He wrote: “I need hardly assure you that the Royal Household is extremely concerned at these unsubstantiated allegations and it is, of course, their policy to take every step to avoid an occurrence of such as is alleged.
Mr Brittan indicated that her son had worked at Buckingham Palace for a year, adding: “It is extremely difficult to comment on the accuracy of the allegations in the letter.”
But an even more chilling development is contained in the files, lending weight to the claims that a paedophile VIP ring was linked to the Palace.
During his time at Buckingham Palace, the 16-year-old was approached by notorious paedophile Sir Peter Hayman and was asked to work for him in Canada, where he was ambassador.
Hayman has been identified as a member of the VIP paedophile ring operating in Westminster and is known to have had royal connections.
He was desperate to have the boy working for him, even writing to his parents to ask them about taking his son on as a footman. Hayman said the boy would need winter clothes.
The parents never found out how Hayman knew their son.
But the source said: “They knew there was something wrong.”
The parents were so concerned by Hayman’s approach that they attempted to stop their son working for him, the family friend explained.
Exaro has established that the boy’s parents intervened to stop him going to Canada to work for Hayman.
Mr Watson, who has led the campaign for a full-scale inquiry into claims of child sex abuse at the heart of the Establishment, said: “In light of what we now know, any allegation of sexual crimes regarding Peter Hayman should be thoroughly investigated.
“He was protected by the Establishment at the time.
“The full extent of how his conduct was covered up has not been explained.”
The parents and their son have declined to comment on the allegations.
But the revelations link Buckingham Palace to a paedophile network of MPs and powerful figures that operated over many years in the UK.
Concerns: Labour MP Tom Watson has been investigating paedophile networks
since the Jimmy Savile controversy erupted in 2012
A Labour MP has demanded renewed and wider inquiries into the Paedophile Information Exchange amid fears that government files proving it received taxpayers’ cash have been shredded.
An ex-civil servant has previously claimed the government gave money to the PIE – which called paedophiles ‘ordinary, decent, sensible human beings’ – during the 1970s.
Home Secretary Theresa May has asked Mark Sedwill, the permanent secretary at the Home Office, to investigate after details of the claims were passed on by Labour MP Tom Watson.
Last night Mr Watson welcomed the probe but also demanded a wider-ranging police inquiry into the PIE.
He claimed Scotland Yard’s paedophile squad, which is running an investigation called Operation Fernbridge into claims that an establishment paedophile ring preyed on children in care in the 1980s, is ‘chronically under-resourced’.
But last night there were mounting fears that all government papers on its links to the PIE have been shredded.
Sources said everything that the Home Office held on PIE post-1979 appears to have been destroyed, except for the titles. It is understood that a total of 11 PIE files dating from 1979 to the mid-1980s have been identified.
The Home Office insists ‘their destruction was consistent with applicable record retention policies’.
Mr Watson said: ‘I was contacted by a former Home Office civil servant who told me that he saw a document that suggests the Paedophile Information Exchange got public money.
‘The document was recommending approval for funding during the Thatcher government. My source, who does not wish to talk to the media, said it appeared to be a re-application for funds. He could not be certain whether or not it had been funded by a Labour government but he thought this was possible.’
Mr Watson has been investigating paedophile networks since the Jimmy Savile controversy erupted in 2012 and he has worked closely with the police to pass on information from private sources. But he said officers have got their work cut out.
‘Operation Fernbridge is chronically under-resourced,’ he said. ‘They have arrested members of PIE but what they’re not doing is looking systematically at everyone who was in PIE.
‘They are pursuing specific allegations by victims but don’t have the resources to conduct a general inquiry. Given the extreme public concern about PIE, there should be a properly resourced investigation into what the PIE got up to.’
Mr Watson’s comments will be a matter of great concern for Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and his senior commanders, who are under pressure to take allegations of historic child sex abuse more seriously in the aftermath of Savile.
It is unclear when the Home Office inquiry into PIE will be completed, or whether retired civil servants with knowledge of the issue are being interviewed. But a well-placed source said there is a growing belief that the paedophile group did indeed receive public money. The source added: ‘There is a lot of concern in the highest levels of Government about what may unravel.’
The PIE was established in 1974 to campaign for the age of consent to be lowered to four.
A year later the National Council for Civil Liberties – today known as the human rights watchdog Liberty – controversially granted official ‘affiliate’ status to the group.
One leaflet sent by the PIE to MPs claimed: ‘Paedophiles are ordinary, decent, sensible human beings, no more sexually depraved than yourself, and with a capacity for loving and helping children which is at present being repressed.’
However, within a few years the harm caused by paedophiles became public and many of PIE’s activists were jailed. It was disbanded in 1984.
Last night, Mr Watson said the Conservatives have questions to answer about alleged cover-ups of paedophilia in their ranks.
He claimed the Tories tried to suppress the case of diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, who was jailed in 1984 for posting child pornography.
Mr Watson added: ‘The shared shame of all the political parties is that they can do more – much more – to protect kids who face abuse.’