Former MI5 chief 'involved in child sex abuse cover-up'

Jul 23, 2015

Newly discovered government documents also relate to senior Westminster figures, including Leon Brittan

Central Press/Getty Images

Antony Duff, former director general of MI5

The former head of Britain's intelligence service urged the government to cover up allegations of child sexual abuse against a senior MP, freshly uncovered documents have revealed.

Writing to cabinet secretary Sir Robert Armstrong in 1986, MI5 director general Sir Antony Duff said "the risk of political embarrassment to the government is rather greater than the security danger".

The correspondence was about an unnamed MP who was alleged to have "a penchant for small boys," but Duff said he accepted the politician's denial of the abuse.

The documents, originally thought to have been lost or destroyed, were discovered in a Cabinet Office storeroom of "assorted and unstructured papers," The Times reports.

The discovery comes months after an official review into whether allegations of child abuse were covered up by the Home Office in the 1980s found no evidence that records were deliberately removed. 

However, in a supplementary report "quietly" released yesterday, the authors of the report condemned the government's record keeping and called for an extensive search of Whitehall archives.

The freshly unearthed files also include documents about senior Westminster figures including Margaret Thatcher's former parliamentary secretary Sir Peter Morrison, former home secretary Leon Brittan, and former minister Sir William van Straubenzee. The contents of those documents have not been revealed.

There are also papers relating to former MI6 chief Sir Maurice Oldfield and his alleged connection to the abuse scandals at the Kincora boys' home in Northern Ireland.

The Home Office said the files will be handed over to the child abuse inquiry, which began earlier this month. The police are also investigating the material.

Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP who has long campaigned on the issue of child sexual abuse and who exposed the Cyril Smith scandal, has called the documents "explosive".

"This confirms what I've long suspected – that the full weight of the British establishment, including MI5, colluded in a cover-up to protect politicians who sexually abused young boys." 

Child abuse inquiry begns with warning 'not to shred evidence'

09 July

The long-awaited inquiry into historic child sex abuse and exploitation has finally begun in London after a year of delays and controversies.

The independent inquiry will consider whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

It will also examine whether these failings have been addressed and what steps need to be taken to prevent future abuse.

Home Secretary Theresa May first announced the investigation in July last year after claims emerged of high-level cover-up of abuse involving powerful public figures, including politicians.

The inquiry has been plagued by deferrals, resignations and infighting .Two previous chairs were forced to stand down from their positions over their apparent links to the establishment.

In her opening remarks today , Justice Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand high court judge and chair of the inquiry, said child abuse had left "permanent scars" on society and described the task ahead as daunting, the BBC reports.

She said she hoped the inquiry, believed to be the largest ever undertaken in Britain, would be completed by 2020. However, Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said the inquiry could realistically last up to a decade.

Justice Goddard has also issued a fresh warning to the cabinet secretary, religious leaders and public bodies not to shred documents which might be needed in evidence.

There have been concern about the possible destruction of documents after the Home Office admitted that 114 files were "missing" from its archive last year, reports The Times 

Thousands of victims of sexual abuse and exploitation are due to give evidence, but the inquiry has been criticised for not making it clear what support they will receive.

The NSPCC has stepped in with a team of trained councillors who will be running a free dedicated helpline for victims.

Its chief executive Peter Wanless said many victims had "harrowing stories to tell" and that the charity would try and make "what could be a tortuous journey as easy as possible".

Enoch Powell named by bishop in police sex abuse probe

30 March

A Church of England bishop has reported Enoch Powell to police investigating allegations of a Westminster paedophile network.

The claims against the late Conservative MP, who made the infamous Rivers of Blood speech, are said to relate to "ritual satanic abuse" and were reported to a clergyman by a young person during a counselling session in the 1980s.

The information was passed on to the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, who is responsible for "safeguarding" in the Church of England. He reported Powell to the police last year, but is not thought to have had any corroborating material.

Powell's supporters have described the allegations as "absolute nonsense".

The Church of England told the Mail on Sunday that Powell's name had been passed on to detectives from Operation Fernbridge, a Metropolitan Police inquiry into an alleged Westminster paedophile network. A spokesman said last night: "When allegations are made against individuals, it is quite proper to pass those allegations to the police and statutory authorities, without any investigation on our part and regardless of our own views."

Scotland Yard said it does not identify individuals who are the subject of investigation.

Powell's biographer Simon Heffer described the allegations as a "monstrous lie" and criticised those who put it into the public domain.

He said the "post-Savile accusations" brought to mind the "hysteria" surrounding allegations of satanic abuse in the late 1980s and early 1990s. More than 80 of these alleged cases were found to have "no convincing corroborative evidence" when subsequently investigated by the London School of Economics, he added.

Paul Goodman, a former Conservative MP and editor of ConservativeHome, has also written in defence of Powell, describing the "false claims" as part of a narrative that would "caricature a brilliant but flawed man as a pantomime villain".

Powell, a devout member of the Church of England and a Tory MP from 1950 until 1974, was dismissed as shadow defence secretary following his "rivers of blood" speech on immigration in 1968.

Justice Lowell Goddard: who is new chair of child abuse inquiry?

March 30

Home Secretary Theresa May has named Justice Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand high court judge, as the new chairwoman of the government's beleaguered child abuse inquiry.

The wide-ranging inquiry into historical sex abuse claims was set up last year, but has struggled to get off the ground after its first two chairwomen, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf, were forced to resign because of their links to 1980s establishment figures.

Today, May said she would dissolve the existing panel of advisors who were appointed last year and re-establish the inquiry with statutory powers so that it can force witnesses to give evidence and demand access to documents.

She said Goddard was "as removed as possible from the organisations and institutions that might become the focus of the inquiry".

So what do we know about Justice Lowell Goddard, the woman who will lead the inquiry?

Goddard graduated with a degree in law from the University of Auckland in 1974 and was admitted to the Bar in 1975.

Twenty years later she became the first person of Maori descent to be appointed to the High Court bench, presiding over a number of high-profile cases. In 2002, she sentenced a man who molested and stabbed to death his two stepdaughters in their beds to 28 years in prison, the country's longest imposed sentence since the abolition of the death penalty, says the New Zealand Herald.

Between 2007 and 2012, she served as chair of New Zealand's Independent Police Conduct Authority, the first woman to hold the position. In this role, she oversaw an inquiry into police handling of child abuse cases in New Zealand.

Goddard also sat on the United Nations subcommittee on the prevention of torture and was last year made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's birthday honours for her services to law.

According to the Racehorse Owner's Federation, Goddard and her husband Christopher Hodson QC also have a passion for thoroughbred racing, breeding and eventing.


Child abuse inquiry: survivors urge Theresa May to scrap panel

22 December

A group of child abuse survivors have welcomed reports that Home Secretary Theresa May wants to replace the government's child abuse inquiry panel with a more powerful body.

More than 60 victims and representatives wrote to May calling for a new panel with the legal powers to compel witnesses to give evidence under oath.

Six months after the inquiry was announced, the panel still has no chairman. May's first two choices, Fiona Woolf and Baroness Butler-Sloss, stood down because of their links to 1980s establishment figures.

In their letter to May, seen by Sky News, survivors said it was "essential that those conducting the inquiry have appropriate experience, are free from strong links to prominent establishment figures or any other potential conflict of interest and have a proven track record of promoting survivors' rights".

They called for a "dedicated police team to take evidence alongside the inquiry and investigate and prosecute offenders" and said they would welcome the inquiry being given "statutory powers", as well as the "replacement of the current panel".

Their request comes after the Home Secretary wrote to the current panel members, warning that she was considering three options to give the inquiry more powers. Two out of three of the options required the panel to be disbanded.

Labour has criticised May for her "utter failure" to get the inquiry "off the ground", says the BBC.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph says police are investigating claims that up to five paedophile rings operated at "the heart of Westminster", each involving at least one MP.

John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw, has been gathering evidence from members of the public and has handed a dossier to Scotland Yard that reportedly implicates 22 politicians, including three serving MPs and three members of the House of Lords.

He also raised concerns that there are too many different police investigations into the historic abuses and called for an overarching police inquiry.

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One-Minute Read

Disqus - noscript

You can be sure that there was and still is a cover up,its what cowardly incompetents do,more to the point is the paedophile ring still in existence,the public just doesn't trust anything said by Westminster,short of giving every single person at Westminster a lie detector test nobody will believe anything they say.

So we have solved the case of “Rolf Harris”.
Congratulations. You took some time, but you got there in the end, and you made sure that ‘He’ got what ‘He’ deserves. Well, what is it,’ for every rape he gets about 4 months, maybe 5 months. That’s British Justice for you. You can blame so many for failure to act, the Polite, BBC, MP’s oh yes the MP’s. They didn’t have the courage to read the evidenced that was presented. They still want it to be washed over. Do you think they want to be announced how many people are guilty of Paedophile? No way.

We have a series crime in Britain today that makes this seen like a small beer. Terrible what was one to the children but there is more. What was done to them was done to a few THOUSAND girls and ignored by so many more people. The police, BBC, MP’s, the Government, child-care professionals, academics, and political activists, they have all failed. It gone on for 30 years or 40 years. All over the world they are faced with the same problem. The raped gangs are winning. The girls are raped, with drugs and alcohol, 12 to 15 years old. It called “Grooming”. 90% of gang rapes are performed by MUSLEN MEN, in all countries of the world. ( Google or Bing it). The report says the Muslim community has refused to condemn the crimes and to inform police that they were going on. IT GO’S ON OVER THE WHOLE WORLD. GET RID OF THEM

...Jimmy Savile made them do it!!!

Rolf Harris did not rape anyone - all the convictions were for indecent or sexual assault. Rapists tend to get less time than he did, unfortunately.

This so called paedophile enquiry with no judicial power will be like a dog chasing his own tail - he's never likely to catch it and if he did he would only be biting himself!

Covering up minor indiscretions in parliament is one thing but, covering up any crime, especially one as dispicable as paedophilia just to capture the loyalty of another MP (earn Brownie points) is quite another! It strikes at the very heart of democracy (by guaranteeing a number of votes and support for otherwise unpopular bills) it undermines the legislative process and the public's faith in government.

Also, these people are conspiring to subvert the identity of serious criminals and prevent the victims from receiving Justice, thus proving the long and widely held belief that the rich and powerful are above the law. This inevitably leads to a furthering of the fracturing of society which started in 1979 (dived and rule) and will culminate in the tearing-up of the 'Social Contract'. This is a crime against her Majesty and her subjects - it is therefore Treason. Only the strongest penalties will suffice to convince.

There was absolutely a cover-up. I would not be surprised if the media was involved. Note how The Guardian have been deleting numerous comments and banning users from its 'comment is free' articles about all of the abuse, in which the comments never name names or say anything libelous but instead claim that newspapers must have been involved in the coverup. It feels incredibly like The Guardian have something to hide. If they don't, why not allow people to voice their opinion that yes there was a cover-up among the media as well as Parliament?

This scandal will shake British society to its very foundations.
But the truth has to come out. It has been covered up for far too long.

very true. The 'Guardian' are a newspaper with a 'liberal/left' ideology. The roots of this whole scandal go back to the 1970's.
It was a time of huge liberalisation of British society, including a campaign for paedophilia to be accepted as fully legal & normal.
Some Labour politicians have recently been exposed as being involved with a 'Civil Rights' organisation affiliated to the notorious' Paedophile Rights Exchange' campaign group.
Exposing this scandal may be too close for comfort for the ideology of the Guardian. And for many other elements of the British media

This is the "Westminster Paedophile Trojan Horse" to paraphrase Michael Gove.