Whistleblower who prompted Operation Fernbridge says up to 40 MPs and peers knew about or took part in child abuse
More than 10 current and former politicians are on a list of alleged child abusers held by police investigating claims of a Westminster paedophile ring.
MPs or peers from all three main political parties are on the list, which includes former ministers and household names.
Several, including Cyril Smith and Sir Peter Morrison, are no longer alive, but others are still active in Parliament.
The existence of the list was disclosed by Peter McKelvie, the whistleblower whose claims prompted Operation Fernbridge, the Scotland Yard investigation into allegations of a paedophile network with links to Downing Street.
Mr McKelvie, a retired child protection team manager who has spent more than 20 years compiling evidence of alleged abuse by authority figures, said he believed there was enough evidence to arrest at least one senior politician.
It comes as David Cameron ordered the most senior civil servant at the Home Office to conduct a fresh investigation into what happened to a missing dossier on alleged paedophiles in Westminster in the 1980s.
The Prime Minister told Mark Sedwill, the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, to “do everything he can” to clear up what happened to the file, which was handed to the then home secretary Leon (now Lord) Brittan by the late Geoffrey Dickens MP.
Separately Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said yesterday she would “examine the case” for a public inquiry into historical child abuse in public life, for which 139 MPs have now called –which means 511 MPs have not signed-up to this. Why not? (Ed.)
Mr McKelvie, who helped bring the notorious paedophile Peter Righton to justice in 1992 when he worked in Hereford and Worcester child protection team, said: “I believe there are sufficient grounds to carry out a formal investigation into allegations of up to 20 MPs and Lords over the last three to four decades, some still alive and some dead. The list is there.”
In a letter to his local MP Sir Tony Baldry last month, Mr McKelvie suggested that a further 20 MPs and Lords were implicated in the “cover-up” of abuse of children.
Mr McKelvie, who has compiled a dossier of evidence by speaking to alleged victims and care workers with whom they are in contact, does not suggest that any of the MPs and Lords colluded with each other.
It was as a result of information provided by Mr McKelvie that the Labour MP Tom Watson raised the issue of child abuse at Prime Minister’s Questions in October 2012. He spoke of “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and Number 10” that arose from the Righton case.
Following Mr Watson’s intervention, the Metropolitan Police began Operation Fernbridge, an ongoing investigation into allegations of sex abuse at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south London.
At least one witness is understood to have told police in the 1980s that he was abused by a Tory MP at the guest house when he was aged under 10, but the alleged victim has so far refused to give a sworn a witness statement to the police.
The Metropolitan Police has consistently said it is “not prepared to give a running commentary on Operation Fernbridge, which is an ongoing operation”.
Earlier this week it emerged that a dossier on an alleged Westminster paedophile network compiled by the late MP Geoffrey Dickens went missing after it was handed to the former home secretary Lord Brittan in 1983.
Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP who raised questions about the dossier, said yesterday he had received a dozen new allegations naming the same politician this week.
He and six other MPs have written to Mrs May demanding a public inquiry, and in her reply Mrs May said “nothing has been ruled out”, adding: “Once the criminal investigations have concluded, I will thoroughly examine the case for an inquiry into the matters you have raised.”
Speaking about the Dickens dossier, the Prime Minister said he understood the concerns about the missing file.
He said: “That’s why I’ve asked the permanent secretary at the Home Office to do everything he can to find answers to all of these questions and to make sure we can reassure people about these events.
“So it’s right that these investigations are made. We mustn’t do anything, of course, that could prejudice or prevent proper action by the police.
“If anyone has information about criminal wrong-doing they should, of course, give it to the police.”
Yesterday The Daily Telegraph disclosed that a senior Tory who is being investigated as part of Operation Fernbridge was allegedly stopped by a customs officer with child pornography in the 1980s.
The customs officer who made the seizure can now be named as Maganlal Solanki, 76, who said at his home in Leicester yesterday: “I don’t want to go over it all. It’s very disturbing for me. I’ve been told not to say anything by my department.”
Asked about the senior Tory, who was never arrested over the alleged child pornography seizure, Mr Solanki said: “Well, that is just a matter for him.”