- Barry Strevens says he told Iron Lady about rumours about Peter Morrison
- Thatcher listened during No.10 meeting, but went on to promote her aide
- New claims emerged about dossier handed to Home Secretary Leon Brittan
- Reports ministers Keith Joseph and Rhodes Boyson were named
Margaret Thatcher and her ministers were warned of child abuse claims against senior Tory figures in the 1980s, it was claimed today.
A former bodyguard to the Iron Lady revealed he told her to her face about rumours about one of her closest aides holding parties with underage boys.
And it was claimed a dossier on Establishment abuse handed to then-Home Secretary Leon Brittan named senior ministers Sir Keith Joseph and Sir Rhodes Boyson.
Westminster has been rocked by claims of senior politicians involved in sex abuse, and allegations of a cover-up.
Home Secretary Theresa May ordered a wide-ranging inquiry into how successive governments, charities, political parties, the NHS, the BBC and the Church failed to protect children from paedophiles.
But its chairman Baroness Butler-Sloss was forced to quit over criticism that her brother, Sir Michael Havers, had been attorney general in the Cabinet in the 1980s, and was accused of a ‘cover-up’ over a refusal to prosecute Foreign Office diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, who was a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange.
Two weeks on, there is still no sign of a new chairman being appointed, but the tide of allegations about child abuse at the highest levels of the Establishment continue to emerge.
Barry Strevens, who worked as Mrs Thatcher’s personal bodyguard, said that he passed on allegations about her confidant Sir Peter Morrison.
He said that Lady Thatcher appointed Sir Peter deputy party chairman of the Conservatives despite learning of the rumours.
Mr Strevens said that he ‘immediately’ passed on the information to Lady Thatcher and her private secretary Archie Hamilton at a meeting in Downing Street.
‘A senior officer in Chester had told me there were rumours going around about under-age boys – one aged 15 – attending sex parties at a house there belonging to Peter Morrison,’ he told the Sun on Sunday.
‘After we returned to No10 I asked to go and see her immediately. It was unusual for me to do that, so they would have know it was something serious.
‘When I went in Archie Hamilton was there. I told them exactly what had been said about Peter. Archie took notes and they thanked me for coming.
‘There was no proof but the officer I spoke to was certain and said local press knew a lot more.’
Responding to the claims, Mr Hamilton said that he remembered that the officer had been at No10 but could not recall any mention of under-age boys.
‘I don’t remember him saying they were under-age,’ he said. ‘There may have been but the point he was making to her was that there were only men involved.
‘She listened to what he said and that was it. It was merely a party and men were there.’
It has been claimed a dossier of sex abuse claims against senior politicians named former Tory minister Rhodes Boyson
Sir Peter, an Old Etonian who died of a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 51, has since been linked to claims of sex abuse at children’s homes in North Wales.
Mr Strevens, an ex-detective chief inspector, said: ‘I wouldn’t say she (Lady Thatcher) was naive but I would say she would not have thought people around her would be like that.
‘I am sure he would have given her assurances about the rumours as otherwise she wouldn’t have given him the job.’
Tory grandee Lord Tebbit has previously stated that he confronted Sir Peter over the allegations and received a flat denial.
Former Conservative MP Edwina Currie also described him as a ‘noted pederast’ with a liking for young boys.
Educated at Oxford and elected as MP for Chester in 1974, Sir Peter came from a wealthy political dynasty who own the whisky-producing island of Islay in the Hebrides.
His father was close friends with Lady Thatcher while his sister Mary is one of the Queen’s most senior ladies-in-waiting.
Knighted in 1988, he later became the prime minister’s parliamentary secretary before running her 1990 re-election campaign, which saw her lose office.
Meanwhile, fresh claims have emerged about the controversial dossier handed to Leon Brittan by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens.
The Home Office says it cannot find the file, along with more than 100 relevant files dating from 1979 to 1999 which have been destroyed or lost.
However parts of the file were referred to in papers compiled by Labour’s Barbara Castle who investigated allegations linking MPs, peers, the National Council for Civil Liberties and the Paedophile Information Exchange.
It is claimed Sir Keith Joseph and Sir Rhodes Boyson were both named.
A source told the Sunday Mirror: ‘A lot of Baroness Castle’s file was made up of Geoffrey Dickens’ dossier.
‘She’d been leaked files because the feeling was it was all being hushed up and Dickens was getting nowhere with his campaign to expose this.’
Two weeks ago former Tory activist Anthony Gilberthorpe says he was handed cash and told to ‘fetch entertainment’ – code for young boys – by members of Mrs Thatcher’s government.
He named former former-Education Secretary Keith Joseph and ex-local government minister Rhodes Boyson. Both are now dead.
Lord Brittan, who was Home Secretary from 1983 to 1985, said earlier this month: ‘It has been alleged that when I was Home Secretary I failed to deal adequately with the papers containing allegations of serious sexual impropriety that I received from Geoff Dickens. This is completely without foundation, as evidence from the Home Office’s own report supports.
‘I passed this bundle of papers to the relevant Home Office officials for examination, as was the normal and correct practice. I wrote to Mr Dickens on 20 March 1984 informing him of the conclusions of the Director of Public Prosecutions about these matters.’