Document details claims of ‘buggery, impersonation of police officer and other offences’
By Mark Conrad | 1 September 2015
“Investigation into offences of buggery and gross indecency allegedly committed by a peer of the realm and another” – Title of archived Met document
Confidential files on alleged sexual offences by members of the House of Lords have been unearthed by Exaro.
Scotland Yard sent two documents with the details to the National Archives. But they have been ordered to remain closed for up to 75 years – far longer than the traditional 30.
One report, dated as 1968-69, is entitled: “Allegations of buggery, impersonation of a police officer and other offences against a peer of the realm and others.”
The document was among correspondence and papers of the Metropolitan Police Service’s then commissioner – either Sir Joseph Simpson, who died in 1968, or his replacement, Sir John Waldron.
It was passed to the National Archives, and would normally have been released in January 2000. However, it has been closed for 74 years – until January 2044.
A record that describes the document at the National Archives says that it remains closed because it contains “personal information”, suggesting that it may relate to a living person. Detectives who are currently investigating child sex abuse (CSA) allegedly committed by VIPs are likely to be interested in seeing the report.
A second document, dating from 1953, has the title: “Investigation into offences of buggery and gross indecency allegedly committed by a peer of the realm and another.”
Again, it was among the correspondence and papers of the Met commissioner at the time, either Sir Harold Scott or his successor, Sir John Nott-Bower.
Under the 30-year rule, it should have been opened in January 1984. But Lord Hailsham, as lord chancellor, issued an order on December 15, 1983 for it to remain shut at the request of Sir Kenneth Newman, the Met’s then commissioner.
It has been closed for 75 years – until January 2029.
The file titles do not state that the papers relate to child sex abuse, and the exact details of the alleged offences are yet to be disclosed. However, they may be of interest to the overarching inquiry into CSA.
But Exaro’s discovery of their existence, following a tip-off from a reader, adds to pressure on the government about what secrets it has locked away after several other files that specifically relate to child sex abuse and “VIPs” have come to light.
Tom Watson, Labour MP, said: “These files seem like they should be reviewed by the inquiry. The government should honour the commitment to give the inquiry full access to all files.”
An appendix to a review commissioned in 2013 by the Home Office of its historical records about the organised sexual abuse of children showed the existence of a secret file about Sir Peter Hayman, the late senior officer of the Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6.
It was called: “SIR PETER HAYMAN (1980-81 PAPERS EX-DIPLOMAT INTRIGUING PRIVATE LIFE).”
The file – still not disclosed – contained details of enquiries undertaken to assess any security implications of Hayman’s conduct.
In January, the Cabinet Office was forced to release another secret file on allegations against Hayman of “unnatural sexual proclivities”.
Theresa May, home secretary, last month told Parliament about the discovery of more government files relevant to child sex abuse. The files refer to:
- Sir Peter Hayman, named as a sexual abuser of boys in November last year;
- Sir William van Straubenzee, former Conservative minister;
- Sir Peter Morrison, parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Margaret Thatcher when she was prime minister;
- Lord Brittan, home secretary in Thatcher’s government;
- Sir Maurice Oldfield, former MI6 director;
- Kincora, the boys’ home in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Exaro linked Oldfield to the cover-up of CSA at Kincora in a report just a few days before May’s statement.
The government has passed these documents to police and the CSA inquiry, but not released them publicly.
But they are known to include a communication from Sir Antony Duff, then director-general of the Security Service, or MI5, to Sir Robert Armstrong, then cabinet secretary, about claims “from two sources” that a specific MP “has a penchant for small boys.”
The MP, identified by Exaro as Morrison, denied the claims.
“The risk of political embarrassment to the government is rather greater than the security danger,” wrote the MI5 boss.
Last week, Harvey Proctor, former Conservative MP, strongly denied claims against him of child murder and abuse.
Additional research by Matthew Gilley.
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