Police to ask three other former Tory MPs and two pop stars about notorious brothel
By Mark Conrad | 12 February 2015
Detectives were planning to contact Brittan and three other living former Conservative MPs – as well as two pop stars and several senior public officials – to ask whether they had been to the venue that operated as both a guest house for gay men and as a paedophile brothel.
The Metropolitan Police Service has been carrying out this exercise since last autumn under ‘Operation Fernbridge’, but it is unclear how far they have progressed with it.
One person contacted by police about the issue said to Exaro: “I was told that they are asking everyone who is described as a visitor.”
Exaro revealed more than two years ago how documents from the guest house identified 10 politicians – seven Conservatives, two Labour and one Liberal – as among its visitors. Several other prominent figures were also named in the papers.
Detectives told one witness that they are seeking signed statements from every living person who is named in the documents as a visitor to the guest house about whether they ever went to the place.
If so, the statements will set out what they were doing at the guest house, which operated in Barnes, south-west London from 1979 to 1982.
One witness who was asked to sign a statement said that his visit to the guest house was for entirely professional reasons.
Detectives are understood to accept this source’s account, and so regard him as a witness and not a suspect
The Met confirmed in 2013 that the Liberal MP who went to Elm Guest House was the paedophile, Sir Cyril Smith, who died in 2010.
Six other dead MPs – four Conservatives, including Brittan, and two from Labour – were also identified in the documents as having visited Elm Guest House.
Other people named include Anthony Blunt, the Russian spy and master of the Queen’s paintings who died in 1983; a leading figure in the UK’s National Front, also dead; two Buckingham Palace officials; two pop stars; and a Sinn Fein member.
Brittan was even named as having sexually abused boys at Elm Guest House at the inquest in 1990 into the sudden death of its co-owner, Carole Kasir. But his name was kept out of the newspapers at the time.
Chris Fay, an advisor to the National Association for Young People in Care (NAYPIC), a campaign group that has since closed, told the inquest that Kasir showed him a picture of Brittan in a compromising position with a young boy in the sauna at Elm Guest House.
Kasir apparently died from an insulin overdose.
The coroner, Dr John Burton, recorded a suicide verdict.
Operation Fernbridge has been investigating allegations that boys were sexually assaulted at Grafton Close children’s home in the London borough of Richmond, and that they were trafficked from there to be abused at Elm Guest House.
A priest, Tony McSweeney, is facing a trial due to start on Monday on four charges of sexually assaulting three boys at Grafton Close between 1979 and 1981, and four counts that relate to indecent images of a child.
John Stingemore, who used to run Grafton Close children’s home, was due to stand trial with McSweeney on 11 charges, mostly of sexually assaulting boys.
Exaro can reveal that two of Stingemore’s charges, including one of buggery of a boy, related directly to Elm Guest House. However, Stingemore died last month.
Beyond Stingemore, no one who was sexually assaulted as a boy at Elm Guest House has been able to identify an abuser there, leaving detectives with no evidence on which to base any other prosecution.
There were fears of vandalism because, as Exaro revealed, the Met was investigating Brittan at the time of his death over multiple allegations of sexually abusing boys.
The developments come as the Home Office’s overarching inquiry into child sex abuse has been mired in a series of setbacks.
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