MPs and VIPs face probe over historical claims of rape and beatings after Exaro’s report
By Mark Conrad and Mark Watts | 1 November 2014
Detectives have opened a new investigation into historical allegations that MPs and other VIPs sexually abused children at a block of luxury apartments near Parliament.
The new line of enquiry by Scotland Yard marks a gear change in the investigation into claims of a paedophile network that operated for decades at Westminster.
Under its wide-ranging ‘Operation Fairbank’, the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit is investigating activities at Dolphin Square, the complex near Parliament where many MPs have their London flats.
One of the witnesses, known as “Nick” to protect his identity, has since talked to the Met. He told Exaro that officers “are very serious” about investigating his allegations that two former Conservative MPs – including an ex-cabinet minister – and other VIPs sexually abused him as a boy at Dolphin Square and other locations.
Nick told of how the two well-known politicians raped and physically beat him after he was forced to drink alcohol. He recalled that he was taken to Dolphin Square around 10 times, from the age 11, over a period of two to three years either side of 1980.
He and another witness have been talking to Exaro separately over several months, giving accounts of how MPs and other prominent people sexually assaulted them at “abuse parties” at Dolphin Square and elsewhere.
The officer in charge of Fairbank and linked operations contacted Exaro to ask whether the witnesses would speak to him and his team at the Met.
We passed on the request.
Nick agreed despite remaining fearful of his alleged abusers. He said that the Met took a detailed statement from him under ‘Operation Midland’. Exaro understands that Midland is one of at least eight operations under the Fairbank umbrella.
Nick told Exaro: “The police contacted you to ask whether we would come forward to them. That is something that I gave serious consideration to, given who the people are.
“And the fear that was instilled in me as a child is still very much there, and is part of me. But, I decided that I would speak to the police.”
He insisted that an Exaro journalist attend his first meeting with the Met. Nick and our reporter met two detectives to explore whether the Met could investigate his claims.
Nick sought assurances that his identity would be tightly contained within the Met.
Following the meeting, detectives have been carrying out lengthy interviews with Nick to take formal witness statements.
Our reporter has also given a statement to the Met on how Nick identified to him the two politicians and other VIPs who sexually abused him at Dolphin Square and elsewhere from a large collection of pictures. With Nick’s agreement, Exaro provided the police with a file of the pictures that were used in our test.
Exaro is not naming either of the former MPs for legal reasons.
Nick said that his father, who also sexually abused him, supplied him to the paedophile network.
Nick also explained that he recognised Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, as a result of coverage sparked by Exaro’s first report nearly two years ago on the paedophile brothel that was frequented by MPs and other prominent people.
He remembers being kept waiting in a car outside while other boys were dropped off at the property, but he does not think that he was ever abused there.
Under Operation Fairbank, the Met launched an investigation into Elm Guest House with Exaro’s help. It formally became a full criminal case, ‘Operation Fernbridge’, which has been investigating the guest house and related issues.
The second witness, who was previously interviewed by Operation Fernbridge, told Exaro that he would not talk to the police despite the Met’s request.
- As Nick talked to the police, Fiona Woolf was finally forced to resign yesterday as chairwoman of the overarching inquiry into child sex abuse. Nick told Exaro this afternoon: “Because of who was involved in the group, I did not have confidence in sharing my information with the police. When the inquiry was announced, I had hope that this would be an avenue for me to tell what I know. However, here we are more than three months later, and the inquiry is still not happening, and with the debacle over Mrs Woolf my confidence in the inquiry has dropped dramatically. I did not want to wait for the government to get its act together with the inquiry, and made the decision that I would provide my information directly to the police. The fiasco over Fiona Woolf and the inquiry has caused people to lose faith, but at least this shows that the police investigation is moving in the right direction.”
Related Stories: Child sex abuse, ‘Fernbridge’ and ‘Fairbank’: Exaro story thread