The Met Police are close to charging people in the investigation sparked off by Tom Watson’s claims of a paedophile ring at the time of the Thatcher government.
A report in Exaro News reveals that after interviewing and contacting some 100 people police are confident that they have a number of high profile witnesses -including an Anglican bishop, a pre eminent businessman and a well known journalist – who have given statements alleging sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse.
The victims have come forward under Operation Cayacos – a spin-off from the original scoping study, Operation Fairbank – which has now been going on for over 18 months.
Watson alleged in Parliament that a network run by Peter Righton, the notorious paedophile, reached into the top levels of British politics. The MP raised the issue in prime minister’s questions soon after the exposure of Jimmy Savile, the late BBC star, as a paedophile.
The late Righton – at one time regarded as a leading specialist in child protection – was a founder of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which promoted sex with children. The organisation has recently been in the centre of a furious row after the Daily Mail published a series of stories showing that it was affiliated to the National Council for Civil Liberties during a period when Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, was its legal adviser. Harman has accused the Daily Mail of smears.
Patricia Hewitt, a former Labour Cabinet minister was general secretary of the NCCL and according to The Guardian was involved in discussions with PIE over lowering the age of consent for sexual activity.
According to the witness, Righton boasted of links to powerful figures in government.
When police raided Righton’s house in Evesham, Worcestershire in 1992, they found hard-core images of child abuse from Amsterdam and a “quarter-century of correspondence” between paedophiles in Britain and around the world. But police failed to follow-up the leads at the time, prompting allegations by Watson 16 months ago of an ‘establishment’ cover-up.
The move suggests that the police have made more progress in this investigation than in Operation Fernbridge – which has led to two people facing trial at Southwark Crown Court in May.