Gordon Raynor, Tim Tate and Christopher Hope — Telegraph.co.uk July 4, 2014
A senior Tory politician said to be part of a child sex ring was allegedly stopped by a customs officer with child pornography videos but got off scot-free, police have been told.
The former MP was driving back to the UK via Dover when a customs officer pulled him over because he was “acting suspiciously”. The border guard, who is now retired, has told detectives that when he searched the MP’s car he found videotapes of children “clearly under the age of 12” taking part in sex acts.
He passed the material on to his superiors, but the MP was never arrested or charged.
And, like a dossier of evidence compiled by the late Geoffrey Dickens MP, the videotapes and paperwork relating to the seizure have since gone missing.
The latest disclosure will increase accusations of a cover-up, as no action was taken against the MP at the time the videos were seized. The same MP is understood to have been named in the Dickens dossier, which was handed to the then Home Secretary Lord Brittan but has since been lost or destroyed.
The customs officer who stopped the MP in the 1980s has spoken to detectives from Operation Fernbridge, the Metropolitan Police investigation into allegations of child abuse by Cyril Smith and others at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south London, which has since closed down.
A senior Tory politician has been accused of abusing a young boy at the guest house, but police are understood to have insufficient evidence to take any action.
A source close to the investigation said that the customs officer was originally approached over claims that a known paedophile had been stopped with a videotape showing the MP at a sex party with underage boys. The customs officer said the report was false, but told police he had stopped the MP in question and seized child pornography videos from him.
The source said: “He viewed the tapes on a video recorder at the border control, and found them to contain pornography involving both underage girls and boys together. He said the children were clearly under the age of 12.
“Unfortunately he can’t remember the exact date when it happened, but he had no doubt about the identity of the MP because he checked his passport. He said he had passed the details of the seizure up the chain of command and had no knowledge of what happened after that.
“The officers on the case have not been able to find the videotapes or any paperwork to corroborate his account.”
Lord Brittan, now 74, has faced questions over his handling of a bundle of papers handed to him by the late Mr Dickens, which contained allegations against the same MP, and against a number of other prominent figures, some of whom were part of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) which campaigned for the lowering of the age of consent. The Labour MP Simon Danczuk has suggested the dossier was “destroyed to protect the people whose names were in it”.
Meanwhile The Daily Telegraph has learnt that four more cases of historic sex abuse have been referred to the police by Home Office officials in recent months.
An internal review of hundreds of thousands of Home Office files found 13 previously undisclosed “items of alleged child abuse” last year.
The Home Office said nine of the 13 cases had previously been reported to the police – including four which involved the department’s officials.
However, the remaining four were overlooked by civil servants – and have now been reported to the Metropolitan Police.
The cases were unearthed by an internal review ordered in February last year. Mr Danczuk questioned why the Home Office had not passed on the cases to the police earlier.
He said: “It’s never the job of the Home Office to try and determine what constituted potential evidence, that’s the job of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
“The public will think that people in the Home Office were withholding information from the police which could have led to the successful prosecution of child sex abusers.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “The review concluded the Home Office acted appropriately, referring information received during this period to the relevant authorities.”
Tom Watson, the Labour MP who was the first to raise questions about paedophiles within Westminster, last night called on Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, to examine the evidence relating to the former MP.
He said: “I sincerely hope the DPP has been made aware of these allegations and will be considering it as part of her examination of other allegations.”