Keir Mudie — Mirror.co.uk March 21, 2015
A surveillance operation that allegedly unmasked Leon Brittan’s links to child sex abuse was shut down by Metropolitan Police chiefs.
According to an ex-officer, the former Home Secretary was photographed during a 1986 investigation into rent-boy orgies in buildings in North London.
But the day before swoops on alleged suspects were due to be carried out, officers on the investigation, called Operation Orchid, were told it had been disbanded.
Now the Sunday People and the investigative website Exaro can reveal that allegations of the cover-up are among 14 complaints about the Met passed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission last week.
Many relate to suspected VIP paedophiles including Leon Brittan.
One police source told Exaro: “I am surprised that this did not happen much earlier.”
Detectives launched their surveillance probe in 1986.
It focused on claims boys were picked up at King’s Cross and dropped off at another location to be repeatedly raped.
Big names alleged to have been photographed entering the under-age sex dens included former Home Secretary Brittan, MP Cyril Smith and some top judges.
Sources claim up to 16 high-profile figures were due to be arrested.
Our revelations indicate for the first time that pressure may have been placed on officers not to push ahead with investigations into Brittan.
Earlier this month, detectives raided the two homes of Brittan as part of their investigation six weeks after he died.
The Met carried out the raids under Operation Midland, which is investigating allegations against Brittan and others of child sex abuse, as well as a claim that the former Cabinet Minister was present when one boy was beaten to death.
We can also reveal the IPCC investigation will include claims that the Met was part of a cover-up of child sex abuse by prominent people at Elm Guest House in Barnes, south London.