Now it’s revealed Barbara Castle drew up dossier on VIP paedophiles: File seized by Special Branch ‘heavy mob’
- Paedophile dossier naming VIP figures was drawn up by Barbara Castle
- But it was confiscated by ‘national security’ officers in 1980s, it is claimed
- Files listed 16 MPS, senior policemen, headteachers and clergy, it was said
- Baroness Castle handed files to editor of her local Bury Messenger paper
- But he claims a ‘heavy mob’ of Special Branch officers took them away
Horrified: Labour peer Baroness Barbara Castle, pictured, tried to expose a ring of paedophiles
Special Branch officers seized a paedophile dossier naming Establishment figures drawn up by Labour peer Barbara Castle in the 1980s, it was claimed yesterday.
Officers citing ‘national security’ confiscated the file which listed 16 MPs along with senior policemen, headteachers and clergy, it was said.
The dossier was collated by the late Baroness Castle of Blackburn who handed it to Don Hale, the editor of her local newspaper, the Bury Messenger.
Mr Hale claimed a ‘heavy mob’ of Special Branch officers raided his office in 1984 and took away the file, threatening him with prison if he resisted.
And he said that the day before the raid, Liberal MP Cyril Smith – since exposed as a predatory paedophile – had also visited the office, demanding that he bury the story.
It would be the second paedophile dossier to have ‘disappeared’. A year earlier, a file handed to former Home Secretary Leon Brittan by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens also went missing.
This has now prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to set up a special inquiry into child abuse.
Lady Castle put together 30 pages of information about alleged attempts by the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) to infiltrate government while seeking funding and trying to persuade MPs to legalise sex with children.
As well as key members of both the Commons and Lords, she found that about 30 prominent businessmen, public school teachers, scoutmasters and police officers had links to PIE.
Yesterday Mr Hale, 61, said: ‘Barbara was horrified at the rapid extent of PIE’s involvement with key people and her file included details of about 16 household-name MPs.’
He said Lady Castle – who at the time was Euro MP Barbara Castle – passed him the dossier and asked if he would write a story based on it.
‘I agreed to run something the following week but obviously had to contact certain MPs named – from the Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties – and the Home Office for their responses,’ said Mr Hale.
‘The next day, Cyril Smith came to my office. He must have heard about it, or been sent by, the former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe.
‘Cyril tried to persuade me that it was “all poppycock”. He said Barbara had her “knickers in a twist” since leaving the House and had become bored with wine lakes and sugar mountains in Europe.
‘He played down the whole episode and wanted an assurance that I wouldn’t run anything.
‘I couldn’t give that and he went away very disappointed. The next day the heavy mob arrived. Two or three police in uniform and half a dozen in plain clothes.
Bully: Paedophile Cyril Smith is said to have asked an editor to bury the story
‘They came at 8am, before most people had arrived for work, and showed me warrant cards and a D-notice and something signed by a judge. They threatened me with five to ten years in prison and took away my notebooks and all the papers Barbara had given me.
‘It was a threat to national security, and not in the public interest, they told me. If I had said no, I would have been arrested. I had to give them assurances I had given them everything. They told me not to tell anyone, and the whole thing was over within half an hour.’
Mr Hale went on to be a campaigning editor at the Matlock Mercury newspaper known for his investigation that led to the freeing of Stephen Downing, wrongly jailed for the ‘Bakewell Tart’ murder.
But he said it was the incident with the Lady Castle dossier that sparked his determination to expose cover-ups.
He said: ‘Barbara had been a long-serving local MP and used to come and have a chat with me every couple of weeks. We had talked about a potential paedophile ring with MPs before, but she said no one would listen.
Detective Clive Driscoll has told how he was removed from a probe into a council-run children’s home in the late 1990s
‘She asked me if I would take a look and run a story from her point of view. She objected to any funding of this organisation PIE, and was very concerned about the speed of their infiltration and the number of prominent names who were allegedly supporting them.
‘Barbara was horrified, too, at the prospect of Parliament approving legalised sex with children, often under the guise of educating them, and mentioned an influx of rent boys and unsavoury and unfortunate situations that had been covered up by the authorities.’
He said she had not been surprised when he told her about the visit from Special Branch. ‘She sort of expected it,’ he said.
‘This was a powerful organisation and she reluctantly admitted she was fighting a formidable foe. She apologised for the hassle it caused me.’
Lady Castle died in 2002.
Mr Hale said of the dossier: ‘It was 30 years ago, so I can’t remember the names and full details, but I was sworn to secrecy by Special Branch at the risk of jail if I repeated any of the allegations.’