Pervert son of a former Black Rod was quizzed by police investigating the Westminster child-sex abuse claims over his late father Sir Frank Twiss’ connection to a prolific paedophile MP
- Two retired policemen reveal they were banned from investigating Twiss
- The Mail on Sunday tracked down Twiss to a dingy flat in West London
- He said he had given up ‘spanking’ boys and bragged of his access to Parliament
Claims about a Westminster child-sex ring took a new turn last night when it emerged that police have interviewed the paedophile son of a former Black Rod, the Queen’s envoy in the Lords.
Roddam Twiss – whose father Sir Frank was Black Rod in the 1970s, responsible for security and ceremonies at the Lords – was quizzed by officers investigating the claims.
The news came as two retired policemen told The Mail on Sunday they were banned from investigating Twiss in the late 1970s after Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith, a prolific child-sex abuser, was allegedly seen taking a rent boy to Twiss’s London home.
They say Mr Twiss:
- Was well known among London’s rent boys;
- Was banned from the Palace of Westminster by his father;
- Visited Dolphin Square, the private apartment block in Westminster where Establishment figures allegedly had wild parties.
Police say their inquiries were halted when they told their superiors Twiss could be involved in a wider racket supplying rent boys to VIPs.
Incredibly, they didn’t know former prep school teacher Twiss had been jailed in 1967 for assaulting boys as young as 11, tying them up and beating them.
He was later imprisoned twice for fraud.
Nor did they know that he rented a room to Lennie Smith, one of Britain’s most vicious paedophiles.
The Mail on Sunday tracked down Twiss to a dingy flat in West London.
Twiss, who changed his name to Raymond Gibson in a bid to shake off his past, strongly denied any wrongdoing – but confirmed much of what the two policemen said.
He spoke frankly of his jail terms, said he had given up ‘spanking’ boys, and bragged of his access to Parliament and Dolphin Square, calling it ‘a den of iniquity for 30 years’.
He displayed an expert knowledge of London’s rent boy scene in 1970s and 1980s and described the ‘dangers’ faced by gay MPs and peers who picked up young men.
Twiss said he felt ‘alarmingly well’ for his 78 years. But asked if he knew the names of the politicians involved, he said: ‘No. And I wouldn’t tell you if I did.’
The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, Admiral Frank Twiss,approaches the Speaker and members of the House of Commons to summon them to the Bar of the House of Lords for the state opening of Parliament
He said he had no idea police had investigated him at the time.
The developments come after a series of claims and counter-claims regarding allegations of a historic child sex abuse ring at Westminster.
Much-publicised claims that young boys had been raped and even murdered at Dolphin Square by VIPs turned out to have been made by a fantasist. Today’s disclosures will spark fresh speculation that not all the claims of sexual misconduct and rent boys at Westminster were groundless.
The new claims are expected to be considered by Alexis Jay, head of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, who has reaffirmed her determination to find out if claims of a Westminster paedophile ring were covered up.
In a statement on Thursday, she vowed to look into ‘concern that police investigations into possible child sexual abuse linked with Westminster may have been the subject of inappropriate interference’.
She added she would also look into the disclosure last year that MI5 and the Director of Public Prosecutions lied to cover up the Cyril Smith rent boy scandal.
The MoS was told of the allegations about Twiss by two former vice squad officers. They investigated him after monitoring the ‘Meat Rack,’ a notorious haunt for rent boys in Piccadilly. They saw Smith pick up a youngster and followed him to an address in Cricklewood, North-West London.
When they found out that it was the home of Twiss, they investigated him and uncovered his links to the corridors of power. When they told their superiors, the investigation was abruptly scrapped.
The two former police officers, who have asked to remain anonymous, said they were deeply frustrated by the decision. One went on to hold a series of high-profile security jobs and the other worked for a well-known sports team.
One of them recalled: ‘We went to the police station in Belgravia, and found a file that said Twiss had been banned by his father from entering the Palace of Westminster. He also went to Dolphin Square late at night. We thought he could be procuring boys for bigger figures from pimps at the Meat Rack. Well-to-do people would not want to be seen somewhere like that. We also followed him to the Meat Rack. Our superiors called it off. We assumed it was to protect VIPs.’
Asked why they did not discover Twiss’s 1967 conviction for assaulting young boys, one of the former policemen said: ‘We had trouble finding out anything about him.’
As well as serving as Black Rod, Twiss’s father Sir Frank was Secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain, whose duties include dressing the Monarch on Coronation Day. After he died in 1994, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended his thanksgiving service.
Well-connected: Sir Frank Twiss, the former Black Rod
A former Admiral, Sir Frank had connections to Royal, military and political elites. In 1960 he was made Naval Secretary to First Sea Lord, Lord Carrington, later Defence Secretary under Edward Heath and Foreign Secretary under Margaret Thatcher. As Second Sea Lord in 1968, Sir Frank ordered a crackdown on the ‘unnatural vice’ of homosexuality in the Navy.
There have been persistent claims that Meat Rack inquiries were blocked to protect VIPs. In 2016, former Chief Inspector Howard Groves said police were warned not to investigate Establishment figures. And Norman Tebbit, a Cabinet Minister in the 1980s, has said there ‘may well’ have been a cover-up to protect ‘the system.’
With their permission, this newspaper passed details of the two officer to Wiltshire Police, which carried out Operation Conifer into claims about Sir Edward Heath. Officers interviewed both men.
Mr Twiss told us that three officers from the operation interviewed him for three hours. He denied any wrongdoing.
‘I thought I’d be dead by now, but I’m alarmingly well,’ says Roddam Twiss as I interview him at his dingy flat in West London.
At 78 his memory is as sharp as a knife as he describes the London rent-boy scene of the 1970s and 1980s and the ‘Meat Rack’: ‘It started at the railings of the Regent Palace Hotel.
‘Rent boys looking for customers would lean on the railings and men looking for boys would go and see if they fancied anyone.
‘But it was dangerous. Most of the boys just wanted to rob you for drugs. It was much safer to pick up one in one of Soho’s gay drinking clubs. They would all say they were over age but some were more like 14 or 15.’
Twiss says political figures were among those who went looking for rent boys. But asked if he knew their names, he replies ‘No. And if I could I wouldn’t tell you’, adding: ‘There were more Tories than Labour.’
When I ask Twiss what he knows about claims of a paedophile ring at Westminster, he says police investigating historic child abuse visited him recently and spent three hours asking him similar questions, mainly about Sir Edward Heath. He told them he did not believe the former PM abused young boys.
As we chat in his front room, Twiss introduces me to Martin, 28, who he says is his carer. A succession of other scruffy young men stroll in and out of the flat. ‘I’m gay – I make no bones about that,’ says Twiss, unprompted.
He says he met scandal-hit Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe ‘in passing’ and was ‘always suspicious’ about him, and adds that ‘everyone knew’ Cyril Smith was picking up young rent boys in Soho.
When I tell Truss he was followed by police around 1978 or 1979, he is shocked.
But he corroborates key aspects of the police story: he lived above a parade of shops in Cricklewood and was a regular visitor to Dolphin Square. However, he flatly denies Smith took a rent boy to his flat. ‘I knew Cyril was into boys. But absolutely not. It would have brought shame to my father.’
Asked if he was a ‘fixer’ who procured rent boys for other Westminster figures, he replies sharply: ‘Even if I was I wouldn’t tell you, I assure you.’ And he insists he never went to the ‘Meat Rack’.
However, he is happy to boast of his connections. ‘My father was Black Rod and high-profile in political circles… I used to visit him at the Lords where he had a grace and favour home.’
His second entrée to high society was through his ‘stockbroker’, the Hon Mervyn Greenway, millionaire playboy son of the 3rd Baron Greenway. ‘Mervyn knew everyone in high places,’ says Twiss. ‘I met them through him.’ He often visited Greenway at his flat in Dolphin Square, a place he says was perfect for residents, including Westminster figures, who wanted to misbehave.
‘If you knew the right porter, you’d leave a few pounds and they would allow your guests in with no questions asked.’
Parties would start in the flats and then ‘spill outside into the square on balmy summer evenings. It was ‘a den of iniquity for 30 years’, with residents’ ‘mistresses and prostitutes’ among the guests.
Including male prostitutes? ‘Yes, probably.’ But again, he can’t – or won’t – name names.
Twiss says his father ‘thought I should have done more with my life’ and was disappointed he did not follow him into the Armed Forces, instead going into teaching. But he refuses to believe his father banned him from the Palace of Westminster.
He says he gave up ‘spanking’ young boys long ago and he changed his name to Raymond Gibson after finishing his third jail sentence in 2006 and ‘disappeared’ from London, moving to Sheerness, Kent.
Twiss happily agreed to meet me for dinner the next day to continue our conversation. But he cried off at the last minute, texting: ‘I told you all I can remember. I am not willing to defame the dead because it will only hurt their families.’
Roddam Twiss – Abuser with a long history of scams and assaults
Roddam Twiss has a string of criminal convictions. In 1967, he was jailed for three years on seven charges of assaulting boys as young as 11. He and another man were said to have ‘stripped, tied up and beaten’ their victims.
In the 1980s, he served 18 months in jail for a business con, seeking investment in a fake cheesecake factory. And in 2004 at Southwark Crown Court, he was handed a three-and-a-half-year sentence for a £1.2 million scam.
He was accused of duping wealthy Americans using ‘flannel’ and dropping the names of ‘titled and influential people.’
It was also said that Twiss tried, unsuccessfully, to entice DJ Paul Gambaccini into investing in one of his dubious schemes.
Roddam Twiss – He rented a room to vile paedophile
When police investigated Roddam Twiss in the late 1970s, it appears they had no idea that one of Britain’s most vicious paedophiles, Lennie Smith, was renting a room from him.
Twiss confirmed that Smith, jailed in 1992 for his part in a paedophile gang that killed five boys, once rented a room at his Cricklewood Broadway flat.
Twiss said he helped police to investigate Smith, adding: ‘He was a nasty individual and I was content to provide police with information they deemed useful.’
The paedophile, above, was reportedly 23 when he left Twiss’s flat, which suggests it was around 1978 or 1979 – the same time police were investigating Twiss after following Cyril Smith to Cricklewood.
How Twiss aided Kajagoogoo star
Help: Twiss with Limahl
In a curious episode of his past life, Twiss helped to fund the early pop career of Kajagoogoo lead singer Limahl.
Twiss told us he met Limahl, real name Chris Hamill, when the singer was a teenager.
Hamill lived with him in Cricklewood and Twiss would drive him to clubs including gay haunt Heaven, where DJ Paul Gambaccini was given Hamill’s demo tape in 1982.
Limahl (Hamill) later moved in with Gambaccini.
Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo
Today’s MoS article flies in the face of the drivel that the Fail has been reporting that Nick is a fantasist. They must be very afraid of this man …
Paul Gambaccini , far right, with, from left, Jimmy Savile, Ed Stewart, Dave Lee Travis and Annie Nightingale at Radio 1’s 15th birthday party in 1982
Diary of a witch-hunt: In his own words, Paul Gambaccini reveals the pain of being denounced as a sex attacker and demonised by police – all on fantasists’ claims
Savile sex scandal hits horrific new low as former colleague Paul Gambaccini claims on Radio Five Live that DJ was a ‘necrophiliac’
- Former BBC DJ said he was aware of claims in the eighties
- ‘The expression I came to associate with Savile’s sexual partners was “under-age subnormals”, says colleague of the Jim’ll Fix It presenter
- In 1990 interview Savile dismissed claims he was a necrophiliac after saying he took pleasure in taking dead people to a hospital mortuary
Paul Gambaccini threatens legal action against ‘vile’ Met police
20 Oct 2016
Paul Gambaccini and Sir Cliff Richard leave parliament on Monday after meeting MPs and peers to warn them of the impact of being wrongly accused of sex crimes
UK Admiral Sir Frank Roddam Twiss, the Second Sea Lord, warning commanders to be on the look out for “unnatural vice”.
The Navy’s chief lawyer noted: “It is not necessary to carry out a witch hunt for the more discreet offenders … that it goes on discreetly and hidden away need not cause us too much dismay.”
In 1981, 11 members of the crew of the Queen’s yacht ‘Britannia’ were charged in connection with sex. scandal
1964 Commission issued to Frank Twiss…authorising him …to assemble Courts-Martial as often as he shall see occasion.
Times, Sep 6 1967 Roddam Quintin Twiss, son of Sir Frank Twiss(Black Rod/Admiral of the Fleet)
…charged with assaulting a boy aged 11
Anthony Daly @anthonydaly01
Well this is interesting. In
#PLAYLAND I describe how one evening I was introduced to a group of paedophiles, all of whom used silly nick names. One man was introduced to me as Mr Twist (as in Oliver). The MoS has just revealed his identity: Roddam Twiss!
well if this doesn’t tie a bunch of child rapists and murderers to the establishment via at least RODDAM TWISS (now RAYMOND GIBSON) of West
Lennie Smith shacked up with Twiss Lennie Smith part of the Dirty Dozen who murdered Jason Swift and other young lads. Sidney Cooke still alive isn’t he
@anthonydaly01 << lucky escape
I believe Smith lived with Twiss in Belgravia before later on shacking up with the Telegraph sub-editor.
Anthony Daly @anthonydaly01
Tom Driberg lived in the Barbican. He died in 1976, a year after I met him.
Apparently there was a paedophile ring operating in Barbican in 1982/84. Paedophile Roger Took, director of the Barbican Art Gallery
In the 90s, Islington council denied Jason Swift (murdered by Hackney based paedophile gang) was in LBI childrens home Conewood Street. But ISN survivors and former staff clearly remember him being there.
ISN survivors of Gisburne House, Watford speak of well-to-do nighttime visitors including the late Cyril Smith MP. The young girls watched men go upstairs to the ‘office’. Who were these mystery visitors?
The Establishment Paedophile’s wife
2013 – 6th Feb – John Stingemore, 70, St leonards on Sea East Sussex, and Tony McSweeney, 66 a Roman CatholicPriest
from Norfolk arrested by MET police under OP Fernbridge and questioned at Belgravia station in relation to Elm Guest
House abuse allegations.
Interestingly, Peter Ball, Trevor Huddleston and Tom Driberg all attended Lancing College.
Tom Driberg had attended Lancing College where he fell under the spell of Adam Fox and his pagan verses in the hymn book, who later becomes Sub-Dean of Westminster Abbey
Aged 16, Robin Bryans first went to St Wulfran’s in 1944 with Father Charlton, prebendary of Chichester Cathedral and Tom Driberg MP, then an Independent MP for Malden, Essex (later Labour MP for Barking 1959-1974 )
“Hidden in its fold of Sussex downland, St Wulfran’s inevitably attracted black magic adherents who believed that the ancient church was built on an even more ancient site of a pagan temple. At first my visit to the church with Tom Driberg and Father Charlton in 1944, I could not possibly have foreseen the reaction of Brighton Corporation to Louis Wilkinson’s reading of the Hymn of Pan at Bear Road crematoriam over the hill or that in 1980 a High Court jury would hear me described not even by Crowley’s title of the Great Beast but as The Devil himself!”
Peter Ball was involved with confirmations at Lancing College when he was Bishop of Lewes …
Lancing College has certainly seen its fair share of hot tempers – like in June 1980 when a college boy from Japan took his pre-confirmation vow of silence too far.
The 18-year-old had been told not speak to anyone by the Bishop of Lewes to make sure he was fully prepared for the ceremony, so he went for a walk by himself along the River Adur.
Without a word, he marched up to the boys and stamped on their bicycles, causing more than £30 damage.
Lancing alumnus Tom Driberg, like Bishop Ball, was involved with satanists
In 1925 the self-professed black magician and wickedest man in the world Aleister Crowley received a letter from an undergraduate at Oxford University. The student was Tom Driberg.
Crowley said grace – “Pardon me while I invoke the moon” – and over a London restaurant table informed his promising young follower that “he had decided to nominate me as his successor as world teacher”.
…upon Crowley’s death in 1947 an anxious Driberg – by then a Member of Parliament – burst into the apartment of Crowley’s executor and anxiously demanded the return of certain correspondence.
Tom Driberg – was a British journalist, politician, High Anglican churchman and possible Soviet spy, who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1942-55, and again from 1959-74.
Driberg left for the Far East, to report on the conditions of the allied troops in Burma. The Supreme Allied Commander, Lord Mountbatten, made him an unofficial temporary special adviser
Always in search of bizarre experiences, Driberg befriended at various times the occultist Aleister Crowley and the Kray twins, along with honoured and respected figures in the worlds of literature and politics. He combined this lifestyle with an unwavering devotion to Anglo-Catholicism. After his death, allegations were published about his role over many years as an MI5 informant, a KGB agent, or both.
In 1963 he met the Kray twins and began a lengthy friendship with them and their associates. In July 1964 two backbench Conservative MPs reported to their Chief Whip that Driberg and Lord Boothby (a well-known Conservative peer) had been importuning males at a dog track, and were involved with gangs of thugs.
He was reported by Anthony Blunt for passing information on the Party to Maxwell Knight of MI5. Driberg and Knight were long-standing acquaintances who met frequently and, among other things, shared a mutual interest in the works of Aleister Crowley.
At parties which Driberg and Boothby attended at the Krays’ flat, “rough East End lads were served like so many canapés”, according to Wheen. While Driberg avoided publicity, Boothby was hounded by the press and forced to issue a series of denials. After the twins had been convicted of murder in 1969, Driberg frequently lobbied the Home Office about their prison conditions, requesting that they be given more visits and allowed regular reunions.
Driberg, was friends with Mervyn Stockwood, the Bishop of Southwark,
Driberg with Reggie Kray
Dribreg with Lord Boothby
Anthony Daly @anthonydaly01
Lord Boothby lived in 1 Eton Square where he was visited by Ron Kray and rent boys. He moved in the same circles as L’Isle.
Peter Ball began his ministry as a curate in Rottingdean.
After theological college, it was Bishop Bell ultimately who did sponsored [sic] me for ordination, but with the approval of the Selection Board. Bishop Bell then placed me in the parish of Rottingdean where I undertook my first curacy.
‘He would visit my curacy on occasion to carry out confirmations and to take services.
‘We had a good working relationship; I was aware that he was “fond” of me. He was someone who I looked up to when I was a young curate starting out in the Church.’