Harman and Hewitt ‘never tried to kick me out – they didn’t want to rock the boat to protect their careers’ claims child abuser ex leader of Paedophile Information Exchange
- Convicted child abuser Tom O’Carroll led PIE and sat on gay rights committee of National Council of Civil Liberties
- He says Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt ‘didn’t even try’ to remove him or others from NCCL
- ‘They didn’t want to rock the boat because their careers within NCCL depended on them not rocking the boat too much,’ he told BBC
- O’Carroll says he never met Ms Harman or her husband Jack Dromey, but says he spoke to Ms Hewitt in a lift at a Sheffield conference
- Ms Harman has expressed regret at PIE’s links to the NCCL but did not offer a full apology
Scandal: Ex leader of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Tom O’Carroll, was jailed for child sex offences, and claimed today that ‘Harman and co’ made no effort to remove him or other members
Fresh questions emerged today about how influential a despised paedophile group were in the civil liberties organisation that Harriet Harman helped run before she became an MP.
The former leader of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) said the Labour Deputy Leader and the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL) made ‘no attempts’ to ‘kick out’ his group.
Tom O’Carroll, who has been convicted of a number of child sex offences and was described as ‘one of the most infamous perverts on Earth’, sat on the NCCL’s gay rights sub-committee in the late 1970s.
In the eight years PIE was given affiliate status, O’Carroll said he spoke at the NCCL’s 1977 Spring conference, two years after he helped lead a campaign to cut the age of consent to as low as ten.
Today he told the BBC that Ms Harman and Patricia Hewitt, then general secretary of the NCCL, and later a Labour health secretary, ‘didn’t even try’ to remove him or other members because they ‘didn’t want to rock the boat’ to protect their own careers.
‘Really they didn’t do much to oppose PIE’s presence in my view because there were these other liberal forces, or radical forces, within NCCL,’ he told the Today Programme.
‘The support didn’t come from Harman and co but it was there. The gay liberation front was very radical and at that time Harman and Patricia Hewitt couldn’t just kick out PIE, well they could both try but they didn’t even try and the reason they didn’t try is they didn’t want to rock the boat because their careers within NCCL depended on them not rocking the boat too much.’
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Questions remain: Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman arrives in Oxford today for a media convention
Scandal: After six days of questions over her links to a paedophile group, Labour’s Harriet Harman has finally expressed regret but not a full apology
He told the programme he never met Ms Harman or her husband Jack Dromey, who was on the NCCL’s executive, but he met Ms Hewitt briefly at a conference in Sheffield in 1978.
He said: ‘I spoke to her when we were just going up a floor or two in a lift and she was somewhat frosty.
‘I said something to her, I think as a pleasantry, and she didn’t take it that way. She said that I’d been rude to her afterwards, which I hadn’t been.
‘My impression was that she simply had great distaste for being in the same lift as me.’
His comments were rubbished today by people including, Jack Dromey, who said the convicted paedophile has no credibility.
Mr Dromey said in a statement: ‘Quite simply, no one will believe a man like Tom O’Carroll.’
Big players: Harriet Harman once legal officer of the NCCL, now Labour Deputy Leader and husband Jack Dromey, right, a Left-wing firebrand, now a shadow minister
O’Carroll was not the only prominent member to find themselves in court charged with appalling sex offences.
They included David Joy, a member of its governing committee, prosecuted for indecent assault, child rape and possession of 1,129 indecent images of children.
Patricia Hewitt: General Secretary of the NCCL. O’Carroll said he met her in a lift but never met Mr Dromey or Ms Harman
They also included Andrew Sadler, a prep school teacher and PIE organiser jailed in Romania for sexual corruption and sex with a minor; Steven Smith, a former chairman, who was jailed for possessing indecent images; and Morris Fraser, a co-founder.
Harriet Harman belatedly expressed ‘regret’ yesterday that the vile paedophile group was allowed to forge links with the National Council for Civil Liberties.
But she still refused to apologise over the NCCL’s extraordinary relationship with the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange.
Labour’s deputy leader has repeatedly resisted calls to comment on the Mail’s revelations that she, her MP husband Jack Dromey and former health secretary Patricia Hewitt held key roles in the pressure group that granted ‘affiliate’ status to PIE, a group of predatory paedophiles who openly campaigned to legalise child sex.
On Monday evening, Miss Harman dismissed the revelations as a ‘politically-motivated smear campaign’. But hours after a disastrous BBC Newsnight appearance she abruptly changed tack.
Faced with questions over why she found it so difficult in the interview to condemn the link with PIE – who wanted the age of consent to be four – Miss Harman issued a statement yesterday through her spokesman, who said: ‘She regrets the existence of PIE and she regrets their involvement with NCCL before she joined, although it was immaterial to her work.’
Document: This is the cover page of the NCCL’s submission to Parliament on the 1976 Sexual Offences Act held at the LSE library, which suggests that the age of consent be lowered to 14
Damning: On page six of the document it is argued that ‘a person aged 14 or over should be legally capable of giving consent’ and the age of sexual consent cut to ten ‘if the child understood the nature of the act’
Former culture secretary Tessa Jowell has said Ms Harman had been a lifelong feminist and ‘wasn’t chasing wacky causes’ during the 1970s.
She told Today: ‘Harriet, Jack Dromey, were completely consistent in their opposition to the vile influence of the Paedophile Information Exchange.’
Ms Jowell said there was ‘not one shred of evidence that they gave any comfort to this revolting organisation’.
She added: ‘There’s no question of post-hoc justification here. The evidence shows how vigorous Jack Dromey was in his attack on the Paedophile Information Exchange.
‘Harriet’s work at NCCL didn’t bring her into contact with them at all.’
1978 briefing: The NCCL legal officer Harriet Harman wrote this briefing paper on the Protection of Children Bill, which sought to ban child pornography. She argued that it would lead to an ‘increase in censorship’
Argument: The second page contains a paragraph saying that a picture should not be considered indecent if the model was not harmed
Recommendations: Miss Harman’s briefing went on that the NCCL would argue that the Bill to protect children should be amended
Signed: The Labour Deputy Leader’s name is carried at the bottom of a briefing that argued that a pornographic picture of a naked child should not be considered indecent unless it could be proven that the subject had suffered
Jack Dromey has spoken out for the first time and said he is ‘proud’ of his support for a controversial civil liberties organisation in the 1970s.
He also said that he led the fight to stop paedophiles having any influence in it.
Mr Dromey said he chose to stay within the civil liberties organisation and led the fight against paedophile attempts to infiltrate it.
He said: ‘I took them on and defeated them. They published a leaflet denouncing me.’
Asked why he didn’t simply resign from the NCCL when the Paedophile Information Exchange became involved, he said he believed it was important to stay and fight them.
‘I stayed and took them on.
‘I’m proud of the stand that I took. They are loathsome. And I’m proud of the stand that I took taking them on.
‘So the idea that we should allow these sinister men, and they were sinister, to infiltrate the NCCL and then we should walk away – that was not appropriate.
‘NCCL did outstanding work. That includes the early foundations of work on children’s rights. On women’s rights. On gay rights. On trade union rights.’
The Mail revealed that during the 1970s and 80s, the NCCL described PIE – granted formal ‘affiliate’ status from 1975 to the mid-Eighties – in glowing terms as ‘a campaigning/counselling group for adults attracted to children’.
AGM minutes: This page reveals how the PIE was represented at an NCCL AGM at the University of Lancaster. Below the list of organisations present is Jack Dromey’s name, after he was re-elected to the executive committee of the NCCL in 1977
The NCCL – now the respected Liberty – filed a submission to Parliament claiming that ‘childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in, with an adult, result in no identifiable damage’.
NCCL lawyers also acted for PIE members who were questioned by police over their disgusting behaviour.
Ms Hewitt was general secretary of the NCCL from 1974-83. Miss Harman was a newly qualified solicitor when she became its legal officer in 1978 until 1982, when she entered Parliament. Mr Dromey sat on the NCCL executive committee from 1970 to 1979.
Police are investigating PIE as part of Operation Fernbridge, launched after the Jimmy Savile affair, with one source saying there is evidence that PIE members were abusing children ‘on an industrial scale’.
The Home Office is also carrying out a ‘thorough, independent investigation’ into shocking claims that the Labour government of the 1970s may have helped finance the notorious group.
Ever since December, when The Mail first investigated the NCCL’s links to the paedophile lobby, we have been sending detailed questions to Miss Harman, Miss Hewitt and Mr Dromey about their links to PIE and whether they now regret supporting such a group.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2568232/Harman-Hewitt-never-tried-kick-didnt-want-rock-boat-protect-careers-claims-child-abuser-ex-leader-Paedophile-Information-Exchange.html#ixzz3LXUKjbVp
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