Harman’s pressure group advertised for members in magazine for paedophiles: New evidence links NCCL to PIE while Harriet was legal chief
- Abuse group leader, Tom O’Carroll said: they didn’t try and make us leave
- Appeal for members was published in ‘Year of the Child’ edition in 1979
- Former minister Patricia Hewitt shared platform with PIE leader in 1977
- Three senior Labour figures all held key roles in the council
- Group granted ‘affiliate’ status to the group of predatory paedophiles
The National Council for Civil Liberties placed a recruitment advert for new members in the house magazine of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange, it emerged yesterday.
Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman and her MP husband Jack Dromey say PIE was banished before she became the NCCL’s legal officer in 1978.
But disturbing new evidence contradicts this claim – and reveals further embarrassingly close ties between the NCCL and the paedophile group campaigning to legalise sex with children.
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The Mail can reveal that:
■ In 1979, an edition of Magpie, PIE’s official journal, carried the NCCL appeal for new members in an appalling ‘Year of the Child’ edition.
■ Former health minister and NCCL general secretary Patricia Hewitt shared a conference platform with PIE leader Tom O’Carroll in 1977.
Details of the new links came as O’Carroll claimed the two women ‘didn’t even try’ to remove the paedophile group from the NCCL in case it harmed their careers.
The three senior Labour figures all held key roles in the council – which astonishingly granted ‘affiliate’ status to the group of predatory paedophiles that was calling for the age of consent to be cut to just four.
When Miss Harman earlier this week belatedly expressed ‘regret’ – but refused to apologise – for PIE being allowed to forge links with the NCCL, she said the paedophile group ‘had been pushed to the margin’ before she began working there.
Yet, during the year after she took up her post, the NCCL advert appeared in PIE’s April journal.
It ran inside a shocking 24-page special edition of the magazine – the cover of which shows a picture of a young boy wearing only a small pair of shorts as he plays tennis. On an inside page the council’s advert appears alongside two more pictures of young boys in provocative poses, including one in what appears to be a PE kit, sitting down with his legs apart.
It invites Magpie readers to ‘join the NCCL’ and boasts that the organisation is ‘working to protect and extend human rights in the UK’. The appeal for new members and donations was published after a feature titled: Child porn, a heterosexual viewpoint.
The journal, sent to PIE members, included news on paedophiles, articles on child porn and cartoons mocking assaults on children. These depicted abuse in a scout master’s tent, naked children and adults queuing up outside a bedroom for an ‘assault course’.
The ‘year of the child’ edition – a distasteful twist on the UN designating 1979 as the ‘International Year of the Child’ – came with a ‘contact page’, which members could use to get in touch with other paedophiles, share images and advertise for children to abuse.
Miss Hewitt shared a platform with PIE founder O’Carroll at a gay rights conference organised by the NCCL. The former Labour minister appeared with him at the one-day event entitled ‘A Fairer Deal for Homosexuals’ and organised by the council’s Gay Rights Committee. A cutting from the left-wing Morning Star, said Miss Hewitt ‘spoke of the council’s work on gay rights over the past two years’.
An item in Magpie from May 1977 confirms that O’Carroll addressed the NCCL conference.
Under the heading ‘Notes and news’, it states: ‘Tom O’Carroll, our secretary, was one of two speakers talking about the treatment of sexual offenders in prison at the one day-conference organised by the Gay Rights Committee of the NCCL on May 14th.’
O’Carroll condemned the practice of chemical castration of paedophiles during a discussion at the event. A file about the conference in the archives of the NCCL – which later became the respected pressure group Liberty – at the Hull History Centre contains a paper O’Carroll prepared on chemical castration, which was due to be included in a booklet by the council published in 1978.
But Miss Hewitt objected to the essay’s inclusion and said the group should be trying to destroy the myth that ‘gay men are also paedophiles’, not add to the confusion by ‘including a paper about the treatment of paedophile offenders in a pamphlet on gay rights’.
In a memo in June 1978, she reported encountering opposition to her decision to pull O’Carroll’s work from her own gay rights sub-committee.
It states that the NCCL Executive Committee would have to decide whether or not to include O’Carroll’s work in the pamphlet. A copy of what appears to be the final version in the file does not contain O’Carroll’s piece.
Documents from both groups also reveal how, in the first half of 1977, the NCCL went in to bat for PIE when the vile group believed it had been slighted by a judge during his sentencing of a man convicted of blackmailing one of its member.
Edited extracts from the correspondence reprinted in Magpie show how the NCCL described it as a ‘campaigning’ organisation.
The letters were apparently written by Nettie Pollard, NCCL’s gay rights organiser.
Speaking to the Radio 4 Today Programme O’Carroll said: ‘At the time Harman and Hewitt couldn’t just kick us out, or they could but they didn’t try. The reason was their careers in the NCCL depended upon them not rocking the boat too much.’
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