Dear Mr Wishart, Could I have your comments on the following,
Detectives are investigating claims that former Conservative Home Secretary William Whitelaw ordered police to drop an investigation into a VIP paedophile ring.
Whitelaw allegedly told a senior Metropolitan Police boss to quash a year-long investigation into a gang accused of abusing 40 children, the youngest of whom was six.
The alleged intervention came in 1980 after a newspaper revealed the country’s chief prosecutor was considering 350 offences against the gang, including allegations it ‘obtained young boys for politicians, prominent lawyers and film stars’.
The report, published on July 7 that year in the Evening News – a daily London newspaper – revealed police had passed evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and that up to 12 men could face trial for procuring boys and sexual assault.
Jeff Edwards, the journalist who wrote the story, claims that just days after it was published he was summoned by police to an interview and threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.
Mr Edwards also claims his source, a serving police officer, was disciplined and fined six months’ wages for leaking the story.
Does this not strengthen the case for the inquiry to be transparent, to involve witnesses giving evidence in public and under oath and for boundaries between the various parts of the United Kingdom to present no barriers to the inquiry?
David Scott BEng, AMICE, CEng, MIStructE, MIES