Huge sums of TAXPAYER’S cash ‘handed to vile child-sex pervert group’ by Home Office officials
A total of £70,000 is said to have been given to the Paedophile Information Exchange between 1977 and 1980 under Labour and then Margaret Thatcher’s first Tory government.
That’s worth more than £400,000 in today’s money.
At the time PIE was pushing for the age of consent to be cut to FOUR.
The claims are being investigated by Scotland Yard after a whistleblower named the senior civil servant he said had signed off the payments.
Last night Labour MP Tom Watson said: “It’s a remarkable state of affairs and the Home Secretary must make sure a report is presented as soon
“If the allegations are true, it shows how insidious an organisation PIE was that they could even convince the Home Office to give them taxpayers’ money.”
PIE began its vile activities in 1974 and its tentacles quickly spread into the upper echelons of the establishment.
Last week it emerged senior Labour politicians Harriet Harman , her husband Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt had been involved with the National Council for Civil Liberties at a time PIE was affiliated to it.
Now an ex-Home Office worker claims successive governments backed PIE with YOUR cash.
The whistleblower said civil servant Clifford Hindley was the man who rubber-stamped the PIE grants around 1980.
Hindley, who unusually for the time was openly gay, was well known in Whitehall as a pal of Jeremy Thorpe, the ex-Liberal leader who was acquitted in a sensational murder trial.
The two often dined together at London’s Reform Club and Hindley took Thorpe out for lunch on the day the politician learnt he was going to be tried.
The whistleblower has now contacted Operation Fernbridge, a Metropolitan Police task force probing paedophile networks.
He told them he saw a PIE grant application covering three years, which he recalled totalled £35,000.
He believed it was a renewal – suggesting a similar grant had been given in 1977 under the previous Labour government.
It means PIE probably got at least £70,000 from the taxpayer.
The whistleblower took the document to Hindley, the head of the Voluntary Services United, a branch of the Home Ofice that awarded grants to charities and non-profit groups.
But he alleges Hindley, who is now dead, took the paperwork from him and told him to drop the matter. After brushing aside his concerns, he believes Hindley signed off on the grant.
The Home Office said last night: “We are aware of the allegations and the Permanent Secretary has commissioned an independent investigation.”
But a Freedom of Information request shows all Home Office files about PIE since 1979 have been destroyed – quite legally.
Hindley left the Home Office in 1983 and wrote academic articles on gay relationships in Benjamin Britten’s operas.
City University music lecturer Ian Pace told Exaro investigative website: “Some of Hindley’s writings certainly show a strong interest in pederastic elements.”
PIE’s membership ranged from the jobless to diplomats.
In 1978, a police raid on a flat found 45 diaries filled with depraved fantasies.
The flat was registered to a Mr Henderson – an alias of former High Commissioner to Canada and deputy head of MI6 Sir Peter Hayman.
After being cautioned by police Hayman told them: “If this comes out I shall either shoot myself or go to Brazil.”
Five PIE members were prosecuted in 1981 for conspiracy to corrupt public morals.
But Hayman’s identity was not revealed in court.
He was later exposed by MP Geoffrey Dickens, who used Parliamentary privilege to name him in the Commons.
Mr Dickens later claimed he was subjected to terrifying threats after naming Hayman.
He said: “The noose around my neck grew tighter.
“Where big money is involved and as important names came into my possession, so the threats began.
“First, I received threatening calls followed by two burglaries at my home.
“Then my name appeared on a killer’s hit-list.”
No evidence to support Mr Dickens’s claims ever came to light but friends say he took the threats seriously.
Hayman was finally jailed in 1984 for having child porn. He died in 1992.
Another PIE member was Soviet spy Geoffrey Prime.
But even after he was jailed in 1982 for sex attacks on three young girls, Margaret Thatcher stood up in the Commons and denied he had any link to PIE.
PIE members continued to build their underground network despite police probes.
Many became powerful in social work, teaching and even the criminal justice system – and thousands of vulnerable kids were traumatised as a result.
More than a million people signed a petition demanding PIE’s child-sex campaign be banned – but it never was.
In 1984, two former executive committee members of PIE were convicted of child-porn offences but acquitted of incitement to commit unlawful sexual acts with children.
And the group’s leader fled the UK while on bail.
PIE finally called it a day later that year.
Meanwhile, as the furore over the NCCL’s involvement with PIE continues to reverberate this week, only Patricia Hewitt has so far said sorry for her role.
The former MP, who was the council’s general secretary when PIE was affiliated, said: “I take responsibility for the mistakes we made.
“I got it wrong on PIE and I apologise for having done so.”
Shadow policing minister Jack Dromey insisted he was a “resolute opponent” of PIE when he became NCCL chairman in 1976.
He said: “I made it clear my first priority would be to take on the child-sex abusers of PIE and defeated them by a massive majority at our conference.”
A spokeswoman for Harriet Harman said the Labour deputy leader never had anything to do with PIE in her role as a junior legal officer at the NCCL from 1978 to 1982.
She added: “Harriet Harman regrets the existence of PIE and she regrets they had any involvement at all with NCCL.
“PIE were a vile organisation and she never did anything to promote their terrible cause.”