Did senior Tory and other prominent figures rape children in a south west London guest house in the early 1980s?
That is what the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Fairbank is investigating. It is looking into a wide variety of claims that several senior political figures sexually abused children.
There have been repeated allegations that boys were supplied to politicians at the then Elm Guest House from a care home run by the London borough of Richmond-upon-Thames. Scotland Yard is accused of failing to investigate the complaints.
Back in 1982, the police raided the guest house. But that Met investigation was cut short. The house has since been converted into flats, and the current owners and occupants have nothing to do with its past.
Tom Watson MP told the House of Commons last October that police should re-investigate historical claims of a “powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and number 10,” including a “senior aide of a former prime minister”.
Carole Kasir, who ran Elm Guest House from 1979 to 1982, was found dead in her flat in 1990, aged 47. She was diabetic and apparently died from an insulin overdose.
Witnesses from the charity National Association for Young People in Care gave astonishing evidence to the inquest into her death. Christopher Fay and Mary Moss, who had known her, alleged sexual abuse of children at the guest house.
They told Kingston coroner’s court that a children’s home then run by Richmond borough council, Grafton Close, supplied boys under the age of 14 to the guest house.
Fay and Moss had compiled a list of alleged abusers, several with links to the Monday Club, a right wing group within the Tories.
Fay claimed that three months before she died Kasir had shown him compromising pictures of a former Tory cabinet minister in a sauna with naked boys. Moss told the inquest that the guest house was frequented by top MPs and judges.
In 2003, a council official raised the issue of boys from Grafton Close home in nearby Hanworth being taken to the guest house and abused.
They complained in 2004 to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) about the Met’s handling of the case. But the IPCC dismissed the complaint after two years.