Socialist Worker

Light is shed on cover up of establishment abusers

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2444

Cops raided Tory Lord Leon Brittans home over alleged child abuse

Cops raided Tory Lord Leon Brittan's home over alleged child abuse (Pic: Creative Commons)

Three linked events threw some light on allegations of child abuse by the rich and powerful and their attempts to cover it up.

First, Margaret Thatcher was personally warned that Liberal MP Cyril Smith had sexually abused eight boys before she granted him a knighthood.

Secret papers include a letter from Lord Shackleton to Thatcher. It warned that police had investigated Smith in 1970 for “indecent assault against teenage boys”.

The state confiscated some journalists’ files. The Sun newspaper had a copy of Smith’s police file but did not publish it.

All the spooks’ vetting files on politicians past and present should be published.

Second, cops raided Tory Lord Leon Brittan’s homes over alleged child abuse and the home of Lord Bramall, once Britain’s top ranking army officer.

They also raided the home of former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

Proctor and Bramall took to the media to strongly deny any wrongdoing. This is not always an option for people raided by the police. 

Brittan, having died in January, did not.


Proctor said, “I have not been part of any rent boy ring with cabinet ministers, other MPs or generals or the military.”

Proctor was a leading figure in the notorious Monday Club, a far right pressure group inside the Tories.

He demanded the forcible repatriation of 50,000 “coloured” immigrants a year. He was forced to resign after being convicted of gross indecency in 1987.

A witness known as Nick has alleged Brittan had been present at VIP child abuse parties. Asked how he knew the man present was the former home secretary he replied, “Well, he told me. Not his full name. He told me that it was Leon.”

Nick said Brittan was present when two unidentified men murdered a boy following sexual abuse around 1981 or 1982.

Third and most significant is the conviction of father Tony McSweeney. He is the first abuser to be convicted over the Elm Guest House scandal.

McSweeney was convicted for offences of indecent assault of a minor and making indecent images of children. John Stingemore—former manager of the Grafton Close care home—was charged with similar offences, but died before the trial.

Boys from Grafton Close were sent to the Elm Guest House and other venues including Dolphin Square in Pimlico to be abused.

Alleged abusers included cabinet ministers and MPs, diplomats, spies, police officers and judges.

Cyril Smith was a visitor to the guest house, as was Leon Brittan.At least one boy abused at Grafton Close, Peter Bornshin, later killed himself.

McSweeney will be sentenced on 27 March. The true extent of the scandal and cover-up may take longer to expose.

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