Margaret Thatcher personally supported one of her MPs who had an alleged “penchant for small boys”, MI5 files disclosed to a public inquiry reveal.
An MI5 lawyer told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) it was “a matter of regret” that the service considered only the national security implications of allegations of possible child abuse by Peter Morrison, Conservative MP for Chester, and did not pass information to the police.
The witness, who gave evidence anonymously, admitted that memos and a letter from 1986 had discussed claims that Morrison had a “penchant for small boys”.
They added there was nothing to indicate MI5 passed the information in its possession to police.
The inquiry heard that two 1986 memos were written by Eliza Manningham-Buller, who went on to be the director general of MI5 between 2002 and 2007.
- Former Liberal leader David Steel admitted he nominated depraved Cyril Smith for a knighthood eight years after he confessed to sexually abusing children.
The peer said under oath on Wednesday that he had asked Smith in 1979 about claims he abused boys at a Rochdale hostel in the 1960s, while a Labour councillor.
While Steel did not dispute Smith had confessed to abusing boys in the 1960s, he said he did not believe he was still offending when they spoke.
He told the IICSA that he came away from the conversation with Smith “assuming” he had committed the offences because he did not deny them.
Lord Steel said, “He accepted the story was correct. Obviously I disapproved but as far as I was concerned it was past history.”
In 1988, Lord Steel nominated Smith for a knighthood, something he has since said he was “perfectly happy” to do. But giving evidence, he denied “hiding his head in the sand” over the abuse.
In a June 2018 appearance on BBC’s Newsnight programme, Steel described child sex abuse allegations against Smith as ‘tittle-tattle’ and ‘scurrilous hearsay’.
- The inquiry was also told about MI5’s investigation into Peter Hayman.
Hayman was high up in MI6. He became high commissioner to Canada and was knighted in Britain.
He kept detailed diaries about his sex life which were seized when his London flat was raided. The director of public prosecutions later granted MI5 access to them.
The security service subsequently interviewed Hayman. The DPP, Hayman told MI5, had given him immunity from prosecution.
Essex cops are guilty of failing victims of abuse
Two police officers who scuppered child abuse investigations have been found guilty of misconduct in a public office.
Essex Police detective constable Lee Pollard was convicted of two counts while his partner detective constable Sharon Patterson was found guilty of one count.
Patterson was found not guilty of one count and the Old Bailey jury was unable to reach verdicts in a further charge against each.
They will be sentenced on 3 May. Thirty officers, some now retired, were investigated and 296 Essex child abuse cases looked at, of which 55 were referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
The defendants were the only ones to face criminal charges, but a third officer was sacked last year.
Five officers resigned or retired when the investigation began and two officers who were found to have a case to answer for gross misconduct left the force before action was taken against them.
Baby formula firms doing deals with NHS
A third of NHS health boards have broken guidelines by accepting payments or sponsorship from baby formula companies.
The marketing of infant formula is regulated to try to halt falling rates of breastfeeding.
Companies are not allowed to advertise or promote formula designed for infants under the age of six months.
The World Health Organisation code of practice says no medical organisation or doctor should accept payments from formula firms.
But 59 out of 195 clinical commissioning groups in England have recorded at least one breach of the WHO code since 2014, an investigation by Channel4’s Dispatches showed.
In Wales, five out of the seven local health boards recorded a breach.
Companies use their specialised formulas such as products for children with allergies to create links with doctors for their normal baby formula products.
Brexageddon nonsense 1
Nigel Farage had planned to celebrate on March 29—the day Britain was set to leave the EU—with a lavish party at the Ritz. But the former Ukip leader may have to apply for an extension himself.
So after not having marched from Sunderland, instead of champagne in Mayfair, Farage and Co will hold a rally in Parliament Square. “I’m afraid it will be pinot,” his henchman, Andy Wigmore opined. “Party In Name Only.”
Brexageddon nonsense 2
The Metropolitan Police has told officers it is restricting leave because of fears of Brexit-related unrest.
Britain’s biggest force has said it needs to have enough staff to “deal with any issues” arising from Britain’s departure.
The restrictions apply this month and next.
Sick doctor struck off
A gynaecologist has been suspended for three months after jokingly referring to patients as “fallen women” while carrying out terminations at an abortion clinic.
Dr Tim Moriarty worked in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
He left one patient in distress by telling her “not all women are put on this earth to have babies” as she was awaiting a procedure.
Moriarty—who had previously been warned twice about his inappropriate language—added, “Just because Isis try to bomb us back to the dark ages, it doesn’t change anything.
“It’s a woman’s choice and don’t feel guilty.”
He introduced himself to a new recruit, saying, ‘’Hi, I’m Dr Moriarty and I am tasked with looking after all the fallen women.”