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Heart of Darkness: The Hidden Child Abuse Scandals at the Centre of the British Establishment

From the Royal Family to the Conservatives, Child Abuse in Elite Circles Is Endemic

On Thursday, we printed a lengthy piece that touched on the web of intrigue that surrounds Lord Louis Mountbatten. Finally exposed last year, Mountbatten is known to have been a traitor to his own government and a flagrant paedophile on a scale that may rival the notorious Jimmy Savile. Mountbatten’s power and influence to abuse children and act against democracy were willingly aided and abetted by the British state. Yet, his depravity is the tip of an iceberg that goes straight to the heart of the British government and Royal family.

While Jimmy Savile’s relationship at the Palace and links throughout the British establishment are well known, and Prince Andrew’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein continue to be well documented in the press, they are certainly not the only paedophiles that have links to Buckingham Palace. Beyond Mountbatten and his circle, including Anthony Blunt, the number of child abusers who do have ties to royalty is alarming.

Buckingham Palace

In 2015, a former Metropolitan Police officer revealed a member of the Royal family had been under investigation in the 1980s for his links to a paedophile ring. The investigation was shut down. Speaking with the Daily Mirror, the unnamed officer said that the CPS had shut down the investigation.

“I was in a car with two other vice squad officers. … The detective sergeant said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP… He did not mention names, but he said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

As with Mountbatten, Kincora and the circle surrounding his activities and those of the security services in Northern Ireland, MI5 and MI6 were interested in only protecting the establishment and social order they exist to serve. It would allow dozens, if not hundreds, to get away with unspeakable crimes.

Here are a mere five examples over recent years of child abuse linked to the Royals.

In 2006, former Royal butler Nicholas Greaves was jailed or possession of 473 images and videos of child abuse, photos said to have included torture. Greaves was said to have been a favourite of the Queen and was on hand at state functions and important events, including the monarch’s 80th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle.

In 2008, Paul Kidd, another Royal butler, was revealed as the head of a paedophile ring while working at the Palace. Kidd had worked for both the Queen and on one occasion took one of his grooming victims to have tea with the Queen Mother at Clarence House. He was found in possession of 19,000 pornographic pictures and videos of children.

In 2015, Prince Charles came under criticism for his relationship with disgraced Bishop Peter Ball after Ball was jailed for abusing 18 teenagers and men over three decades. His relationship with Charles involved the exchange of over 50 letters and the two men praying together at Highgrove. Ball used his friendship with Charles to continue his ministry despite receiving a police caution in 1992.

Charles, Prince of Wales in Jersey on 18 July 2012. | Dan Marsh

In July 2018, visitor services warden for the Royal Collection Trust Tony Aslett was jailed for nine months after being caught in possession of 15,000 indecent images and videos of children.

In December of the same year, it was revealed that the Queen’s chauffeur Alwyn Stockdale sexually abused a 10-year-old boy in the Royal Household quarters at Buckingham Palace Mews and assaulted a second boy under 14 at a relative’s home.

One association that requires a more in-depth look is that of Sir Harold Haywood.

February of 2016 brought us the revelation that the police were investigating links between notorious 1970s pro-Paedophile group the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) and the gay rights charity the Albany Trust which was headed by Sir Harold Haywood, a trusted advisor to Prince Charles. In 1976 the group had worked with PIE to produce a pamphlet on the “sexuality of children”. Haywood was director of the Royal Jubilee and Prince’s Trust.

“One argument for lowering or abolishing the age of consent rests on the knowledge and experience that children are at least as capable of deciding how to express themselves sexually as they are in expressing other basic needs or desires, for example for food, comfort, security, companionship, play.”

Albany Trust pamphlet

It should be noted that Haywood was never charged with any crime, nor to the public knowledge the subject of any personal investigation or even official suspicion, yet many coincidences spring out.

Haywood was a director of the National Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC) between 1955 and 1974, and during the time Sir Angus Ogilvy, husband of Princess Alexandra was made President. The group enlisted a range of celebrities to fund-raise for them including the likes of Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and famous musicians of the 1960s. As you may recall, the police ensured that Jimmy Savile’s claims of being friends with Princess Alexandra were covered-up.

What’s interesting is that this circle of Charles-Saville-Alexandria-Heywood also includes one Sara Morrison though Antony Grey, the Chair of Trustees at the Albany Trust. Grey had wanted to appoint Morrison as Chair of the charity in 1974, but Morrison turned him down. Sara Morrison was the daughter-in-law of John Granville Morrison, Baron Margadale of Islay in the County of Argyll, being married to Charles Morrison. He brother-in-law was Peter Morrison, the Conservative MP for Chester and between 1988 and 1990 he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Interestingly Sara Morrison was considered to be the most significant woman in the life of Edward Heath, against whom numerous allegations have been made but never proven.

Her brother-in-law Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s PPS, was a paedophile.

The Conservative Party

Peter Morrison

Peter Morrison was the Tory MP for Chester from 1974 to 1992 and ardent Thatcherite. He was one of the first MPs to urge her to run for the leadership in 1975. However, Morrison’s child abuse seems to have been almost an open secret within the Conservative Party, with levels of abuse reaching the level of prolific.

The Guardian has reported that Morrison received a caution for cottaging with underage boys, a fact confirmed by police that undoubted will have been known to the security services and Thatcher. Edwina Currie had stated that Morrison regularly had sex with 16-year-old boys when the age of homosexual consent was 21 and went as far as to call him a “notable paederast“.

Norman Tebbit too was seemingly well aware of the rumours.

“I began to hear allegations, coming from his constituency [Chester], when he was with me at CCO, that he was excessively interested in schoolboys. I faced him. He swore absolutely that there was no truth in it. I wasn’t absolutely convinced.”

Norman Tebbit

Barry Stevens meanwhile, a former bodyguard to Thatcher, says that he warned the Prime Minister directly that Morrison was engaging in underage orgies. Despite the warning, Morrison was shockingly promoted to the position of deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in 2019 took evidence from Morrison’s long time friend and former director-general of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller who said she may have provided the cabinet secretary with information that Morrison had a “penchant for small boys”.

“By the end of the 80s … my friendship with Peter Morrison was withering. He was seeking to give the impression that I was his girlfriend which was not accurate. The allegations [of paedophile activity] which I did not know the truth of … made me uncomfortable.”

Eliza Manningham-Buller

In November of 1986, Sir Antony Duff, then Director-General of MI5, wrote to Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet Secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, to state that several sources had made child abuse allegations against Morrison.

Rather than the welfare of children, this conversation centred on the size of the security risk as far as to blackmail by the Soviet Union was concerned, Duff believing the risk was minor as Morrison had little access to valuable secrets. Morrison was advised to not travel to the USSR in case he should be blackmailed by the KGB and Duff concluded that “At present stage … the risk of political embarrassment to the Government is rather greater than the security danger”.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in October 2007 | Steve Punter

Despite the explicit knowledge of the security services and senior Conservatives, including Thatcher, nothing was done about Peter Morrison, and he was allowed to continue his pattern of child abuse. The wilful blind eyes and organised cover-ups of establishment paedophilia it appears was regular policy.

“The Peter Morrison case is a shameful saga of institutions avoiding responsibility despite widespread rumours about his ‘penchant for small boys’. It appears police knew of allegations but did nothing. Security services knew. Cabinet secretary knew but thought it was for prime minister & Tory party to deal. The prime minister took no action. The Tory party did nothing. What we see here is buck-passing across the board and Morrison escaping scrutiny because of his connections”

Richard Scorer, solicited to the victims represented at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

In October of 2012, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives Rod Richards implicated Morrison in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal.

The Dickens Dossier

On November 24 1983, Geoffrey Dickens, the Conservative MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth, handed the Home Secretary Leon Brittan a dossier that he had compiled on what he alleges was an organised paedophile ring operating in government and the British establishment, including Buckingham Palace. Brittan confirmed in 2014 that he had been handed a “substantial sum of papers” by Dickens and handed them to the Home Office. 

The dossier was the sum of three years work by Dickens who had been investigating the claims of high placed paedophile rings since 1981 when he named the former British High Commissioner to Canada Peter Hayman as a paedophile in the House of Commons. Since that point Dickens came to believe, seemingly backed by an abundance of evidence, that “big, big names – people in positions of power, influence and responsibility” were actively engaging in child abuse at the top levels of the establishment.

It would be a dangerous belief to hold.

“The noose around my neck grew tighter after I named a former high-flying British diplomat on the Floor of the House. Honourable Members will understand that where big money is involved and as important names came into my possession, so the threats began. First, I received threatening telephone calls, followed by two burglaries at my London home. Then, more seriously, my name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list”

Geoffrey Dickens

The contents of the dossier and the names within have become a mystery. So too have the official reasons why the dossier was never actioned or investigated. A Home Office review in 2013 claimed that the dossier was passed on to the police by Brittan but not retained by the Home Office. Despite the claims, Scotland Yard has said it has no record of any investigation into the allegations, and the Home Office has “no record of specific allegations by Mr Dickens of child sex abuse by prominent public figures”.

Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald QC recommended an official inquiry into the fate of the dossier, stating that its vanishing was “alarming” and that an investigation into the circumstance of the disappearance and what action the police did or did not take was required. None was forthcoming.

While no official reason for the vanishing of the dossier has ever come to light, unofficially the reasons are quite clear given the fact that Dickens had asked Brittan to investigate the diplomatic and civil services and the activities of Buckingham Palace. As with the allegations against Mountbatten, the names that would have been revealed would have done irreparable damage to the British state and the establishment, igniting a social powder keg that would have fuelled public anger and revulsion for decades to come. 

Daily Express, August 25, 1983

Peter Hayman

Sir Peter Hayman, presumably the first name on Dicken’s radar, had been identified as a threat to national security as far back as the 1960s through “sexual perversion” and the “explicit records of his sexual activities and fantasies” that he kept, some of them relating to children.

In 1978, Hayman accidentally left a package of violent paedophilic pornography on a bus, and other material was discovered after a raid on his West London flat by police. Amazingly, he was never charged with any offence and the decision not to prosecute was said to have come “from high up”.

A file released in 2015 following public pressure entitled “SECURITY. Sir Peter Hayman: allegations against former public official of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects” reveals that government officials were briefed on “lines to take” should they be questioned about the affair. Margaret Thatcher had been briefed on Hayman in 1980.

“This file was originally kept closed as it contained information from the security services and advice from the law officers. We have reviewed that decision and have now released the file into the National Archives.”

Cabinet Office Spokesman

Geoffrey Dickens had used parliamentary privilege to name Hayman in the House of Commons in March of 1981, it would be a brave move on his part. Attorney General Michael Havers had begged him not to reveal the name, and his fellow Tories condemned him for it, suggesting the naming was an abuse of process and damaged the reputation of the government.

New Standard, March 16, 1981

Michael Haver’s would go on to attempt damage limitation, claiming that “Hayman’s collection [of child pornography] was not extreme and had not warranted prosecution.” This was a lie.

“The detectives also learnt that he was a member of a group of seven men and two women who were corresponding with each other and swapping photographs. One of them shared fantasies about torturing children to death with yet another paedophile. The police prosecuted two of the group but let the others go because they were consenting adults who were not making money from pornography. Hayman was given a warning not to send obscene material through the post.”

The Anglo-Irish Vice Ring – Joseph de Burca
The Sun, March 20, 1981

He was caught red-handed in a public lavatory with a boy in 1984 and convicted of gross indecency.

The Paedophile Information Exchange

Hayman, whose long diplomatic and foreign office career was coupled with being a “long-time deputy director of MI6”, was also a member of pro-paedophile organisation the Paedophile Information Exchange.

PIE was a pro-paedophile “activist group” that was active between 1974 and 1984, campaigning to abolish the age of consent and to legitimise paedophilia in mainstream circles through public exposure. The known group was frequently utilised by paedophiles to network and exchange child pornography and other illegal material.

In 1978, the homes of several members of PIE were raided including, as mentioned, Peter Hayman, a report being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the indictment of several PIE members. Except, of course, Peter Hayman. 

An uncomfortable truth is that extremist liberals of the 1970s allowed and even encouraged PIE to flourish, with one Liberal activist stating that it was “not the views of most Young Liberals” to agree with Peter Hain’s assessment that paedophilia was “a wholly undesirable abnormality”. Indeed, the acceptance of paedophilia as a legitimate cause for activism would come back to haunt several members of Tony Blair’s New Labour project, namely Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt.

Harriet Harman, British solicitor and Labour politician. | Steve Punter

Hewitt was general secretary of the National Council for Civil Liberties between 1974 and 1983, while Harriet Harman, had been employed by NCCL as an in-house solicitor between 1978 and 1982.

In December of 1975, Keith Hose, then chairman of PIE, wrote to Hewitt to ask her to consider the proposals of PIE on abolishing the age of consent. Hewitt alarmingly wrote back saying: “We have found your evidence … most helpful”. Just four months later in March of 1976, a document was published in Hewitt’s sole name that related to an NCCL report on sexual law reform. The paper would call for the lowering of the age of consent to 10 and the legalisation of incest.

“NCCL proposes that the age of consent should be lowered to 14, with special provision for situations where the partners are close in age or where the consent of a child over ten can be proved… In our view, no benefit accrues to anyone by making incest a crime when committed between mutually consenting persons over the age of consent.”

An NCCL briefing note from 1978 meanwhile shows that Harriet Harman urged that amendments be made to a 1978 Child Protection Bill, the future minister stating that “images of children should only be considered pornographic if it could be proven the subject suffered”.

In 2014, Shami Chakrabarti, then director of Liberty, issued an apology for the previous links between Liberty (then the NCCL) and PIE.

“It is a source of continuing disgust and horror that even the NCCL had to expel paedophiles from its ranks in 1983 after infiltration at some point in the seventies.”

Shami Chakrabarti

Harman has said that she has “nothing to apologise for“.

Heart of Darkness

The sheer depth and acceptance of the Paedophile Information Exchange and their advocacy for child sex are shown with the case of Peter Righton. Righton was the author of the pamphlets mentioned above, alongside many others which advocated for the lowering or abolition of the age of consent and other pro-paedophile issues. 

Following his conviction in 1992 for importing and possessing child pornography, you might think that Righton would have been shunned by all that knew him. Instead, he took up residence on the estate of John Henniker-Major, the 8th Baron Henniker. There have been claims from survivors that children were brought to Righton at the estate. While there is no suggestion that he was involved in abuse, the fact remains that the establishment was still entertaining the likes of Righton into the 1990s, despite his activities being open and criminal knowledge.

Henniker had been yet another Cambridge graduate that had entered the “diplomatic service”. These are running themes amongst many of those named such as Anthony Blunt, Peter Hayman and names such as Robert Coghlan, a diplomat and British envoy who was imprisoned for 3 years for smuggling abusive images of children into the UK. Police found sacks of videotapes showing children as young as 11 years old being abused. 

So staggering is the size of the scandal, there is little space to talk on Captain Peter Montgomery, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone. The second cousin of General Montgomery and late of military intelligence, he is perhaps less well known as a particular friend of KGB spy Anthony Blunt and another child abuser at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland.

Field Marshall Sir William Slim is yet another WW2 “hero” who, like Mountbatten, hid his real self from public gaze until long after death. With little in the British press of note, Slim has been accused of sexually abusing migrant children in Australia. Utilising his Royally-appointed role as Governor-General of Australia, Slim echoes Jimmy Savile in utilising his Rolls Royce for facilitating his abuse during the 1950s and 1960s. 

Nor is there chance to discuss Ross Thomas, a steward at Windsor Castle who was given a suspended prison sentence for grooming and abusing a young boy. Or Jonathan Rees-Williams, the Queen’s former choirmaster who had “fallen from the top to the bottom of society” when he was jailed for “despicable and offensive” sex attacks on young children. Yet further discussion could be had on Andrew Lightwood, another former butler to the Queen who unbuttoned his trousers and exposed himself to a boy before touching him sexually.

The list of names runs into the hundreds. Not fantasies or the claims of conspiracy theorists, but dozens of corroborating victim statements and legal convictions. From the circle surrounding Mountbatten and Kincora to that surrounding the Paedophile Information Exchange. From Anthony Blunt and the machinations of the security services to the frequently reoccurring ties to Buckingham Palace. From the diplomatic service to the House of Commons, the one running theme is the power and degeneracy of the establishment.

So ingrained in the national psyche is the belief that the establishment is “above reproach” and that the working class, amongst whom come most of the victims, are beneath “their betters” these crimes continue to go unexposed. Police forces look the other way, the security services aid and abet to maintain the social order, defeat “our enemies” and gain the upper hand on threats that pale in comparison to their own countrymen—child abuse for Queen and Country.

There are many facets to the cause and scale of the problem, and perhaps here sociology might comment on the differing class attitude to children, with the working class developing close bonds of paternal affection while the ruling class leave theirs to nanny and boarding school. Perhaps others might comment on how paederasty is seen by the aristocracy as almost a secret semester on the classics, something admirable and beneficial that only those who understand Ancient Greece might know.

The right-wing media, including the staunchly anti-paedophile tabloids, are always ready to publish lurid details on the vile crimes of Gary Glitter, Rolf Harris and their like. They’re still keen to insist that “Muslim grooming gangs” are the scourge of society. Yet these are specks of dust, and they remain silent on the crimes of those that butter their bread. There is no Tommy Robinson protest outside Britain’s stately homes.

The crimes of those involved with the Catholic Church went similarly unacknowledged for decades, with victims ignored and maligned, with reputations smeared and abusers left to commit more atrocities. Finally, after much struggle, those crimes were exposed for the world to see. While there is still much to be done, there can be little doubt that some measure of truth, if not justice, is now in the public domain and children are safer as a result.

It is time for the crimes of the British establishment to be similar made public record, for an end to the whitewash enquiries and the protection of the state rescinded for the likes of Prince Andrew and other surviving abusers. The struggle to expose these crimes officially would, however, entail to the cooperation of the British government and security service. As the disappearance of critical Grenfell Tower documents and the recent actions of the Tories regarding an alleged rapist show, little has changed in respect to how either operate. 

Britain’s secret heart of darkness continues to beat as vigorously as ever from the shadows.

This is the second in a series of linked articles on child abuse within the British establishment, the first article “Lord Louis Mountbatten: Pedophile. Traitor. Above the Law. centred around the crimes of Lord Louis Mountbatten.



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