By Mark Watts
Police ran a secret operation into alleged child sexual abuse at “sex parties involving political, government and military figures” at Dolphin Square and other locations.
A former detective at the Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit revealed details of the previously unknown case, ‘Operation Mileshogue’ – dating from 1996 to 1999 – in interviews with officers from the same force in 2016.
The investigation into allegations of “organised sexual abuse” of children in care in London targeted MPs, a Navy officer and a sensitive figure who worked for the government in arms sales, according to the ex-detective’s account to the Met’s professional standards department (PSD).
The same officer also revealed that a separate investigation into organised crime in south-east London in 1991 seized from a safe an audio tape on which an MP is heard “having sex” with a “teenager”.
The Met passed the ex-detective’s bombshell witness statements and related material to the inquiry sponsored by the Home Office into child sexual abuse for its Westminster investigation.
But the inquiry failed to call him or any other witness in relation to either operation.
Its report on the Westminster investigation – despite damning a culture of “turning a blind eye,” as well as “actively shielding and protecting perpetrators,” and “covering up” allegations of child sexual abuse – completely ignored the former officer’s account.
The inquiry formally adduced the ex-detective’s witness statements and related material on the final day of the Westminster hearings in March 2019 in what became known as the “document dump”, but there was no meaningful reference to the gravity of what they contained.
Despite effectively identifying the MP caught on tape in the adduced evidence, presumably by mistake, the inquiry protected the MP by making it a criminal offence to name him. The inquiry used a codename for him – “WM-F7”.
The media ran no report on any of the material. I highlighted what it contained at the time in this Twitter thread and this one, but it is set to be featured in a new book out next week, Scandal at Dolphin Square: a notorious history, by Simon Danczuk, the former MP, and Daniel Smith.
As a result, the book re-opens the scandal of child sexual abuse by ‘VIPs’ despite continuing attempts by sections of the media to pretend that it never happened.
The book will plot the history of sex, spy and political scandals at the private housing estate in Pimlico near Westminster favoured by MPs and other prominent figures.
The inquiry anonymised the ex-detective in his statements to “GB”. His statements record him as being born in 1959, making him about 62 now.
GB talked to ‘Operation Winter Key’, the Met PSD’s investigation into allegations of historic child abuse involving institutions and prominent people.
Met bosses starved Operation Mileshogue of resources, he said.
A transcript prepared by Operation Winter Key of one of its interviews with GB quotes him as saying: “When I tried to get MH [Mileshogue] off the ground it took a year for the docket to be accepted.”
“It bounced back and forwards… It took nearly a year for authority just to go and interview. It was so slow.”
He also believes that suspects were tipped off about surveillance on them.
He revealed that armed Special Branch officers even stopped a police surveillance team watching a suspect in Operation Mileshogue, after threatening his colleagues with a gun. I set out in a second piece what GB says about Operation Mileshogue in what is, at times, a graphic account.
Separately, he said that a mystery senior officer from a regional crime squad approached him in a pub to warn him off the organised-crime investigation that had ensnared an MP engaged in sexual activity with a teenager.
Notes prepared by Operation Winter Key of a meeting with GB record: “He describes the other males [sic] voice as youngish male but impossible to say how young. Cannot remember what the other male was saying on the recording. He describes the voice as ‘teenager, child that sort of age it was a young person.’”
Mark Watts (@MarkWatts_1), co-ordinator of the FOIA Centre, is the former Editor-in-Chief of Exaro.
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