Peter McKelvie – the former child protection officer who first raised the alarm about high profile individuals engaged in child sex abuse – said senior politicians, military figures and even people linked to the Royal Family are among the alleged abusers.
Mr Kelvie said that their campaign of abuse may have been going on for as long as 65 years but ‘there has always been the block and the cover-up and the collusion to prevent an investigation.’
Speaking in public for the first time in 20 years, Mr McKelvie, whose claims led to Scotland Yard’s 2012 Operation Fernbridge investigation into allegations of a pedophile network linked to Downing Street, said the alleged VIP child abuse ring may at last face justice, although several members may be dead.
Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight program, Mr McKelvie said: ‘For the last 30 years and longer than that, there have been a number of allegations made by survivors that people at the top of very powerful institutions in this country – which include politicians, judges, senior military figures and even people that have links with the Royal Family – have been involved in the abuse of children.’
‘At the most serious level, we’re talking about the brutal rape of young boys,’ he added.
Describing the child abusers as making up a ‘small percentage’ of the British establishment at the time, Mr McKelvie admitted there was ‘a slightly larger percentage’ of people who knew about the abuse but did not report it to the police.
He said these people ‘felt that in terms of their own self-interest and self-preservation and for political party reasons, it has been safer for them to cover it up than deal with it.’
Mr McKelvie, a former child protection manager for Hereford and Worcester council, has spent the past 20 years compiling evidence of alleged abuse by establishment figures.
His claims prompted Operation Fernbridge – the 2012 Scotland Yard investigation into allegations of a pedophile network with links to Downing Street.
Following yesterday’s announcement by Home Secretary Theresa May that there would be two public inquiries into how historical claims of child abuse were dealt with, Mr McKelvie said it was ‘crucial’ that victims have the biggest say on who carries out the investigations.
One of the inquiries, led by NSPCC chief Peter Wanless, is to review an investigation conducted last year into the Home Office’s handling of past child abuse allegations.
But Mr McKelvie said he was skeptical that the involvement of the NSPCC would encourage victims to come forward because it is widely seen to be the ‘charity of the establishment.’
‘For many many years [the NSPCC] had people like Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile associated with the fundraising side of it,’ he added.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today program this morning, Lord Warner, who ran social services in Kent and was later an aide to Jack Straw when he was Home Secretary, was asked if he believed claims MPs and peers were among the 20 alleged pedophiles.
‘I think they are possibly true. I haven’t seen the evidence. What I do know is that the 1980s was a slightly strange period when what started to emerge was much more detail, many more cases, about children being sexually abused. Some of this abuse was actually taking place within families… but many others, as a pivotal point, in children’s homes,’ he said.
‘We certainly know from the inquiry I did in 1992 for Virginia Bottomley children’s homes were targeted by people in power, powerful people. It’s possible that people who were authoritative, powerful, in particular communities did sometimes have access to children’s homes,’ he added.
‘We know for historical purposes that children’s homes were a supply line sometimes’.
Mr McKelvie’s allegations come as it emerged the Home Office gave nearly £500,000 to groups linked to campaigners for sex with children.
A Whitehall inquiry found ‘clear evidence’ that £476,250 was granted over a decade to two organizations connected to the notorious Pedophile Information Exchange.
The findings were released yesterday as Home Secretary Theresa May announced a major inquiry into how public bodies dealt with historical allegations of child sex abuse.
As the pedophile scandal continued to engulf Westminster, it also emerged that:
- A separate inquiry, led by NSPCC chief Peter Wanless, is to review an investigation conducted last year into the Home Office’s handling of past child abuse allegations;
- Prosecutors decided in 1998 not to lay child abuse charges against Liberal MP Cyril Smith despite ruling they were likely to succeed;
- A former head of PIE hid documents inside the Home Office, where he was cleared to work as a contractor;
- A member of the Heath government suggested he could secure the loyalty of MPs by covering up scandals involving them and ‘small boys’;
- An unnamed minister in Tony Blair’s government was alleged to have tried to help a convicted pedophile foster two boys;
- Former home secretary Lord Brittan insisted allegations that he failed to deal properly with allegations of child abuse were completely without foundation;
- One of the first MPs to call for an overarching inquiry, Lib Dem Tessa Munt, revealed she was a victim of child abuse.