THE Jimmy Savile paedophile scandal took a sensational twist yesterday – with claims that a powerful child sex ring was linked to Downing Street.
Labour MP Tom Watson shocked the Commons by saying that a key member of the perverted group was a senior aide to a former prime minister.
And last night it was confirmed that officers investigating the Savile allegations are also probing a possible paedophile gang at the heart of government. The top-level inquiry was launched a week ago.
Watson says evidence used to convict sex abuser Peter Righton more than 20 years ago had far wider implications.
He told MPs: “The evidence file, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring. One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former prime minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.
“The leads were not followed up. But if the files still exist, I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it, and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No10.”
Watson later posted further details on his blog. He said a former child protection expert had told him the Righton case had not been fully investigated.
Righton, who belonged to the Paedophile Information Exchange, was convicted of importing child pornography from Holland in 1992. Watson said: “The central allegation was that a large body of material seized in a raid on his home had not been fully investigated.”
It is claimed that material seized at Righton’s home contained letters from known and convicted paedophiles.
Watson added: “The contact, who has seen the letters, claimed one paedophile in particular was of great concern. He said the paedophile, who worked with children, boasted of a key aide to a former PM who could help get hold of indecent images.”
The Paedophile Information Exchange, now outlawed, also had links with another BBC presenter investigated over child sex allegations in the late 80s. Like Savile, the unnamed star was accused of using a charity as a cover to abuse kids.
The charity was set up by a PIE member in the 80s, offering yachting classes to vulnerable and underprivileged children.
The BBC presenter was investigated over allegations he was abusing boys during sailing trips. No charges were ever brought, for reasons which remain unclear.
A child protection source said yesterday: “The presenter was going out on a boat with children and a leading former member of PIE. The charity was being used as a way of taking indecent pictures of the boys, and there was also physical abuse.”
One man was later convicted of abusing boys during the yachting outings. Police are expected to re-examine the case in the light of the flood of Savile allegations.
David Cameron said the claims raised by Watson were “very difficult and complex”. He said he was “not entirely sure” which former PM Watson was talking about, but he would look at the case “very carefully and see what the Government can do”.
Cameron also announced the Director of Public Prosecutions will review a decision not to prosecute Savile in 2009 over four abuse allegations from the 1970s.