The Dickens Dossier: Secret file on establishment paedophiles may be opened
A secret file which is said to contain the names of paedophiles with links to the British establishment and which is rumoured to be locked away in archives at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, could be made public as part of the Government’s child abuse inquiry.
Inquiry panel members Barbara Hearn and Sharon Evans, along with Ben Emmerson QC, counsel to the inquiry, assured campaigners at their meeting last week – shortly before Fiona Woolf announced she would be the second person to resign as chair – that they would have top-level security clearance and access to restricted or closed files.
The whereabouts of the “Dickens Dossier”, containing allegations of paedophiles linked to the British establishment and compiled by former Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens, is unknown. It went missing after the politician handed it to the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, in 1984, as are more than 100 documents concerning child abuse allegations that had been held by the Home Office. It is rumoured it may be in the Barbara Castle archives within the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library.
Ian Pace, who in 2013 organised a petition of musicians calling for a public inquiry into abuse in specialist music schools, and one of 21 campaigners at Friday’s meeting chaired by Home Office official Usha Choli, asked whether the panel would have access to closed archives such as those belonging to the former Labour cabinet minister under Harold Wilson.
“The answer seemed to be yes,” said Mr Pace. “We were told the panel’s security clearance would enable them to access things like intelligence files and closed archives such as a lot of material contained within the Barbara Castle archives where some people suspect she may have kept a copy of the dossier.”
Barbara Castle, pictured in 1974
At least three people have tried unsuccessfully to access the Castle files to see if it contains the Dickens Dossier, but found a lot of the material closed. Some papers with restricted access include diary entries and correspondence with family members. All of her correspondence with the former Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw between October 1981 and February 1999 is also marked “closed” on the library’s database, along with a letter she wrote to Neil Kinnock in December 1999.
Mr Pace said: “I do know of separate occasions where people went after a whole range of material where the Dickens Dossier was likely to be, but could not see any of it.”
The Independent on Sunday revealed at the weekend that the inquiry panel will have “developed vetting” – top-level clearance allowing them access to intelligence files and information.
Home Secretary Theresa May told the Commons on Monday that the Government was “in the process of working out the protocol” to ensure that access is possible “between all agencies and the inquiry, so that no stone is left unturned”.
Due to the number of ongoing cases and historical sex abuse trials taking place in the coming months, campaigners have received assurances from the panel that witnesses could give evidence about people already on trial, with proceedings therefore sub judice.
Mr Dickens, SIR, you are a HERO!
Geoffrey Dickens MP was a remarkable man in many ways. He stumbled across evidence of an horrific child abuse scandal, linked to Parliament, Buckingham Palace and other areas of public life.
In 1983, Mr Dickens said there were “big, big names – people in positions of power, influence and responsibility” and threatened to expose them in Parliament if no action was taken against the Paedophile Information Exchange.
The MP handed a one-million strong petition against the paedophile information exchange to Home Secretary Mr Brittan.
The 50 pages of research of Dickens dossier contained information about suspected paedophile rings, police misconduct and multiple abuse of young boys in care homes
In 1984 he revealed he had called for Mr Leon Brittan, the then home secretary to investigate the allegations in his dossier. But there is no evidence Mr Dickens’ findings were ever followed up and the Home Office admits it has no idea where the file is now
Geoffrey Dickens personally delivered a separate file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Thomas Hetherington, in August 1983. The file contained details of eight prominent public figures who were paedophiles that Dickens had separated out from the later dossiers.
Dickens stated: “I’ve got eight names of big people, really important names, public figures. And I am going to expose them in Parliament.”
The dossier’s may contain information about the notorious Elm guest house boy brothel in London which was reportedly used by a former Home Secretary and people who had worked for MI5, such as Sir Anthony Blunt.
He received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at his London home. Then, more seriously, his name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list, but he never gave up his fight to protect children
Mr Dickens’ constituency home in Saddleworth, Lancs, and his flat in London were ransacked – and his name was found in a notebook owned by killer Arthur Hutchinson.
The armed robber had murdered a bride’s parents and brother hours after she had got married in Sheffield in 1983.
He had also raped one of the wedding guests.
Hutchinson was jailed for life and told he would serve at least 18 years.
But the sentence was later changed to a whole-life tariff – by Mr Brittan
The discovery of Mr Dickens’ name in the notebook led to the MP being given police protection. His son Barry said: “The fact my father was on a killer’s hit-list was frightening, all the more so because the killer was spotted scoping out our home.
Hutchinson has never revealed why the name of Mr Dickens, who died in 1995, was in his notebook.
But there were suspicions the murderer may have had links to paedophile rings.
Hutchinson was caged in 1984. But last year the European Court of Human Rights ruled his whole-life tariff should be reviewed.
New information also shows that the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a group Dickens tried to expose who wanted the age of consent lowered to four years old, were directly funded by the Home Office.
There was MORE than one dossier and they were sent to different people, but it appears ALL of them have now disappeared
DICKENS DOSSIER #1, 20th August 1983 (approx)
“Geoffrey Dickens revealed that eight public figures were on his list of shame – and that one of them had been a personal friend. But Mr Dickens said he still planned to name the eight in the Commons unless the Home Secretary took action.
He said: “I’ve got eight names of big people, really important names, public figures. And I am going to expose them in Parliament. I have not enjoyed this crusade. It’s been horrible many times. One of those people among those eight has been a friend of mine.”
Mr Dickens’s own list of eight public figures involved in the sex scandal was handed to the Director earlier this week…together with the warning that he would name them in Parliament if necessary.
Two years ago, Mr Dickens defied leading figures in the Tory party by publicly exposing former diplomat and NATO adviser Sir Peter Hayman.
Hayman had not been named in a court case involving members of the Paedophile Information Exchange, but Mr Dickens decided it would be wrong to let him get away with it. It was case of ‘speak out or be damned’ and he spoke out.
Hayman resigned. Dickens, who initially came under attack from many of his colleagues in the Commons, received 8,000 letters from people who had tales to tell of others like Hayman.
Mr Dickens, 52, told as he relaxed wth a cup of tea how his wife, Norma, helped him sort out the letters.
He said: “We ruled out anyone who only had one or two accusations against him. The others we sifted until we were down to a couple of dozen on whom there appeared to be considerable evidence that they were unhealthy perverts. The security aspect concerned me greatly because of the names of several of the people who turned up in the files. I realised we were involved in a crusade – a crusade that has to be carried through to a proper conclusion”.
He used House of Commons researchers and enlisted local reporters, librarians and friends to help go through records, check files, even empty dustbins of some of the suspects. In the end there were just those eight men on the list of shame. Discussions with Scotland Yard followed.
“I suspect that their list is much bigger and I hope that this time there will be not attempt to head off charges as happened in the Sir Peter Hayman case.”
He urged: “The Home Secretary must act. The will of the country demands that action should be taken and penalties made more severe so that perverts who involve children in their practices should be jailed.””
Source: Daily Express, 25th August 1983
DICKENS DOSSIER #2, 23rd November 1983
“Mr Leon Brittan, the Home Secretary, was asked yesterday to investigate an MP’s file of cases involving paedophilia in Buckingham Palace and the diplomatic and civil services.”
“A homosexual link between Buckingham Palace and the sex with children group PIE was claimed yesterday in a massive dossier of evidence by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens.”
DICKENS DOSSIER #3, 18th January 1984
Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens yesterday handed the Home Secretary a “sensational” 50-page dossier on the activities of the Paedophile Information Exchange. The file includes allegations of child abuse and sex assaults at a children’s home. Mr Dickens said last night that he had also named a top television executive.
Source: Daily Mirror, 19th January 1984, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 19th January 1984, Daily Express, 20th January 1984
SCOTLAND YARD FILE #1, 23rd August 1983 (approx, delivered to Leon Brittan the same week as Dickens Dossier #1 was delivered to DPP)
Two separate reports on the Paedophile Information Exchange…have been prepared for ministers after Scotland Yard’s third investigation into the organisation. The first report, prepared by the Yard and sent to Mr Leon Brittan, will be used by the Home Secretary when he returns from holiday next week and has to decide whether the organisation needs to be banned.
SCOTLAND YARD FILE #2, 25th August 1983 (delivered to DPP same week as Dickens Dossier #1)
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Thomas Hetherington, – today takes delivery of a file on paedophilia – the distasteful fruit of two years’ work by Scotland Yard’s Obscene Publications Squad. The squad’s thick file, containing the names of the famous, the wealthy, and hundreds of anonymous citizens, was sent from the Yard yesterday.
“Because it has technically left our hands, we can say nothing about the file’s contents as the matter is effectively sub judice”, a Scotland Yard spokesman said last night. “It is now up to the Director to decide what action should be taken. It is purely coincidental that the report has been concluded at the time investigations are under way.”
Legacy of a hero
Geoffrey Kenneth Dickens (26 August 1931 – 17 May 1995) was a British Conservative politician. He was MP for Huddersfield West from 1979 until the seat was abolished in 1983. He was then elected for Littleborough and Saddleworth and held the seat until his death in 1995.
Dickens was born in London and fostered until he was eight years old. He never had contact with his mother afterwards. He was educated at schools in Harrow and at Acton Technical College. He suffered polio when he was 13, for which he had to spend two years in hospital.
During his youth Dickens became a heavyweight boxer, sparring with Don Cockell and Henry Cooper. He had 60 bouts, of which he lost 20. He became a member of St Albans Rural Council from 1967-1974, and was its chairman in 1970-1971. He also was a member of Hertfordshire County Council in 1970-1975.
Dickens was awarded the Royal Humane Society‘s Testimonial on Vellum after he saved the lives of two boys and a man from drowning in the sea off Majorca.
Dickens fought unsuccessfully for Middlesbrough in February 1974 and for Ealing North in October 1974.
Member of Parliament
He won Huddersfield West in 1979 but this seat was abolished after boundary reviews. He was selected as the Conservative candidate for Littleborough and Saddleworth, which he won in 1983.
Between 1981–1985, Dickens campaigned against a suspected paedophile ring he claimed to have uncovered that was connected to trading child abuse images. In 1981, Dickens named the former British High Commissioner to Canada, Sir Peter Hayman, as a paedophile in the House of Commons, using parliamentary privilege so he could not get sued for libel. Dickens asked why he had not been jailed after the discovery on a bus of violent pornography. In May 1984, Hayman was jailed.
In 1983, Dickens claimed there was a paedophile network involving “big, big names – people in positions of power, influence and responsibility” and threatened to name them in the Commons. The next year, he campaigned for the banning of Hayman’s Paedophile Information Exchange organisation. Dickens had a thirty-minute audience with the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, after giving him a dossier containing the child abuse allegations. Although Dickens said he was “encouraged” by the meeting, he later expressed concern that the PIE had not been banned.
On 29 November 1985, Dickens said in a speech to the Commons that paedophiles were “evil and dangerous” and that child pornography generated “vast sums”. He further claimed that: “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”.
In 2012, the police reopened their investigation into the allegations of child abuse at the Elm Guest House, of which Hayman was a visitor, along with Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith, the former Russian spy Sir Anthony Blunt, a Sinn Féin politician, a Labour MP, and several Conservative politicians. The Labour MP Tom Watson has asked the Home Office for Dickens’ dossier, however this has not yet been found.
Leon Brittan has no recollection of being given dossier – Is that because it names YOU?