This ‘unnatural sexual behaviour’ at Westminster: Secret file found among archives

A file concerning past "unnatural sexual" behaviour at Westminster has been discovered among the National Archives.
A file concerning past "unnatural sexual" behaviour at Westminster has been discovered among the National Archives.
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A FILE concerning past “unnatural sexual” behaviour at Westminster has been discovered among the National Archives.

The document, previously classified, was uncovered by university lecturer Dr Chris Murphy late last year in Kew, south west London.

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: “In this case, the file was kept closed and retained as it contained information from the security services and advice from the Law Officers.

“These classifications are reviewed periodically.”

Asked whether it would be released to the current institutional child sex abuse inquiry, the spokeswoman added: “We are clear that any files that are pertinent to the historical child sex abuse inquiry will be made available to the panel.”

Home Secretary Theresa May set up the inquiry to find out whether public bodies had neglected or covered up allegations of child sex abuse in the wake of claims paedophiles had operated in Westminster in the 1980s.

Dr Murphy told Sky News he was shocked to come across the document in November, entitled: “PREM19/588 - SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 - 1981 Mar 20.”

He told the broadcaster: “I think I did a double-take and then started wondering what the potential implications of the title, which is a little vague, could be.”

The “PREM” category of files covers documents and correspondence that passed through the prime minister’s office.

Sir Bernhard Ingham, former press secretary of then PM Margaret Thatcher, told Sky News he could not recall the file.

National Archives records show the file is “closed and retained” by the Cabinet Office.

Mrs May announced the inquiry in July but it has been beset by problems following the resignations of the Government’s first two choices for chairman and doubts over plans to give it extra powers.

Previous appointments as inquiry chairwomen Fiona Woolf and Baroness Butler-Sloss resigned following claims about their perceived closeness to establishment figures.

Deputy children’s commissioner Sue Berelowitz told Sky News: “What needs to happen now is that there really does need to be a thorough trawl through all of the old documents and archives to find out what else is lurking there that needs to be exposed and needs to be brought to the attention of the inquiry, so that there are no places for people to hide and the truth is properly revealed to the nation and everybody held to account.”

In November a report by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless and barrister Richard Whittam QC into how the Home Office handled paedophile ring allegations in the 1970s, 80s and 90s was released.

It found no evidence of a cover-up but warned it was impossible to draw firm conclusions.

Commenting on the revelations today, Mr Wanless said: “Under the specific terms of reference set by the Home Office we made the most extensive inquiries possible within a very limited time frame.

“This specific file was not revealed by any department or individual we consulted. Our remit was to go back over a review by the Home Office and not undertake a new investigation.

“If there is pertinent material in this file it should be submitted to the sexual abuse inquiry as well as the relevant police force so they can conduct a criminal investigation if necessary.”