A secret Government file has been unearthed that documents “unnatural” sexual behaviour taking place when the Westminster paedophile scandal was at its height.
It has been kept under lock and key for 35 years on grounds of national security – but will now be released to the child abuse inquiry established by the Government.
Security and intelligence expert Dr Chris Murphy stumbled across it last November while searching documents at the National Archives in Kew.
He was immediately alerted by the title: “PREM19/588 – SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 – 1981 Mar 20.”
“I was looking through the ‘PREM’ Prime Minister file series for the 1980s,” the University of Salford lecturer told Sky News.
“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.”
It is highly likely then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saw the documents, and was briefed on the security implications, but the identities of those within them remain secret.
Dr Murphy added: “The fact that this file is concerning the Prime Minister and these allegations are being taken to the Prime Minister I think would strike anybody of being potentially of some interest.”
Sky News highlighted the existence of the file to the Cabinet Office earlier this month.
A spokesperson for the department 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.”
The department would not reveal whether David Cameron or Home Secretary Theresa May were aware of the contents, but promised it would be made accessible to the child sex abuse inquiry.
“We are clear that any files that are pertinent to the historical child sex abuse inquiry will be made available to the panel,” the spokesperson added.
Mrs Thatcher’s former press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham, told Sky News he could not recall the file.
He did though confirm that both he and Mrs Thatcher were aware of allegations against a Government minister in the early 1980s.
Sir Bernard would not name the individual, but said: “I asked him about it and he denied it, so no, I didn’t do anything else. What was the alternative?”
In July last year, the Prime Minister promised the survivors of sexual abuse that “no stone would be left unturned” in the pursuit of the truth.
Officials at the Cabinet Office have previously attempted to block requests for information relating to Cyril Smith, the late Liberal politician who is now known to have abused youngsters.
Simon Danczuk MP, who exposed the extent of Smith’s offending, told Sky News the “sexual proclivities” file had to be released.
“I think it is right and proper that the Government now open up this document, let us know what is in there,” he said.
“I think there is a culture within Government departments of not releasing information and that has caused some of the problems we now have in getting to the bottom of who was involved in this paedophile network and who was involved in covering it up.”
The abuse inquiry was announced in July but currently has no chairman, after first Lady Butler-Sloss and then Fiona Woolf were appointed and then stepped down following concerns over their links to the political establishment.
It is still yet to appoint someone to lead it amid growing calls for action from survivors and campaign groups.