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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster Investigation Report


B.4: The 1990s

Scallywag magazine

17. In the early 1990s, a series of articles concerning an alleged Westminster child sexual abuse ring were published by the controversial magazine Scallywag, edited by Simon Regan. The allegations published in Scallywag included that there was such a ring in Westminster involving at least one former Cabinet minister; that pictures and videos of child sexual abuse had been copied and distributed in Westminster; that the child sexual abuse ring was an ‘all-party’ affair, though predominantly in the Tory party; that parties were held at Dolphin Square involving sexual and violent conduct towards young boys; that reporting of these allegations was suppressed; that the situation was well known outside of Westminster; and that several police officers were complicit. Allegations were frequently linked to homosexuality.[1]

18. These articles, while written in a sensationalist style and relying on rumour and innuendo rather than evidence, added oxygen to the rumours already reported in the public domain.

Peter McKelvie

19. Mr Peter McKelvie is a child protection specialist and social services employee and consultant who has campaigned against child sexual abuse activity and made frequent allegations in the press. Many of his allegations concern the case of Peter Righton, a convicted child sexual abuser who, prior to his conviction, held a senior position advising the government on childcare.

20. In June 1994, Peter McKelvie’s allegations concerning Righton formed the basis of an Inside Story documentary ‘Children at Risk – The Secret Life of a Paedophile’, which told the story of Peter Righton and two other convicted child sexual abusers with links to the establishment, Richard Alston and Charles Napier.

21. Mr McKelvie has previously claimed to have been the source of Tom Watson’s 2012 Parliamentary question, although in the witness statement that he provided to the Inquiry Mr McKelvie suggested that Mr Watson’s question was primarily based on information provided by two others.[2] It is certainly the case that Mr McKelvie has subsequently been reported as suggesting that Mr Watson acted precipitately in asking the question in Parliament, and that the language he used did not reflect the information that Mr McKelvie had given him. It was reported by The Daily Telegraph in 2015 that Mr McKelvie said that “Tom Watson ‘mixed up’ his facts and made exaggerated claims about a ‘powerful paedophile network’ linked to Downing Street”.[3] According to the report, Mr McKelvie said:

I would never have wanted Tom Watson to do a PMQ as a tactic until he heard the whole story. The only thing I wanted to say about politicians is every institution has abusers in it. The more powerful people are, the more likely they are to get away with it. I never talked about rings.

22. Mr McKelvie has made a number of more specific allegations. He raised concerns about a child sexual abuse network between four individuals and alleged that a police investigation into it had been shut down because of interference by senior police officers or politicians. He raised concerns that Charles Napier, a convicted child sexual abuser, had obtained a teaching post abroad through his establishment connections, and that the same individual had made use of or had been allowed to use the diplomatic bag while working abroad in Cairo to send or receive child pornography, and that this had not been investigated. Mr McKelvie was also concerned that individuals in the establishment should have known about Charles Napier’s abuse of children. He was concerned that these allegations were not pursued with sufficient rigour by police. His allegations were investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct but there was no evidence or corroboration to support them.[4]

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