- Child abuse cops seize VIP list: Politicians, MI5 agent, Royal aide and pop stars all named (Mirror, Jan 19, 2013):
First arrests expected soon following dawn raid in connection with suburban guest house that operated as gay brothel
A list of names seized by police probing allegations of child abuse includes ministers, members of the royal household and a world-famous pop star, the Sunday People can reveal.
All were recorded as visitors to a suburban guest house that operated as a gay brothel.
Now some could be suspects in an investigation into a network of powerful people who were secret paedophiles for years.
Late last week police ramped up the inquiry – and arrests are believed to be imminent.
Nine officers raided the North London home of former child protection worker Mary Moss after she initially declined to co-operate with the investigation.
Documents and a laptop were seized. Ms Moss later handed over a further 19 files she had hidden in a neighbour’s shed.
The papers include a list of men who went to sex parties in the 80s at the Elm Guest House, Barnes, South West London.
Among the names are two former Conservative Cabinet ministers and four other senior Tories.
There is also a Labour MP, a prominent Irish republican and a leading National Front member.
Others on the handwritten note are two members of the royal household – one a former Buckingham Palace employee – plus the owner of a multinational company and two pop stars.
One of those is a best-selling musician, but like some others on the list he is not suspected of being involved in the child abuse.
The list was taken at meetings in 1988 between the guest house’s manager Carole Kasir and child protection officials.
Other documents seized are believed to identify 16 boys who were allegedly trafficked to the guest house from local care homes. Police have asked Richmond Council for a full list of children in care at the time.
Officers will also be examining copies of cash receipts and the guest house’s visitor records.
Operation Fernbridge is investigating claims that boys who were in council care were brought to the Elm to be sexually abused by bigwigs and VIPs.
It was launched after Labour MP Tom Watson claimed a paedophile ring used top-level connections to dodge justice.
As well as Richmond, social services records from nearby Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Hounslow will be checked by detectives.
The first people to be arrested are not expected to be famous.
But sources close to the investigation are increasingly confident some big names will be caught in the police net.
Renowned figures linked to the scandal so far include the former Liberal MP Cyril Smith and the one-time Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures Anthony Blunt, who was disgraced as a traitor and spy.
The Sunday People was the first to expose the “paedo palace” last month. Its owner Kasir was 47 when she died of a suspected overdose in 1990.
At her inquest, child protection workers told the coroner of her meetings with them two years earlier.
She reported that boys from nearby Grafton Close council home were brought to her premises and abused.
The claim was never fully investigated by police. Kasir was at the Elm when cops raided a party there in 1982.
Twelve boys then told police they had been abused by men in the house but complaints were not pursued.
The only prosecution in the wake of the raid resulted in Kasir being convicted of keeping a brothel.
Campaigners believe she did not know of the child abuse until shortly before she reported it in 1988.
It appears a 2003 probe into activities at the Elm also fizzled out. Now Operation Fernbridge may be on the verge of bringing offenders to justice.
It was triggered by a speech Tom Watson made in the House of Commons.
He told MPs there was “clear intelligence” of an abuse network of powerful men with influence at the highest level – in Parliament and even in Downing Street.
A lot of it was gathered in the 1992 investigation into paedophile Peter Righton.
The Met launched Operation Fairbank with a staff of five collecting intelligence on long-standing allegations.
After interviewing adult witnesses they started Operation Fernbridge to look solely at the Elm.
Speaking to Exaro the investigative website, Ms Moss said of last week’s raid: “They were friendly enough but I thought it was heavy handed and a complete violation of my privacy.”
The Met said on Friday: “The investigation will be led by the Child Abuse Investigation Command.
“The allegations under Operation Fernbridge were initially assessed under Operation Fairbank, which was from information passed to police by Mr Tom Watson.”
The MP said: “I believe a great injustice was done in the 1980s.
“To stop something like this happening again I am asking victims to summon the courage to come forward now.
“Whatever has happened in the past your voices will be heard now.
“You can contact the police. Or if you feel more comfortable you can contact me directly.”