Labour MP Tom Watson has urged that Police officers and service officials who come forward with information about the alleged Westminster paedophile ring must be given immunity from prosecution for breaking the Official Secrets Act.
Mr Watson has called on the Prime Minister to offer new guarantees to potential whistleblowers.
It was reported yesterday that Scotland Yard is being investigated over claims that it covered up child sex abuse because of the involvement of influential MPs and police officers.
The Telegraph reports:
New claims were also made on the BBC’s Newsnight that officers who arrested Sir Cyril Smith, the late Liberal MP, on suspicion of hosting sex parties with teenage boys were warned to keep quiet about the investigation or face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.
Mr Watson said: “It is now clear that the Prime Minister must guarantee that former police and intelligence officers who wish to help the IPCC with their inquiries will have the threat of the Official Secrets Act lifted.
“With this new inquiry it is also clear that the duty of all former police officers, intelligence officers and civil servants who have knowledge of a cover-up to come forward.”
The call was backed by Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, Smith’s old seat.
Mr Danczuk said: “They should be given the freedom to speak out.
“That’s what the public will expect and that’s what Government have to ensure.”
He added: “There has to be a more formal response from Government which says that former police officers who cooperate, give evidence and share their knowledge of what went on with regard to this alleged cover-up should not be disciplined in any way, with regard to the Official Secrets Act or in any other way.
Among the allegations being investigated by the IPCC is a claim that a Houses of Parliament document found at a child sex offender’s address linked a number of “highly prominent individuals” including MPs and senior police officers to a paedophile ring but no further action was taken.
Another allegation is that an abuse victim’s account was altered to omit a senior politician’s name.
It is also alleged that no further action was taken into claims of child sex abuse involving a former senior Met Police officer and “further members of the establishment including judges”.
An investigation into young men being targeted in Dolphin Square, an apartment complex near the Houses of Parliament popular with MPs, was also allegedly stopped because officers were “too near prominent people”.