In 1982 a Cheltenham taxi driver called Geoffrey Prime was arrested for sexually assaulting two young girls. His wife then reported her suspicions about him to the police, and it transpired that he had been selling state secrets to the Russians during his previous employment in GCHQ. He had been a spy for over 14 years and had also worked in the Foreign Office and the RAF.
On 20th July 1982, Margaret Thatcher told Parliament that Prime had been charged under the Official Secrets Act. (Guardian 21/07/1982)
On 10th November 1982 Prime was jailed for 38 years, which at the time was one of the longest sentences to be handed down by a British court. “Geoffrey Prime, sentenced to 38 years’ jail yesterday, was rated by the Americans as the most important Russian spy since the war”
Later that month, Geoffrey Dickens, a Conservative backbench MP, asked Margaret Thatcher about Geoffrey Prime’s membership of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), an organisation that wanted the age of consent lowered to 4 years old. Dickens had been campiagning against PIE and other paedophile groups since 1981, when he publicly named senior diplomat Sir Peter Hayman as a paedophile and PIE member.
In a written reply to Dickens on 15th November 1982, Thatcher denied that Geoffrey Prime was a PIE member:
“I understand that stories that the police found documents in Prime’s house or garage indicating that he was a member of the Paedophile Information Exchange are without foundation, and that nothing was discovered to suggest he was”. (Guardian 16/11/82)
In August 1983, The Sun reported that Geoffrey Prime had been a PIE member, and that “angry Americans” were convinced that the Attorney General, Sir Michael Havers, had held back from mentioning this “to avoid embarassing security chiefs”. Sir Michael Havers, complained to the Press Council and his complaint was upheld after The Sun failed to produce any evidence of their claim. (The Times 22/08/83)
A week later (30/08/83), the Daily Star followed on from The Sun’s story, probably using the same source of information:
Spy chiefs are investigating links between evil child sex campaigners and British diplomats in the United States. Intelligence officers in Britain want to inspect FBI files and are ready to quiz envoys amid fears that a major scandal is about to erupt in Washington.
Both MI5 and MI6 are working on the investigation to discover whether any diplomats are involved with the Paedophile Information Exchange. And FBI agents are believed to have firm evidence linking British traitor Geoffrey Prime with the North American Man Boy Lovers Association (NAMBLA) the U.S. version of PIE.
The alert started after an FBI raid on a house used by American child sex organisers. The raid uncovered contact numbers of PIE members throghout Britain, two phone numbers of British Embassy departments, and the phone numbers of military establishments in Britain.
It seems highly unlikely that a British paedophile would be a member of an American paedophile group but not its British equivalent. Thatcher would have been very keen to avoid another high profile scandal involving Establishment paedophiles and national security. It was only two years since senior diplomat Sir Peter Hayman had been outed as a paedophile and PIE member, and only a year since the Elm Guest House paedophile scandal had broken with the headline ‘Security Alert in New Vice Scandal’.
Sir Michael Havers had intervened on both occasions. He defended the decision not to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman, and he “was called in to examine complaints” against several British newspapers by Elm Guest House’s lawyers. The papers never reported on Elm Guest House again after the initial ten days, effectively burying the story and allowing the paedophile network’s activities to continue without being bothered by press coverage.