Leo Abse MP on dealing with George Thomas MP’s young blackmailer:
“Over the years, given his exposed position, it was inevitable that he would fall victim to blackmail. On one occasion, after a distraught recounting to me of the pressure upon him, I insisted I would meet and deal with the young criminal in his constituency into whose hands he had fallen.
My reputation in Cardiff’s criminal underworld stood me in good stead in dealing with the wretch. As a lawyer, I had often acted in the courts on behalf of the local prosecution department, and even more frequently, I had defended the city’s gangsters. As one-time chairman of the watch committee, I had the duty of supervising the local police.
The blackmailing cur, therefore, had no doubt that, unless he desisted, I would carry out my threat to ensure he was put behind bars for 10 years; shortly after our encounter he found it was politic to quit the city.”
Leo Abse MP on how George Thomas MP helped Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe escape prosecution for ‘a homosexual offence against a minor’:
“Yet the slightest tremor of scandal, however faintly reverberating into his private domain, reduced him to jelly. One such ocasion was in 1976 when, summoned to his sitting-room in the Speaker’s house, I found him grey-faced and trembling. Investigative journalists, some from the BBC, were pursuing inquiries into the then Liberal leader, Jeremy Thorpe.
They had evidently reached the conclusion that, some 16 years earlier, under a Conservative government, political intervention had saved Thorpe from being prosecuted for a homosexual offence against a minor. They also believed that, when Thorpe became embroiled in another scandal in 1964, he feared that the records in the Home Office of his earlier misbehaviour would wreck his efforts to free himself of his new dilemma.
The journalists had discovered that Thorpe – using his friend, the fraudulent Liberal MP Peter Bessell, as an intermediary – had turned to George, who was then a parliamentary under-secretary at the Home Office, for help. Yielding to Bessell’s importuning, George had set up a private meeting between Bessell and the home secretary.”
Police are currently investigating allegations that George Thomas MP raped a nine-year-old boy. BBC News
Sunday Times, 18th March 2001