Ministry in child sex link (27.08.83)

Daily Star, 27th August 1983

We can assume that the PIE member who worked at the Home Office’s Property Service Agency was Barry Cutler, but it’s strange that Geoffrey Dickens doesn’t mention PIE chairman Steven Smith, who had been exposed the previous year as also being employed by the Home Office. More information on the Desiring Progress blog: PIE and the Home Office


  1. sxjack said:

    Strange indeed. And Dicken’s comment about ‘frightening consequences had the man been a HO security guard’, which is what Steven Adrian Smith was, as I recollect.

  2. Owen said:

    Tribune article by Andrew Rosthorn, 24 July 2014

    “How Cyril Smith Outwitted Barbara Castle in the Strange Case of the Paedophiles at the Home Office”

    “Barbara Castle passed internal Home Office documents to a journalist in an extraordinary personal battle with civil servants, various supporters of the Paedophile Information Exchange and the MP for Rochdale.

    Don Hale remembers:

    Barbara was quite angry one day and said, “I’ve been working on something – I don’t suppose you’d be able to help me. I don’t mind you bringing my name into it.”

    She was objecting to the funding of the Paedophile Information Exchange and concerned about the speed of their infiltration among the civil servants and the number of prominent names apparently supporting them. She was horrified at the prospect of Parliament approving legalised sex with children, often under the guise of educating them, and mentioned an influx of rent boys and unsavoury and unfortunate situations that had been covered up by the authorities.

    When I asked her to give me something more substantial she pulled about thirty A4 pages out of a battered briefcase absolutely chocker with stuff.

    The pages included cuttings from the PIE magazine Magpie, documents from the PIE and the National Council for Civil Liberties and a list of the names of about sixteen MPs she thought were involved. There was also a list of about 30 prominent people in the North West and a list of speakers for PIE.

    It was enough to make a splash for the paper. A lot of what she was claiming came from agenda for meetings at the Home Office. There were Home Office headings on the minutes of meetings and Home Office headings on lists of people present at meetings or reasons for the non-attendance of others. The name of Cyril Smith did not appear.

    I agreed to run something the following week and set about contacting the Home Office and certain people mentioned. The names of Sir Keith Joseph MP and Dr Rhodes Boyson MP cropped up.

    When I explained the detailed nature of the information and that I couldn’t reveal my source, you could almost hear a pin drop. The officials were unsure what to say or do. I was in the middle of it.

    Quite a lot of Liberals were mentioned in the documents, so I spoke to their former leader, Jeremy Thorpe. That’s what prompted Cyril Smith to turn up in my office in Bury. Barbara had never made any allegations against him.

    He was very angry. He tried to persuade me that it was all poppycock. …

    After the visit from Cyril Smith came the visit from Special Branch. …

    One of them said, “I have a D-Notice here and a search warrant signed by a judge. This is in response to a call made to Leon Brittan’s department. That was how they put it. They didn’t say they came from the Home Office.

    They pushed me into a corner and one of them said, “Let me assure you that this story is not in the public interest. It cannot be printed, as a matter of national security. We’re not here to argue, Are you going to hand over your papers?

    “If you don’t comply with this notice, we will arrest you for perverting the course of justice. You will be liable for up to ten years in prison. We can arrest you straight away if we believe you are going to publish.”

    They knew Barbara had been to see me. They knew Cyril Smith had been round. Most of the documents were together in one folder. So it didn’t take them long. They picked up my own typewriter saying: “We’re taking that in case you’ve been forging documents.”

    There was nothing I could do to resist. I’d never seen a D-Notice in my career and I was on a very temporary contract keeping the seat warm for another editor.

    My Bury police contact was utterly shocked. He knew nothing about it. A day or two later the local police told me: “It was a visit from the London mob. We were not briefed.”

    When I told Barbara, she said, “I thought that might happen.”

    I told her, “I wish you’d told me. I could have copied them.”

    She said she had only a small band of supporters. She felt like a lone wolf. Her supporters in Parliament felt their seats were threatened. The presence of the PIE group had become accepted.


  3. Kate MacDonald said:


    MINISTRY IN CHILD SEX LINK (Daily Star, 27th August 1983)

    The Home Office switchboard was used as a contact centre by the child sex group PIE, an MP claimed yesterday.
    Tory Geoffrey Dickens, who is leading a crusade to outlaw the organisation, said one of his researchers was given the Whitehall number by a PIE member.
    On investigation, he found that an engineer working for the Government’s Property Service Agency had used the switchboard during visits to the Home Office to maintain the heating system.
    The man has since been sacked.
    Said Mr. Dickens: “It is staggering, and just goes to show how people in the most sensitive areas can be contacted by this evil organisation.
    “If this man had been a security guard instead of a heating engineer the consequences could have been frightening.”
    A Home Office spokesman said he didn’t know how many calls the PIE member received, but he denied there had been a security risk.
    He added: “We told the man’s bosses we didn’t want him in the building, and he was dismissed.”

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