Yesterday, I noticed that Alun Roberts and Paul Rogers were discussing Tom Watson’s PMQ on Twitter and it’s prompted me to write this overview which I hope will clear up some misunderstandings. I’m sorry if much of this is already known but I hope that by putting all the publicly known information in one place you’ll be better able to understand.
On the 24th October 2012 Tom Watson arose from his seat in the House of Commons and asked this question.
“Thank you Mr Speaker,
The evidence file used to convict paedophile Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring. One of it’s members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad. The leads were not followed up but if the file still exists, I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it, and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and Number 10.”
Fairly soon after this question was asked it was announced that Operation Fairbank had been instigated. What many people do not understand, and it is something I didn’t understand at that time, is that the police give one name to an investigation while it is ‘scoping’ and then give it a different name when it becomes a criminal investigation.
Operation Fairbank is the name of the original ‘scoping’ investigation.
On the 27th June 2013 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, Tom Watson had this to say:
“The story behind that [The PMQ Question] is that there is a very noble retired child protection officer who sent me an email and it was one of those emails that I stared at for a long time before replying because I looked at it and I thought, if I answer this this is the next two years of my life subsumed… But I did answer it.. and.. he emailed me… and… it wasn’t the Elm Guest House it actually…it was to do with a case involving an academic called Peter Righton who was at the time the leading academic in the country in child protection. He then came to see me and he’d been helping the police with the criminal inquiry in the 90s, and the inquiry was closed down in unusual circumstances…
…it turned out the evidence file did exist, 7 boxes of evidence in a repository in Leicestershire.”
You can listen to all Tom Watson said on this issue here:
Now, David Hencke as he reblogged the above video adds more detail.
“Tom Watson’s source had three days to study the documents and the first investigation was inexplicably closed down after four months. It is not the case now.”
The ‘source’ himself commented on Spotlight and gives more information.
“I can confirm that the closed down Hereford and Worcester investigation of 1994 was re-ignited by Tom Watson’ PMQ last October. That 1994 investigation began with the Customs/Police raid on Peter Righton’s home. Sadly 20 years on key figures like Righton have died and won’t face the justice their victims deserve. However it is some consolation that with determined policing and social media sites that we didn’t have then a lot of wrongs can now be put right. The public remain poorly informed by the mainstream media about the true extent of powerful people in child sexual abuse but I for one believe things are about to change. Although he didn’t get charged with the offences he committed at least the BBC documentary Secret Life of a Paedophile destroyed Righton’s reputation and left everyone in no doubt about what an evil individual he was – a small but important reward for what should have gone on to be a massive nationwide investigate in to the links and webs we uncovered
We still don’t know who gave the order to shut down the original police investigation. In my opinion that person is just as guilty as Peter Righton and his network of child abusers. The decision to shut it down is likely to have been taken by Michael Howard and/or Virginia Bottomley. Howard was Home Secretary at the time, with overall responsibility for policing, and Bottomley was Health Secretary, with overall responsibility for children’s homes and social work.
Since Tom Watson’s PMQ there has been almost nothing in the mainstream media on the Peter Righton investigation. Thanks to the Sunday People/Mirror, we’ve learnt that ex-PIE treasurer Charles Napier is being investigated, but that’s the only real story in the mainstream media in over 5 months. This is despite the Guardian being in possession of all the information on the Peter Righton network that was given to Operation Fairbank.
If any mainstream media outlets decide to write a story about the national scandal of an organised paedophile network preying on children in care and the subsequent cover-up, here are some links including the original BBC documentary ‘Secret Life of a Paedophile’:”
So, what can we gather from all of this public information about that original Tom Watson PMQ ?
In 1994 there was a Customs/Police raid on Peter Righton’s home. The source had access to 7 boxes of correspondence for 3 days, within these letters from many people, some fellow PIE members, at least one correspondent “boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.” The investigation ended inexplicably after 4 months despite compelling evidence. The source approached Tom Watson some time before the 24th October 2012.
Now, what Of Elm Guest House ?
An Exaro piece written by David Hencke helps explain that.
This is a story that I always wanted the public to know. For more than five years, I have been aware, thanks to a very good source, that unspeakable events involving a paedophile ring in leafy Barnes in south-west London some three decades ago.
I was told that very powerful people abused young boys there. But could I or my source find anyone to take any interest? No. My source’s complaints were ignored by Richmond council, the police, social services, councillors, MPs and ministers.
I was left with the impression that very powerful people wanted to make sure that nothing would ever be done. Evidence of sexual abuse of children by powerful people has been hidden for too long.
Thanks to the revelations about Jimmy Savile and the guts shown by Tom Watson MP, in raising in the House of Commons evidence of an even wider paedophile ring, the tide is turning.
This time, when I took my source to see one of London’s most senior policemen in the presence of Tom Watson, he listened.
It is an entirely different source that David Hencke is writing about from the source that Tom Watson referred to in the film above. Tom Watson’s source is a noble retired child protection officer, David Hencke’s source is a tenacious retired housing officer for Richmond council.
It’s clear that following Tom Watson’s PMQ, David Hencke and his source approached Tom Watson and together they went to the officer in charge of Operation Fairbank.
I would hazard a guess that following this meeting that these new Elm Guest House revelations fell under the umbrella of the scoping operation, Operation Fairbank. However, fairly quickly the Elm Guest House investigation became a criminal investigation and as I’ve tried to explain when this happens the police designate a new operational name, thus Operation Fernbridge was born. Unlike Operation Fairbank which is a scoping investigation, Operation Fernbridge is and has always been a criminal operation.
Now, on the 26th June 2013, Charles Napier was arrested under Operation Cayacos.
Back to Exaro;
It [the Met] said: “This arrest is part of a new strand of Operation Fairbank entitled ‘Operation Cayacos’, which has now reached the criminal threshold.”
I hope this clears up any lingering confusion. Tom Watson’s PMQ was nothing to do with Elm Guest House it concerned evidence seized by police during a raid on Peter Righton’s home in 1994.
Do not rule out other criminal operations arising from Operation Fairbank the umbrella ‘scoping’ investigation.