Two Newspaper Executives Claim Child Abuse D-Notices

This is something that needs to be dealt with.

Newspapers must have kept copies of D-Notices. They are written and they are not something lightly thrown away.

Two newspaper executives have told the Observer that their publications were issued with D-notices – warnings not to publish intelligence that might damage national security – when they sought to report on allegations of a powerful group of men engaging in child sex abuse in 1984. One executive said he had been accosted in his office by 15 uniformed and two non-uniformed police over a dossier on Westminster paedophiles passed to him by the former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle.

The other said that his newspaper had received a D-notice when a reporter sought to write about a police investigation into Elm Guest House, in southwest London, where a group of high-profile paedophiles was said to have operated and may have killed a child. Now it has emerged that these claims are impossible to verify or discount because the D-notice archives for that period “are not complete”.

Officials running the D-notice system, which works closely with MI5 and MI6 and the Ministry of Defence, said that files “going back beyond 20 years are not complete because files are reviewed and correspondence of a routine nature with no historical significance destroyed”.

The Guardian


Filed under Abuse, News

19 responses to “Two Newspaper Executives Claim Child Abuse D-Notices

  1. Sabre

    … Archives not complete ….

    How can any D-Notice be anything but historically significant ?

    You couldn’t make this shit up!

  2. nuggy

    D notices are not leggaly binding so im not sure weather i belive that or not even if one was issued to could of ignored if they had wanted to.

    • Sabre

      Perhaps not, however, how do you fancy defying a couple of Special Branch Officers uttering dark threats reminding you that they’ve never visited you?

      They don’t even have to threaten the big publications, they generally have someone on staff !

  3. Sabre

    These two Journalists could of course be mistaken or lying, they would have to compound the previous shortcoming by being congenitally stupid into the bargain.
    Records serving to rebut their errors would exist. Lo and behold more missing records.
    Perhaps one journalist is mistaken and the other lying and they’ve both got lucky re the missing records.
    The alternative is too scary to countenance.

    • My honest opinion is that they were threatened with what they thought was a D-Notice. So I don’t think these are genuine D-Notices

      • Sabre

        You’re possibly or even probably correct.
        The end result is that the State has prevailed upon a ‘free press’ to cover up grave crimes.

      • gw

        Prior restraint perhaps? I don’t know much about it but I think it covers both ongoing police investigations and defamation.

  4. Anon

    Following the revelations about Hayman et al, we all now know what the Interests of National Security are.

  5. Dolphin Square was not news to I think many on the police grapevine. I first saw reference to it on the police “Inspector Gadget” blog 5 years ago under the comments line..

  6. dpack

    could any of the 15 uniformed or 2 non uniformed police officers or news staff add to any comments to help us understand what happened?
    the second example must also have multiple witnesses in the news office and among the forces of the state,could they add to truth?

    the question of was a real dan or a serious bluff/threat issued to the journalists involved is perhaps not the most important one (as either would indicate that there was something that required concealment ) the most important question is are the journalists telling the truth ?
    ie did they receive what they thought to be an official dan in relation to egh and the castle information?
    if they are telling the truth establishing whether the dan each received was official or a serious bluff will indicate how official any potential concealment was.

  7. dpack

    from the rarity of dans and the manner in which they are issued and recorded it seems plausible that the journalists were threatened /warned off but the documentation was not an official dan.
    however considering the number of documents that have been “lost”and the things that have had “official”sanction it is possible that such matters were subject to a real dan.
    however if that was the case there should be copies or at least reliable memories ot the documents.

    • Sabre

      The docs have gone for a walk in order to leave everything unverifiable and subject to ‘honest’ failures of memory.

      As Gojam probably correctly stated, the threats were in all probability exactly that verbal threats backed by pieces of paper that were never ever going to be filed anywhere.

      The lost docs, allows for the possibility that D’s were issued ( everything would have been done properly don’t you know old chap) while at the same time providing plausible deniability, which is the name of this game.

    • Sabre

      DANs although rare may be slightly more common than supposed.
      A decent chap may well decide to not only squash the story but also the fact that a D was issued. The sang froid of history wouldn’t help because the docs have a nasty habit of disappearing up their own arses in a puff of blue smoke.

  8. 1

    Intel paedos trying to cover their own backsides? This episode just sounds like some unlawful threat. In no shape or form could publication of info about paedos affect legitimate national security interests.

    • Barrie J

      Unless the information was being used to control politicians, in which case revelations would have undermined that power. Equally any action that might have threatened the government, perhaps bringing about a vote of no confidence and a resulting General Election would be considered to affect national security.

  9. Paul Mac

    If 15 coppers and a couple of spooks barged into a newsroom there will have been witnesses. The journalist will know who they are and could easily cite witnesses. It’s hardly the sort of thing that would happed without a scene.

    The D / DA Notice scheme has had significant disinformation surrounding it for decades. The official position in recent years is that it consists of a few categories of information surrounding terrorism, defence & military capabilities which are used as a general guideline to editors asking them politely not to publish sensitive information.
    There have been significant denials that any specific D Notices which have been served in relation to a specific article (at least in recent times).
    It would seem that the notices were specifically issued to halt investigations or articles which were deemed problematic.
    It is not hard a stretch of the imagination to believe that the system was used to cover arses in a threatening manner when the need arose. I would doubt these have been nearly filed away.

  10. gw

    So if D-notices are discarded after 20 years, fine.

    Do the newspapers in question operate a similar system?

    Show me the money!