Following The Mail on Sunday’s victory, it can be revealed for the first time that:
– Margaret Thatcher was personally told that police had investigated claims that Smith indecently assaulted teenage boys in the 1960s.
– Thatcher was explicitly warned that awarding a knighthood to the 29-stone Liberal MP risked damaging the ‘integrity of the honours system’, but went ahead anyway.
– A senior Whitehall mandarin took the ‘exceptional’ step of contacting the country’s top prosecutor and police to find out why Smith was never charged with abusing boys at a hostel he helped run.
– Civil servants feared the secret Smith police file might be made public in 1982 – when a burglary at the Fleet Street offices of The Sun newspaper revealed the editor was in possession of a copy. This revelation will lead to speculation that the break-in was linked to attempts to cover up Smith’s crimes.
One insider told The Mail on Sunday that the matter is ‘on the Deputy Prime Minister’s desk’. The fact that the Cabinet Office blocked five attempts by The Mail on Sunday to see the papers will deepen fears of a cover-up at the highest levels over the activities of VIP paedophiles.