Westminster abuse inquiry: 'I found rent boys to entertain top Tory politicians in the 1980s', claims former party activist

The chairman of the Stroud Young Conservatives in the early 1980s says he was given money to 'fetch some entertainment'

A former Tory activist who claims to have been personally involved in finding rent boys to ‘entertain’ eminent Conservative politicians in the 1980s has offered to give evidence to the Butler-Sloss inquiry into sex abuse.

Anthony Gilberthorpe, who chaired the Stroud Young Conservatives in the early 1980s, has told the Sunday Mirror that during the Conservative annual conference in Blackpool, in 1983, he was given “about £120” by the then chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, Dr Alistair Smith, who told him: “Go and fetch some entertainment.”

He said that it was “a norm” at that time that some older members of the Tory party would hold parties at which young men – often under 21, which was then the age of consent for gay sex – were paid to take part.

He gave the newspaper the names of several Conservative politicians who he alleged were at these parties, including the then Attorney General, Michael Havers, who was the brother of Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the judge who has been given the task of leading the inquiry. The four whose names were published by the Sunday Mirror – Smith, Havers, Keith Joseph and Rhodes Boyson – are all dead. The newspaper says that Mr Gilberthorpe also named one politician who is still a serving minister, and two who served as Cabinet ministers under Margaret Thatcher.

Former Home Office minister David Mellor has rejected the claims Former Home Office minister David Mellor has rejected the claims But David Mellor, who was a Home Office minister in 1983-87, dismissed the allegations. “This is chap who is annoyed that he was not chosen as a Tory candidate,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme. “He has now found these names, improbable names – Rhodes Boyson: I don’t see Rhodes Boyson with little boys. Michael Havers! Heavens above! I think this is now open season because of a pretty dodgy dossier presented to Leon Brittan by a Tory back bencher, which had very little substance in my view.”

Mr Mellor admitted that he had never seen the dossier that was handed to the former Home Secretary in 1983 by the backbench MP, Geoffrey Dickens.

“The interesting thing about that dossier is that nobody who is commenting on it has ever seen it,” he said.

This is not the first time that Mr Gilberthorpe has co-operated with the Sunday Mirror on a Tory sex scandal. In October 1997, he allowed his flat in York to be used by a Tory MP Piers Merchant, who had told his wife that he was going to the Conservative annual conference, when he was actually meeting an 18-year-old woman who had helped out in his constituency.

Mr Gilberthorpe secretly taped their liaison and, when the scandal broke, Mr Merchant – who died in 2009 - resigned from the Parliament. He later joined Ukip.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there