Margaret Thatcher’s personal bodyguard Barry Strevens has told of how he warned the Prime Minister of allegations that one of her top aides was involved in sex parties with under-age boys.
Mr Strevens, a former detective chief inspector, told the Sun on Sunday that he passed on allegations about her loyal confidant Peter Morrison before he was promoted to the position of deputy chairman of the Conservative Party in the 1980s.
Mr Morrison, who died of a heart attack in 1995 aged 51, has since been linked to claims of sex abuse at children’s homes in north Wales.
At the time, Mr Strevens was informed of the allegations by a senior Cheshire police officer. Mr Strevens knew Mrs Thatcher was considering appointing Mr Morrison to the position of deputy chairman after Jeffrey Archer had stepped down over prostitution claims, and he requested an immediate meeting with Mrs Thatcher and her private secretary Archie Hamilton, who reportedly took notes of what was said.
“I wouldn’t say she was naïve but I would say she would not have thought people around her would be like that,” he said. “I am sure he would have given her assurances about the rumours, as otherwise she wouldn’t have given him the job.”
Explaining the nature of the rumours he had been told, Mr Strevens said: “A senior officer in Chester had told me there were rumours going around about underage boys – one aged 15 – attending sex parties at a house there belonging to Peter Morrison.
“After we returned to Number 10 I asked to go and see her immediately. It was unusual for me to do that so they would have known it was something serious. When I went in Archie Hamilton was there. I told them exactly what had been said about Peter. Archie took notes and they thanked me for coming.
“There was no proof but the officer I spoke to was certain and said local press knew a lot more. This was just after the Jeffrey Archer scandal and I knew she needed to know about it because they were deciding on the appointment of the next deputy chairman.
“I always told her things straight, as I saw them. She listened and thanked me. I assumed Archie Hamilton would have spoken to Peter Morrison following that.
“When he was appointed I assumed there had been nothing to the claims – as there was no way on Earth she would have given him the job otherwise,” he said.
Responding to the claims, Archie Hamilton told the paper that Mr Strevens had gone to Number 10 for a meeting but that he could not recall the mention of underage boys.
He said: “I remember Barry Strevens coming in and what he actually said at the time was that there were partes at peter Morrison’s home in Cheshire and there were only men who were there.
“I don’t remember him saying they were underage. There may have been but the point he was making to her was that there were only men involved in the party.
“She listened to what he said and that was it. It was merely a party and men were there,” he said.
Home Secretary Theresa May has already announced a full-scale investigation into historical claims of child abuse at Westminster, and of an alleged paedophile ring.
Lord Tebbit has said he confronted Mr Morrison over rumours about him and young boys and that he received a flat denial, while former Tory MP Edwina Currie had previously called him a “notable pederast”.