Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Ted Heath to Cyril Smith: Five high-profile political figures we know have been accused of child sex abuse

Sir Edward Heath is the latest establishment figure to be investigated for child sex abuse claims

Hardeep Matharu
Wednesday 05 August 2015 06:27 BST
Former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath is being investigated for alleged historic child sex abuse
Former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath is being investigated for alleged historic child sex abuse

The former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath is being investigated by Scotland Yard and Jersey Police over his alleged involvement in historic child sex abuse.

But the late Conservative politician is not the first high-profile political figure to be accused of child sex abuse. Here are five members of the Establishment we know are facing allegations:

Sir Edward Heath

Sir Edward Heath, who was prime minister for four years in the 1970s, is the highest-profile figure to be embroiled in historic abuse allegations against prominent figures (AFP/Getty Images)

The Met Police and Jersey Police have launched investigations into the former Prime Minister, examining his alleged involvement in historic child sex abuse.

The investigations follow an announcement by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that it would be investigating whether officers in Wiltshire Police failed to pursue allegations of child abuse made against Sir Edward.

That inquiry has been launched after claims by a retired senior officer that the trial of a woman, in charge of a brothel, never took place as she said she would expose that the politician was involved in child abuse.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, a man in his 60s has claimed he was raped by the late politician, who held office from 1970 to 1974, in his Mayfair flat in 1961 after being picked up hitchhiking.

Wiltshire Police have appealed for potential victims of Sir Edward to come forward.

Lord Greville Janner

The allegations against Lord Janner will now be prosecuted (PA)

The Crown Prosecution Service announced in April that it would not be prosecuting Lord Janner for alleged child sex abuse.

A QC who was a Labour MP from 1970 to 1997, the CPS said that as a dementia sufferer, it would not be in the public interest to pursue allegations against the peer.

Following widespread criticism of the decision, the CPS’ decision was overturned externally in June and the case is due to be considered at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It is likely that a ‘trial of the facts’ will take place, with a court hearing evidence from alleged victims and deciding whether Lord Jenner committed the alleged acts without a finding of guilt or innocence.

Claims of Lord Janner’s alleged abuse surfaced in 2002 and again in 2006, but the CPS ruled there was not enough evidence in either case to prosecute.

At the start of 2013, Leicestershire Police established Operation Enamel and more than a dozen allegations were made against hm.

Sir Peter Morrison

Sir Peter Morrison was accused of raping a boy aged 14 in 1982 (Getty Images)

A Conservative MP from 1974 to 1992 and one of Margaret Thatcher’s closest aides, the late Sir Peter was accused of raping a boy of 14 in 1982 at the Elm Guest House, which has been linked with an alleged ‘VIP paedophile ring’.

The alleged victim’s father claimed police told him Sir Peter had been brought to justice, although he was never even charged.

In 2012, Sir Peter was accused by former Conservative MP Rod Richards of being involved in the North Wales child abuse scandal which saw more than 600 children from 40 children’s homes in the area abused sexually, emotionally and physically, between 1974 and 1990.

Mr Richards said Sir Peter was named in documents as a regular and unexplained visitor to the care homes.

Lord Leon Brittan

Leon Brittan was named in top secret files uncovered following a review into historical child sex abuse in Westminster (PA)

The QC and Conservative MP who served as Home Secretary under Margaret Thatcher, was interviewed by police last June after allegations he raped a 19-year-old student in his London flat in 1967.

He was not arrested and said the claim was “wholly without foundation”.

After his death in January, Lord Brittan was accused of multiple child rapes by Labour MP Tom Watson.

Allegations came to light that Brittan had abused young boys at the Elm Guest House in the early 1980s and that he had been photographed attending a rent boy orgy in 1986.

It was alleged that young boys were picked up at London’s Kings Cross station and dropped off at a north London building where they were raped, but the day before Lord Brittan’s planned arrest, the 1986 police investigation was dropped.

It has been reported that while Home Secretary in 1984, Lord Brittan was passed a dossier detailing alleged paedophilic activity in Westminster at the time. The whereabouts of this dossier is not known.

Sir Cyril Smith

Many child sex abuse allegations surfaced following Sir Cyril Smith's death (Keystone/Getty)

The Liberal MP for Rochdale for 20 years, a number of allegations surfaced of child sex abuse regarding Sir Cyril following his death in 2010.

It has been reported that the politician was held by police in the 1980s during a probe into alleged sex parties with teenage boys that were held in south London, although a police inquiry into the matter was scrapped after his arrest.

In March, it emerged that Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister at the time, was made aware of allegations of abuse against Sir Cyril before he was knighted in 1988.

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, the current MP for Rochdale, has worked to expose Sir Cyril’s alleged serial abuse and claimed that he had raped some of his victims.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in