A former regional newspaper editor has told how his office was raided by Special Branch after he began working on a story about MPs who allegedly supported the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).
Don Hale, who edited the Bury Messenger, said he was handed a file detailing alleged attempts by PIE to persuade certain MPs to legalise sex with children. The document is also said to have detailed attempts to infiltrate government while seeking funding.
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The file, said to have been compiled in the early 1980s by the late Baroness Castle of Blackburn, named around 16 politicians who “enhanced PIE’s ambitions” – as well as police officers, headteachers and clergy with links to PIE – according to the Daily Star. Then Barbara Castle, a Euro MP, she allegedly took the document to Hale saying that MPs and national newspapers were not interested.
But after asking questions, and receiving a visit from the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith – who is now widely believed to have been a paedophile – Hale said he was ordered to hand over the document by Special Branch and sworn to secrecy, with the threat of a jail term.
Hale told the Star how Smith attempted to persuade him it was “all poppycock”, that Castle “had her ‘knickers in a twist’” and wanted assurances no story would be run. Hale refused.
After Castle had raised concerns with him over the aims of PIE and her concerns about alleged paedophilia in Parliament, the editor “agreed to run something the following week based on her views and concerns”. He added: “[I] obviously had to contact certain members named and the Home Office for their responses…
“Each call was met with shock horror as to why I should be wasting my time asking these ‘daft’ questions as nothing was happening within Parliament.
“Most asked where I had got the information from, how long I had had it and what I intended to do with it?
“When I explained the detailed nature of the information available and that I couldn’t reveal my source, you could almost hear a pin drop as officials were unsure as to what to say or do.”
He added: “I was sworn to secrecy by Special Branch at the risk of jail if I repeated any of the allegations.
“When I met Barbara again, she apologised for the ‘hassle’ caused and reluctantly admitted she was fighting a formidable foe.”