UK police are investigating whether as many as five pedophile rings operated in the highest reaches of the British political establishment, with the involvement of "highly influential" politicians.
A dossier of evidence, compiled by a Labor member of parliament (MP) and handed to police, lists 22 politicians — including three serving MPs and three current members of parliament's upper chamber, the House of Lords — alleged to have participated in the networks.
The claims are the latest in a slew of historical sex abuse allegations to have been unearthed in Britain in recent years, with few areas of public life spared as celebrities, institutions and authorities all come in for official investigation. But it is only recently that the political world has attracted serious attention.
In this case, John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw in the Midlands, compiled the dossier from evidence provided by members of the public over the course of several months. He handed it to detectives from Operation Trinity, the London Metropolitan Police's investigation into alleged abuse in children's homes.
Mann told the Telegraph that alleged child abuse networks at the center of British government in the 1970s and 80s were far more complicated than he had previously realized.
Thirteen former ministers are also on the list, Mann said.
Out of the five rings which involved MPs, he said that each ring "involved at least one MP, some involved more, and these were groups of people who knew about the activities of one another."
"In some cases I believe they committed abuse together," he said.
The list included fourteen Conservative politicians, five Labor and three from other parties.
Under parliamentary privilege laws Mann could name the accused in the House of Commons without fear of legal reprisals; however, he has said he will not do so because he believes they should be properly investigated by police.
"What the police are doing now is what should have taken place a long time ago," he said.
He added that it would be "inconceivable" that the police would not be interviewing some of the individuals about the allegations.
"Some of the evidence is incredibly strong," he said.
"I would be quite certain there are other names I am not aware of."
The evidence against "approximately half" of them was "very compelling," he added.
UK police are currently running several consecutive investigations into historic child abuse allegations. Mann said he was concerned that police could be missing vital evidence because of a lack of communication between individual inquiries.
"My concern is that there are so many different police investigations into this, in London and in other parts of the country," said the MP.
"They are not all talking to one another.
"Operation Trinity was not aware of quite a lot of the names that I know Operation Midland is looking at."
Operation Midland is an investigation into historic alleged pedophile parties at Dolphin Square — an exclusive block of flats in Pimlico, central London, close to the parliament.
The investigation has been sparked by a whistleblower, known only as Nick, who has made a number of claims about a pedophile ring involving senior politicians and public figures in the 1970s and 80s.
Nick told police he was molested from the age of seven to 16. He said he saw a Conservative MP strangle a 12-year-old boy at a London orgy around 1980 and that a Conservative cabinet minister watched two men kill a boy in a sexual assault a year later.
Last week London police confirmed they were investigating allegations that a pedophile ring killed three boys and appealed for public information relating to the probe.
They said they were looking into allegations of serious, organized sexual abuse after Nick said he and several other boys were driven to properties in London and the Home Counties where they were raped, cut and beaten.
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