Accusations of paedophilic rape have been levelled at Sir Peter Morrison, one of Margaret Thatcher’s closest confidantes during her time as Prime Minister. Scotland Yard have also been accused by the victim and his family of covering up the crime.
The allegations will now been investigated under Operation Fairbank, set up by the Met two years ago to investigate suggestions that high profile figures had been involved in paedophile rings.
Although accusations of paedophilia were first levelled at Morrison in 1998, three years after the politician’s death by heart attack, the alleged victim of this attack has become the first to speak out publically. Now aged 46, he has told the Telegraph that, as a 14 year old, he was lured to London by Morrison, and was raped before he managed to escape.
The two met when in the West Sussex village of Harting, where the alleged victim lived. He was walking through the village when Morrison “appeared out of nowhere”, told him that his car had broken down, and asked for some help in starting it in return for money. But when they arrived at the car, Morrison instead asked whether he would like to visit his “nice big house in London for the weekend.
“I said I couldn’t come, so he asked for my phone number, which I gave to him,” the alleged victim said. “He wore a pin-striped suit and was very well-dressed, so I didn’t think anything was wrong. I suppose I was quite impressed, in a way.”
Over the weeks that followed, Morrison made a number of calls to the boy, then aged 14, each time asking whether the boy would visit him in London. “I said no two or three times, but eventually I just said yes because I thought I had nothing to lose.”
The next weekend, Morrison came to Harting with a driver, and even came into the teenagers house to meet his father. The family knew Morrison only as ‘Peter’, and were told that he was a barrister. According to the alleged victim’s father, “The guy said he had homes in Chester and London, but he never told us he was an MP. He seemed nice – very well spoken and nicely presented. I allowed my son to go with him. I suppose you just trusted people more in those days.”
However, his son claims that, as soon as they set off in the car, Morrison began assaulting him. “He’d leave me alone for a little bit, and then he’d come at me again. Before long, he had my trousers off. At one point we stopped for petrol, and I thought about running out of the car, but I realised the doors had some sort of child lock and I couldn’t get out. I was so frightened.”
In London, Morrison bought the boy beer and wine before taking him to a house, which the alleged victim believes to be the notorious Elm Guest House in Barnes, where a number of politicians are alleged to have abused boys. He says that there were seven or eight men lounging around when they got there, but that Morrison took him straight upstairs and striped him naked.
“I was assaulted and raped for quite some time, at least an hour,” he remembered. “It was the most horrendous experience of my life.” According to the alleged victim, Morrison told him that they would be having a sauna together before going on to a party, and that “Before he went out, he told me I’d be sleeping in his bed that night.”
Instead, the alleged victim, terrified by the ordeal, managed to slip out of the house unseen and escape back to Harting, where he told his father what had occurred. The family went immediately to the police, who took a statement from the boy at his home that evening. The next day they travelled to Bognor Regis to visit a doctor. His father recalled that the medics informed him that his son had “certainly been sexually abused”.
The next day, two officers from Scotland Yard came to the house to take a full four page statement from the boy. Yet after that, the family heard nothing for almost a year, until one day two Scotland Yard officers arrived on the doorstep carrying the son’s clothes in a bag.
“They told me the guy had been convicted at a court in Chelsea and that he’d been sent to prison for two years, and there was nothing more to worry about,” the father has said. “They said my son hadn’t needed to go to court because he was underage. I did think it was odd that my son hadn’t been called to give evidence, but I didn’t think too much about it. To be honest, I thought that was the end of that and we could start to forget about the whole thing.”
It was not until years later that the alleged victim saw Morrison on television as a minister in the Thatcher government, and understood that he had never been convicted. I believe that Morrison was a high-profile guy so he got away with it,” he said. “Either the police were paid off or they hushed it up because he was an MP.
“I was never the same after what happened – he ruined my life really. I left school soon afterwards because I lost all my confidence. I couldn’t handle what had happened to me. It took me ten years before I went into counselling, which helped. But I’ve never made the most of my life, and I blame Morrison for that. I hate him.”
An Old Etonian who had worked as a barrister before becoming the Member of Parliament for Chester, Morrison served as Lady Thatcher’s Parliamentary Private Secretary and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party during his successful parliamentary career. Last year, Barry Strevens, a former bodyguard to Thatcher claimed that she had been made aware of Morrison’s predilection for under-aged boys before the appointment as deputy chairman, but had decided to proceed anyway.
Norman Tebbit has also admitted that “rumours had got to my ears” regarding Morrison’s activities a full decade before they were made public in 1998, and in 2002 Edwina Curry also revealed through her diaries that he was a “noted pederast”. Morrison has also been linked to the child abuse scandal at care homes in North Wales.
Met Police officers are currently investigating rumours that up to five paedophile rings were operating in Westminster in the 1970s and 1980s, and are also investigating allegations of murder at the hands of certain members of the rings.