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Sex, Lies and Scandal as Fiction and Fact Collide

10/07/2014 16:07 BST | Updated 09/09/2014 10:59 BST

By Geoffrey Seed, the author of The Convenience of Lies, a powerful story about a conspiracy between politicians, police and spies to cover-up the sexual abuse of children.

In December 1996, I arranged to meet a disaffected London detective in a motorway cafe where we couldn't be overheard, and was told how two investigations into alleged child sex abuse by MPs and other establishment figures were deliberately sabotaged.

I didn't realise then I'd have the basis of a novel or that it'd take another eighteen years before the truth or otherwise of such crimes - supposedly covered up by Westminster insiders - would finally be addressed.

My source was in what I named the Blackened Name Club, officers who'd fallen foul of the Metropolitan Police anti-corruption squad in contentious circumstances which didn't guarantee convictions in court.

He contrasted their treatment - phoned-tapped like terrorists, family lives scrutinised, liberty in jeopardy - with how official blind eyes were turned when paedophile politicians, churchmen and lawyers were allegedly violating children.

Two police operations in the mid-1980s were cited - Orchid and Circus. Orchid centred on a sprawling housing estate in New Addington, south London where child prostitutes were being hired out.

Low-level arrests were made, documents seized. These produced intelligence implicating members of the Liberal Party. But by following the old police maxim of going where the evidence led, Orchid detectives caused unexpected waves.

Scotland Yard rang their office saying no more arrests were to be made. This was ignored by a team committed to uncovering the truth, however sensitive.

A senior officer soon arrived and removed all their files. He reportedly said: '...this operation stops now.' Asked why, he allegedly replied that it wasn't '...in the public interest.'

My source said: 'These inquiries were stopped because of potential political embarrassment. Major people with connections (in politics) were dropped out and people lower down carried the can.'

Operation Circus reportedly experienced similar double standards. It centred on the 'meat rack' in Piccadilly Circus where men paid rent boys for sex.

A detective on this inquiry - run from Vine Street Police Station and also shut down early - bitterly complained that it was fine to target abusers of whom no-one had heard but not so when they encountered famous figures committing the same offences.

Two prominent MPs came to notice during these police investigations. One was the late Cyril Smith, the remarkably influential Liberal member for Rochdale whose appetite for the sexual and physical abuse of boys is still coming to light.

The other was equally famous but could - like many accused of paedophile crimes - be the innocent victim of malice or mistaken identity.

This week's announcement of a high level inquiry set up by Home Secretary, Teresa May, might soon ask Scotland Yard, inter alia, for Operation Orchid's seized files.

All concerned will hope they haven't gone missing like those given to Leon Brittan and his civil servants when he did her job in the 1980s and which also alleged the sexual abuse of the vulnerable and the voiceless by those who were neither.

Geoffrey Seed is the author of The Convenience of Lies, published by Endeavour Press.