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Former minister 'investigated' over child rape claims in VIP paedophile ring probe
Former Tory minister allegedly being investigated by Scotland Yard officers

Suspect who cannot be named linked to child rapist and killer Sidney Cooke

By Daily Mail Reporter

An ex-Tory Cabinet minister was today said to have been investigated by police over claims he abused boys and raped a young girl.

The former Conservative minister was allegedly being probed by Scotland Yard's paedophile unit after a woman came forward to claim he raped her as a child.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is suspected to have been linked to child rapist and killer Sidney Cooke who tortured and killed 14-year-old Jason Swift in 1985.

The ex-MP is suspected to have been linked to Cooke's VIP paedophile ring which operated in the 1980s.

It was never proven but other high-profile figures who may have been involved in the ring include Jimmy Savile, MR Cyril Smith and top judges.

The former minister, who cannot be named, has been linked to paedophile Sidney Cooke pictured in his married days.

A former detective who worked on the original investigation into Cooke told the Sunday Mirror the minister was alleged to have been photographed at a premises in North London where boys taken from Kings Cross were dropped off to be raped in 1986.

The former officer, who worked on Operation Orchid which convicted Cooke and his gang, said pictures were taken of the minister.

The former officer said up to 16 high profile figures were due to be arrested. But the day before they were to be carried out detectives were told the operation had been disbanded.

He added that senior officers, including Commander Peter Spindler, the head of the Paedophile Unit, have had a secret briefing on preparations to arrest the ex-minister in the next few weeks.

The revelation means police knew of allegations against Jimmy Savile, as well as those against the unnamed minister for more than 25 years and did nothing about them in 1986.

After the operation into Cooke was disbanded the former officer found evidence including pictures had disappeared from the file and any mention of the men involved had also vanished.

The former officer told the Sunday Mirror: 'It was clear a cover-up had taken place. The investigation showed that Cooke would pick up rent boys and take them back to flats or garages where large groups of men were waiting to abuse them.

'These paedophiles, which included a lot of high-profile figures that were said to include the former Cabinet Minister, Savile and MP Cyril Smith, all knew each other and all operated together.

'We had photographic evidence of these high-profile figures entering or leaving buildings where the abuse was taking place. Everyone knew Savile was a paedo but nothing was ever done.

'I was sickened and to this day I wonder how many children we could have saved if we had been allowed to arrest those men.'

Sidney Cooke, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Jason Swift in 1989 along with three accomplices – Leslie Bailey, Robert Oliver and Steven Barrell. They have been linked to up to 20 murders.

Cooke was believed to have murdered seven-year-old Mark Tildesley but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to bring charges as he was already serving 19 years for Jason’s death.

He was released in 1998 but was rearrested in 1999 for systematically abusing two boys in the 1970s and jailed for life.

in 2012 Savile was exposed as having 'groomed a ­nation' after abusing 450 victims over 54 years.

Officers on Operation Yewtree, which investigated the claims, have also ­arrested celebrities including Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis, publicist Max Clifford and comedian Jim Davidson. All have denied any wrongdoing and not all the allegations involve under-16s.

Scotland Yard told the Sunday Mirror they would not comment on an on-going investigation.

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