A FORMER Chester MP who was a key figure in Margaret Thatcher’s Government could be implicated in a child abuse inquiry which may also involve Jimmy Savile.
Sir Peter Morrison was Tory MP for Chester from 1974 to 1992, lived at Puddington and died in 1995.
But he is now being named in connection with a fresh inquiry into allegations of child abuse in North Wales which could also implicate the late DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Savile.
Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a new police inquiry into allegations of child abuse in the 1970s and 1980s centring on children’s homes in North Wales and specifically the Bryn Estyn home at Wrexham.
On Tuesday, Channel 4 News broadcast an allegation from an unnamed former resident of Bryn Estyn, that he had seen Chester’s ex-Tory MP, the late Sir Peter Morrison – a former deputy party chairman and aide to Margaret Thatcher – visit the care home and drive away with one of the boys living there.
And according to The Sun newspaper there are also claims Jimmy Savile molested boys at the Bryn Estyn care home in the 1970s for the former DJ’s ‘entertainment’.
The Conservative Party has confirmed it is investigating reports linking Morrison to the allegations.
A spokesman for Conservative Central Office said: “We will do everything in our power to ensure these serious allegations are investigated fully.”
Current Chester Tory MP Stephen Mosley, speaking from Westminster, told The Chronicle yesterday: “It’s important for the victims that their stories are believed and these serious allegations are fully investigated to their satisfaction so they believe there is no cover-up and they can get closure and move on with their lives.”
Mr Mosley was not living in the city when Morrison was MP and has no knowledge of his alleged activities.
Morrison’s immediate successor Gyles Brandreth, who served as the city’s Tory MP from 1992 to 1997, told The Chronicle he didn’t recollect more than was in his political diary Breaking the Code in which he wrote that he and his wife Michele had ‘been told several times on the doorstep – in no uncertain terms – that the MP is ‘a disgusting pervert’.”
However, in the same book, Mr Brandreth did refer to Sir Peter as ‘tall, fat, with crinkly hair, piggy eyes, a pink-gin drinker’s face’ in his description of his first meeting with the veteran politician.
According to The Guardian’s veteran reporter Nick Davies, the Sunday Mirror’s crime reporter Chris House twice received tip-offs from police who said Morrison had been caught with underage boys but had been released with a caution.
Mr Davies claimed that when the journalist confronted Morrison he used libel laws to block the story.
Former Tory minister Edwina Currie recently claimed Morrison had sex with 16-year-old boys when the age of consent was 21 and senior party members covered up for him.
“Was he doing anything illegal? Almost certainly. Would it be illegal today? Hard to tell now the age of consent is down to 16,” she told The Sunday Times.
North Wales Police did investigate the care home abuse claims in 1991. Of eight prosecutions, seven former care workers were convicted. But it was widely believed that the abuse was on a far greater scale, prompting the setting up of a public inquiry in 1996 to look again at the abuse claims.
Headed by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, the inquiry heard evidence from 650 people. But it is now being claimed the remit of the Waterhouse inquiry was not wide enough, allowing perpetrators to escape justice.
In The Daily Mail last week, Rod Richards, a former Conservative MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Tories, made the allegation that he had seen evidence linking Sir Peter Morrison to the North Wales children’s homes case.
Mr Richards – who helped establish the inquiry that unearthed the scale of the abuse – said: “What I do know is that Morrison was a paedophile. And the reason I know that is because of the North Wales child abuse scandal.”
Mr Richards said he received detailed briefings about the case while junior Welsh Office Minister for health and social services.
He said: “It fell to me to decide initially whether to hold a public inquiry. So I saw all the documentation and the files. Morrison was linked. His name stood out on the notes to me because he had been an MP.”
Mr Richards added he was frustrated that the £13m three-year inquiry had not uncovered any evidence to link Morrison to the abuse. He said: “It would seem that there are some parallels with Savile in that Morrison got in under the radar, and his activities did not appear in the final report.”
Home Secretary Theresa May has announced Mrs Justice Macur will investigate the terms of the Waterhouse abuse inquiry.