The British Scandal
"blow the lid off"
When a package was left on a London bus in October 1978, it ignited an investigation that had far reaching consequences within the very halls of power of the UK government. Found to contain child pornography, the package was later traced back to Peter Hayman, a senior British diplomat who served as a civil servant and MI6 operative. When police investigated Hayman, they found a disturbing secret life that also involved his membership of the Paedophile Information Exchange, a pro-paedophile activist group founded in October 1974, that consisted of men like Hayman, professionally-educated male paedophiles.
In 1981, MP Geoffrey Dickens spoke about Hayman and his alleged paedophile connections by using his parliamentary privilege, asking why the diplomat had not been prosecuted. Several years later, and under increasing pressure from pro-paedophile activists, Dickens assembled a dossier on alleged paedophiles associated with the British government. Dickens went on to claim there was a dangerous network of paedophiles, and threatened to name them in the commons. The Westminster dossier was handed to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan in 1984, however the whereabouts of this document are unknown.
The Mysterious Package
In November 1980, the magazine Private Eye published an article that revealed an incident that happened some two years previously. Following the discovery of a bulky package left on a London bus, police began an investigation when it was found to contain obscene material. Addressed to a “Mr. Peter Henderson”, the package, which contained paedophilia-related material, was soon traced to Sir Peter Hayman, a British diplomat. Under the same pseudonym, Hayman had also rented an apartment in London from where he sent and received obscene material through the post.
In the Summer of 1978, when police raided the flat at 95 Linden Gardens, Notting Hill, officers of the Porn Squad found articles of female clothing and pornographic photos. Also at the sparsely furnished flat were found 45 diaries, written by Hayman. These diaries, some of which were 46 quarto size books of eighty pages each, were found to contain explicit and deviant detail of sexual activity, and which catalogued encounters of every conceivable perversion. Most of the entries were fantasy, however some of the events had clearly occurred.
It was discovered that Hayman had entertained prostitutes at his Linden Gardens flat, and had also corresponded with other perverts using contact magazines. This was done through his membership of the Paedophile Information Exchange. The majority of the material found in the diaries detailed perverse fantasies involving prostitutes and children. Hayman’s own involvement had been exposed when two men were conditionally discharged for three years after pleading guilty to sending obscene material through the post.
The Civil Service Pervert
For Hayman, however, there were far more serious concerns, given that some of the diaries were written during his tenure as High Commissioner in Canada from 1970-74. Born in Deal, England on June 14, 1914, Peter Telford Hayman was educated at Worcester College, Oxford, and upon graduation joined the Home Office as an assistant principle. During the Second World War, he married Rosemary Blomefield in 1942, and together they had a son. That same year he served in the Rifle Brigade until 1945, rising to the rank of Major. Hayman also served in a variety of other roles during the 1950’s, including a posting with NATO.
After the conflict Hayman continued his career in the civil service, and from 1961-64, he was director general of the British Information Services in New York. Later he served as the deputy commandant of the British military government in West Berlin until 1966. From 1969-70, Hayman worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, becoming Deputy Under Secretary of State with responsibility for the United Nations and Eastern Europe. His last posting had been as High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Canada.
It was only after Hayman’s death that the public learned of his later career. It was stated that he started a commercial career in 1974, however a 2014 report by the Guardian newspaper revealed Hayman had later served in the intelligence services, most notably as a “long-time deputy director of MI6”. He was characterized by the media as having been an “MI6 operative”. This would mean that when Hayman was left the package of obscene material on a London bus, and his rented apartment was raided by police, he was, at that time, working for the intelligence services, a position that could have been compromised.
The Westminster Paedophile Dossier
In 1981, in response to the revelations published in the Private Eye magazine article, MP Geoffrey Dickens asked in the house of commons, while using his parliamentary privilege, why Hayman had not been prosecuted. Dicken’s added, “How did such a potential blackmail risk come to hold highly sensitive posts at the MOD and NATO?” The decision not to prosecute Hayman came from high up within the British Government, much to the disgust of the policemen and aides of then Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Thomas Chalmers Hetherington QC, on whose advise it was not to prosecute.
Investigators were told that it was not “a reflection on the evidence,” and indeed at one stage it appears he was cautioned. He was also warned not to send obscene material through the post again. The risk to security was unknown, and it was almost certain that Hayman had access to top secret papers. The security services MI6 and MI6 must have been deeply worried about much further back Hayman’s activities extended, and to what extent he had made them public to others.
Dickens asked the Leader of the House of Commons to “Investigate the security implications of diaries found in the diplomats London flat which contained accounts of sexual exploits.” In response, the Attorney General Sir Michael Havers replied, “I am in agreement with the DDP’s (Hetherington) advice not to prosecute Sir Peter Hayman and the other persons with whom he has carried out an obscene correspondence,” adding that although the diplomat had been found to have received pornographic material through the post, it was allegedly not of an extreme nature, was non-commercial, and in a sealed envelope. Although this did not warrant prosecution, it was condemned by the international press who covered the events. As for Hayman’s membership of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Havers said in Parliament that the diplomat was never a member of the executive committee, so was not prosecuted as others were for publishing contact advertisements.
Little is known of the aftermath of the investigation into Hayman, except that he was convicted in 1984, and fined for an act of gross indecency with another adult in a public lavatory. He was subsequently warned by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that should he be known to repeat the offence, Hayman would be stripped of his honours. As a result of his naming Peter Hayman in the House of Commons, Dickens complained in November 1985 that he had suffered harassment. “The noose around my neck grew tighter after I named a former high-flying British diplomat on the Floor of the House. Honourable Members will understand that where big money is involved and as important names came into my possession so the threats began,” he said.
“First, I received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at my London home. Then, more seriously, my name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list.” He also said in his speech that paedophiles were “evil and dangerous” and that child pornography generated “vast sums”. Dickens had previously claimed in 1983 that there was a paedophile network involving, “big, big names – people in positions of power, influence and responsibility,” and threatened to name them in the House of Commons.
In 1984, Dickens campaigned for the banning of the Paedophile Information Exchange organisation, that had been founded in October 1974 and would be officially disbanded a decade later. Despite this, members would continue to operate as late as 2006. The group was described by the BBC as “an international organisation of people who traded obscene material”. Dickens had a meeting with the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, during which he handed over a dossier that contained all the information the MP had collected about child abuse allegations concerning members of Westminster.
It was understood that the burglaries at the MP’s constituency flat and London home were orchestrated by those searching for the 40-page dossier, wishing to suppress the contents from being released to the public. The whereabouts of the dossier are currently unknown. In an email to a Channel 4 reporter in 2013, Brittan denied any knowledge of the matter, later claimed to have no recollection of it when queried by the Independent newspaper. A year later, Brittan announced that Dickens had met him in his office, and that he had written to the MP on March 20, 1984, explaining what had been done in relation to the files.
Journalist James Gillespie, writing for the Times newspaper, quoted a letter from Dickens dated January 7, 1984, in which he thanked Brittan for his ‘splendid support’ in relation to the matter. There were also examples of the allegations contained within the dossier, including a civil servant requesting those persons caught by Customs and Excise importing child pornography should be referred to the police, and a woman protesting that he 16-year-old son had become homosexual after working in the Buckingham Palace kitchens.
A review conducted by the Home Office in 2013 by civil servant Mark Sedwill concluded that copes of Dickens material had “not been retained” but stressed that Brittan had acted appropriately in dealing with the allegations. A later review in November 2014 by Peter Wanless, the chief executive officer of the NSPCC, and written with Richard Whittam QC, “found nothing to support a concern that files had deliberately or systematically removed or destroyed to cover up organised child abuse.” But it also found it was “not possible to say whether files were ever removed or destroyed to cover up or hide allegations of organised or systematic child abuse by particular individuals because of the systems then in place.”
In 2015, a files was discovered from 1981 was released into the National Archives. Titled SECURITY. Sir Peter Hayman: allegations against former public official of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects. The files is dated from October 1980 to March 1981. One of the documents in the file related to a briefing given to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had been told of Hayman’s sexual fantasies relating to children. It was stated in the document that there was no evidence that any of these fantasies had been carried out. Another document outlined the official reaction to and response to be made by government ministers if questioned about Hayman’s 1978 arrest.
Concerning Hayman’s role within the security services, one document stated that he was vulnerable to blackmail by foreign powers because of his “sexual perversion”, however there was no indication that foreign security services were made aware of the matter. The documents made it clear that the British Prime Minister had been briefed on the matter before allegations were made public by MP Geoffrey Dickens. Hayman died on April 6, 1992, and unlike many of his fellow Paedophile Information Exchange members, he would never be prosecuted for his involvement in the suspected child paedophile ring.