Liverpool

Child abuse inquiry: MP Peter Morrison claims 'hushed up'

Peter Morrison Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Peter Morrison was the Tory MP for Chester until 1992

Political parties "covered up" claims that a Tory MP "liked small boys", an inquiry has heard.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was told "rumours were rife" about the late MP for Chester, Peter Morrison.

The MP was discovered with a 15-year-old boy at Crewe railway station in the late 1980s, the hearing was told.

But his agent Frances Mowatt told the inquiry repeatedly that she heard nothing of the allegations at the time.

However, giving evidence to the inquiry former Labour Party official Grahame Nicholls said the allegations were hushed up by the political parties.

He said: "It was a Chester cover-up. Nobody was going to break ranks."

'People did nothing'

Mr Morrison was MP from 1974 to 1992. He died in 1995 but has recently been accused of abusing teenage boys.

His name came up in a 1980s letter from MI5 to the then cabinet secretary Robert Armstrong, then in a book by the former minister Edwina Currie in the 1990s, and in a column by the late Guardian journalist Simon Hoggart in 2012 for which Mr Nicholls was the source.

Mr Nicholls told the inquiry a local paper, the police, council officials and both Conservative and Labour parties in the city were aware of the claim.

He said: "A lot of people knew and a lot of people did nothing."

The inquiry previously heard claims relating to Mr Morrison's "penchant for small boys" were passed to security services but they did not investigate or report them to police.

The inquiry continues and is examining how various institutions responded to abuse claims, some made against prominent people.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites