Don Hale, former editor of the Bury Messenger, says he was handed the dossier by late Labour peer Barbara Castle in the 1980s, but can't remember any of the names in it
'An investigative journalist who claims he was handed a list of 16 MPs involved in paedophilia in the 1980s is unable to remember a single name, an inquiry has heard.
Don Hale, former editor of the now defunct Bury Messenger, says he was handed a cache of documents by late Labour peer Barbara Castle about the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) during the 1980s.
The organisation advocated abolishing the age of consent and Mr Hale alleges that the documents revealed many senior figures supported its aims and were involved in fundraising.
Mr Hale, who was awarded an OBE for campaigning journalism for his involvement in the acquittal of Stephen Downing for murder, said then home secretary Leon Brittan was supportive of the group.
He said over a period of about eight weeks in the summer of 1984, Baroness Castle handed him a number of sensitive documents to photocopy relating to parliamentary committee meetings discussing the PIE.
The documents revealed who was present, who chaired the committees and who had sent apologies for their absence, the Westminster strand of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse heard.
Mr Hale claims that the entire store of documents was confiscated by officers from special branch as soon as he started trying to verify the allegations made by Baroness Castle.
The inquiry, which is expected to sit for three weeks, is examining ongoing allegations of historical abuse by politicians and systemic cover-up by institutions.'
Read more: Investigative journalist tells child abuse inquiry he was given a list of '16 paedophile MPs' but it was seized in raid