Tim offers us his informed opinion on the recently deceased Leon Brittan and his potential involvement in child abuse. Here's what he says:
"I sat for two hours with a senior detective involved in historic child sexual abuse enquiries. It was not the first time we had met, but on this occasion... he had decided to be open about the progress of the investigation into allegations about Leon Brittan.
His openness, of course, went only so far: we were not speaking on the record, but on conditions of anonymity. I have no way of independently verifying what he told me, but I did not feel at any point that he was either deliberately misleading me...
The backdrop to our meeting were allegations in the media that a former Customs Officer had seized child pornography films or videotapes in the early 1980s, one of which 'featured' a former Conservative cabinet minister. The customs officer was called Maganal Solanki, who is now in his 80s and in poor health. Mr Solanki’s name was on a 1982 Customs seizure notice which impounded obscene or indecent material sent, by mail, to the UK by a British paedophile based in Holland.
A reporter from Express newspapers had tracked down Mr Solanki, doorstepped him and recorded an attempt at interviewing him about the Tricker material. The subsequent reports of this encounter stated that Mr Solanki had claimed that the films or videos depicted the former cabinet minister involved in child sexual abuse. Although the politician was not named, it was evident that he was Leon Brittan.
The detective told me that officers had subsequently visited Mr Solanki and asked him about these allegations. According to the detective, Mr Solanki had denied the press version of events and insisted that he could not remember the Tricker seizure, much less had he ever identified Brittan as a participant in filmed child sexual abuse.
However, Mr Solanki did – according to the detective – recall stopping Brittan on another occasion as he came into the UK at Dover. Further, Mr Solanki had searched Brittan’s car and had found child pornography tapes. He viewed these and was able – with some embarrassment – to describe their contents: boys and girls, under the age of 12, being filmed having sex with each other. He impounded the tapes as indecent or obscene material."