A former Surrey Comet news editor was gagged by the Government over the reporting of an alleged Westminster paedophile ring operating out of Elm Guest House in Barnes.

Hilton Tims, 82, the paper’s news editor between 1980 and 1988, revealed at the weekend he had been handed a D-notice preventing the reporting of sex allegations in 1984.

Elm Guest House, in Rocks Lane, is at the centre of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating claims of sexual abuse and grooming of children by Government ministers, MPs and senior police officers in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Mr Tims, the husband of Surrey Comet features editor June Sampson, told the Observer newspaper the Comet had been censored after receiving a tip-off about alleged sexual abuse at the guest house. Mr Tims told the Comet today: “I referred it to David Wilson, who was the editor at the time.

“All I know is that we were making some enquiries because we had a tip off and as soon as they got wind – there were too many top ministers involved so they shut us up.

“I was not even sure what a D-notice was in those days but we had to drop it altogether.

“If they slapped you with a D-notice – it came from the Government, you could not pursue that line of enquiry at all.”

It was the only time in Mr Tims’ career that he received a D-notice.

Surrey Comet:

Elm Guest House in Barnes where it is alleged children were sexually abused and groomed

This month the Metropolitan Police said a new inquiry had began into the guest house after an alleged victim claimed he saw three boys murdered, including one allegedly strangled by a Conservative MP during a sex game.

North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith said last week: “I have zero doubt that grotesque things happened at Elm Guest House and other parts of London at the hands of depraved and powerful people, and those things were systematically covered up.”

Mr Goldsmith has secured a debate in Parliament on Thursday, November 27, about the progress of the historic child sex abuse inquiry.

Security services are also facing questions about a possible cover-up after officical documents relating to gagging orders in the 1980s were said to be destroyed. 

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