Enoch Powell - the former South Down MP and late Conservative anti-immigrant firebrand who died in 1998 - is being investigated as a member of an alleged Westminster paedophile network after his name was supplied to police by a senior Anglican bishop.
The name of the former MP was provided to Scotland Yard after a clergyman came forward with claims from the 1980s relating to satanic abuse.
Powell, who achieved notoriety with his "Rivers of Blood" speech decrying migration to Britain, is the latest senior Parliamentarian to be made the subject of police inquiries into an alleged Establishment sex ring.
The Metropolitan Police has several ongoing investigations relating to claims against suspected abusers, including the former Liberal MP Cyril Smith. Detectives are also investigating allegations against former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.
It's understood the claims against Powell were passed to police by the Right Reverend Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, more than a year ago but have only now been made public.
The Rt Rev Butler contacted police after details of the allegations against the late Conservative politician were passed to him by a fellow clergyman, Dominic Walker, the former Bishop of Monmouth. It is understood that the Rt Rev Walker first heard the claims when he was counselling young adults as a curate in the 1980s and claims were made that an unknown number of MPs had been involved in satanic cult-type abuse.
The claim was originally submitted to Operation Fernbridge, a police investigation into abuse claims relating to the Elm guest house in London - which is at the centre of allegations that it was used by powerful individuals during the 1970s and 1980s for organised sexual abuse.
Fernbridge has now closed but allegations submitted to it remain the subject of other ongoing investigations.
The Church of England said: "The name of Enoch Powell was passed to Operation Fernbridge by one of our safeguarding team on the instruction of Bishop Paul Butler."
Multiple claims of satanic abuse were made in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the notorious case in the Orkney Islands during which children were removed from their homes.
A subsequent government-backed inquiry found no evidence to substantiate any of the 86 separate alleged cases.
It is understood the allegations against Powell came from a single individual. Institutions such as the Church of England now automatically pass allegations of abuse to the police for assessment.
Enoch Powell was one of the most divisive politicians of the late 20th century. An integrationist, he became disillusioned with Ted Heath's approach to Northern Ireland and ended his Westminster career as the Ulster Unionist MP for South Down from 1974 to 1987. A powerful orator, Powell's time as a frontline politician came to an abrupt end when he was sacked from the Shadow Cabinet in 1968 the morning after the "Rivers of Blood" speech. It was revealed by a confidante after his death that he had had at least one gay relationship, although this has been disputed.
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