Parallel establishment lives of two late diplomats who provided support to child abusers
By Mark Watts | 27 February 2015
“Hayman died in disgrace… Henniker, by contrast, had become the eighth baron of a hereditary peerage”
Two former UK ambassadors led parallel lives that each link to the unfolding scandal of the ‘Westminster paedophile network’.
The late Sir Peter Hayman, who rose to become a senior spy, and Lord Henniker, who died in 2004 and also had a background in intelligence, were two peas in a pod, although how far they shared interests remains unclear.
What is known is that the Queen liked them both so much that she awarded each the CVO, an unusual honour in that it is granted by her personally. Most other honours are given by the Queen on advice from the government.
The Queen awarded John Henniker-Major the CVO in 1960, the year when he went from a senior job at the Foreign Office to become ambassador to the strategically-important country of Jordan.
She gave the same honour to Hayman five years later. Not long before, he had overseen a sensitive visit by the Queen to Berlin, then at the frontline in Germany of the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union.
Last November, Exaro identified Hayman as one of the “VIPs” who sexually abused boys at Dolphin Square, an apartment complex in Pimlico near Parliament.
Henniker provided a sanctuary on his country estate at Thornham Magna in Suffolk to Peter Righton, who supplied boys to paedophile VIPs at Dolphin Square and elsewhere.
In 1992, Righton rented a cottage on Henniker’s secluded, 2,500-acre estate, using it as a bolthole after fleeing his home in Evesham, Worcestershire. He had been charged with possessing obscene images of children, for which he was convicted in September that year. He died in 2007.
Exaro revealed yesterday how police are assessing allegations that Righton carried out a sadistic murder while living in hiding at Henniker’s estate.
Just before World War II, Hayman went to the Home Office, while Henniker joined the diplomatic service.
Both were majors in the Rifle Brigade during the war.
But Henniker is understood to have been seconded in 1943 to the Special Operations Executive (SOE), operating in Yugoslavia.
After the war, the SOE was effectively merged into the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), better known as MI6. Some 280 SOE officers transferred to the UK’s overseas spy agency.
From 1945 to 1946, Henniker was a diplomat in Belgrade, Yugoslavia’s capital.
Next, he became assistant private secretary to Ernest Bevin, then foreign secretary, until 1948.
Before Hayman served in the Rifle Brigade, he had been an assistant private secretary to Herbert Morrison, then home secretary, from 1941 to 1942.
Henniker rose to head the personnel department of the Foreign Office in 1953, and remained there until he became ambassador to Jordan seven years later.
In 1954, Hayman is understood to have joined MI6, and become station chief for the service in Belgrade, in 1955 for three years.
From 1962 to 1966, Henniker was ambassador to Denmark.
He was director-general of the British Council, which promoted the country’s culture abroad, from 1968 to 1972.
Hayman was assistant under-secretary at the Foreign Office from 1966 to 1969.
Henniker had the same title from 1967 to 1968.
From 1970 to 1974, Hayman was high commissioner to Canada.
After his posting to Canada, Hayman, then 60, officially retired. But he is understood to have become deputy director of MI6 at that point.
In 1978, police seized 45 volumes of obscene diaries in which Hayman described paedophile fantasies. Police also discovered his membership of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which promoted sex with children.
Righton, who found sanctuary at Henniker’s estate, was also a PIE member.
In 1981, Dickens used parliamentary privilege to link Hayman to PIE, to reveal how he had been investigated for distributing obscene material through the post, and to question why he was not prosecuted.
Hayman died in disgrace in 1992.
Henniker, by contrast, had become the eighth baron of a hereditary peerage in 1980. He died in 2004. And Righton was still living on his estate.
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