A CHILD abuse ring connected to a Worcestershire paedophile reached all the way to Parliament and 10 Downing Street, it has been claimed.

MP Tom Watson has claimed a “senior aide of a former Prime Minister” was involved in smuggling in indecent images of children from overseas.

During Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons last week, he said there was historical evidence of “a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and Number 10.”

His claims, made in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, involve Peter Righton, who was convicted in 1992 by magistrates in Evesham of importing and possessing pornographic material involving boys under the age of 16. Righton, who at the time was 66 and lived in Badsey Lane, Evesham, had developed a reputation as an academic expert in childcare.

He was also the vice-chairman of governors at the old New Barns School in Toddington, Gloucestershire, which closed down in 1992.

The story made headlines for weeks, and resulted in him paying a £900 fine after pleading guilty.

But Mr Watson, Labour’s deputy chairman, said he had been contacted by a child protection expert saying more people should have been prosecuted at the time.

Mr Watson suggested a powerful paedophile network may have operated in Britain protected by its connections to Parliament and Downing Street. Mr Watson said: “The evidence file used to convict paedophile Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring.

“One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.

“The leads were not followed up. But if the file still exists I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and Number 10.”

Mr Righton worked as a lecturer in child care at the National Institute for Social Care in London. Following the case he was subject of a 1994 BBC profile called The Secret Life of a Paedophile.

His whereabouts today have not been established.

Prime Minister David Cameron has responded by saying he would look at the case “very carefully and see what the Government can do to help” Mr Watson.

Mr Watson has refused to name the aide or Prime Minister implicated.