London

Operation Fernbridge: Met looking into 300 lines of inquiry

More than 300 lines of inquiry are being pursued by officers investigating alleged child abuse at a London guesthouse during the early 1980s.

Two people have been arrested but no charges have been brought.

The inquiry, Operation Fernbridge, is examining claims a paedophile ring, with links to the then government, abused boys at Elm Guest House, Barnes.

The Met is also looking into links between the guesthouse and the former Grafton Close children's care home.

Claims resurfaced

A 66-year-old Catholic priest from Norfolk and a 70-year-old man from St Leonards-On-Sea, East Sussex, were arrested earlier this year.

In total seven officers have been assigned and about £25,000 has been spent on the investigation since its launch in January, the Met's response to a Freedom of Information request revealed.

The allegations were investigated at the time but resurfaced in October when Labour MP Tom Watson raised the case in Parliament and called for further inquiries.

He had been passed information by journalists working for the investigative news website Exaro.

The investigation is supported by the NSPCC, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and Richmond Social Services, which ran Grafton Close.

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