A FORMER Brighton vicar has told how child abuse victims confided in him in the 1980s about a satanic paedophile ring that included Tory MP Enoch Powell.

Dominic Walker, who served as a vicar in Brighton during that period, said long-serving Labour MP Leo Abse and former home secretary William Whitelaw were also named as members of the Westminister paedophile network.

Mr Walker, who retired as Bishop of Monmouth in 2013, passed on the information to the Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Paul Butler, who is responsible for ‘safeguarding’ the Church of England.

Although there was no evidence to support the claims, the church authorities sent the information to Scotland Yard’s investigation into alleged establishment involvement in child abuse.

A Church of England spokesman said of the claims: “When allegations are made against individuals, it is quite proper to pass those allegations to the police and statutory authorities, without any investigation on our part and regardless of our own views.”

Rumours of organised satanic ritual abuse were rife in the 1980s but little evidence has been found to support the claims.

Former home secretary Whitelaw, who served under Margaret Thatcher’s government from 1979 to 1983 and died in 1999, was last year accused of having ordered Scotland Yard to cease an investigation into the paedophile ring that supplied young boys to Westminster figures.

Last year Vishambar Mehrotra, the father of eight-year-old murdered schoolboy Vishal, whose body was found on the Sussex/Hampshire border in the 1980s, claimed his son may have died at the hands of the Westminster paedophile ring and Scotland Yard helped “cover up” the crime.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is thought to be pursuing the alleged cover-up after announcing this month that it is investigating 14 cases of alleged corruption in historical child abuse inquiries.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We do not identify individuals that are subject of investigation.”

Sussex Police added: “We are not aware of any allegations relating to this in Sussex.”