MP Tom Watson has already suggested in the House of Commons that a powerful paedophile network may have operated in Britain, protected by its connections to Parliament and Downing Street.
Writing in a shocking blog post published yesterday, he said in the 10 days since he raised the issue he has been contacted by more than 50 people who have talked of wrongdoing – in some cases "so heinous it made me cry" – as well as "mysterious early deaths, disappeared children, suspicious fires, intimidation and threats".
He wrote that ordinary people who contacted him spoke of "psychopaths marking children with Stanley knives to show 'ownership'. They tell of parties where children were 'passed around' the men. They speak of golf-course car parks being the scenes for child abuse after an 18-hole round.
"And they have named powerful people – some of them household names – who abused children with impunity."
He also claimed some of those alleged to be involved in cover-up of the abuse may have been – and could still be – powerful politicians.
Watson also said he was not going to let the issue drop despite warnings his personal safety could be in jeopardy – and has kept a detailed log of the allegations "should anything happen".
The shocking allegations come after Watson spoke in the House of Commons to demand an inquiry into a paedophile network "linked to Parliament".
He claimed evidence gathered by police on paedophile Peter Righton, who was convicted and fined in 1992 for importing and possessing pornographic material involving boys under the age of 16, contained "clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring".
Watson said child-protection specialists have raised fears with him that the network involving Righton was wider than first thought, while others have identified a "former cabinet minister" who regularly abused young boys.
Watson, who also led the campaign against phone hacking, said: "The thing I learnt most from the hacking scandal, and for that matter the Savile case, is that the intelligence was staring the police in the face. These people were hiding in daylight. So powerful, so brazen in their actions, those who had an inkling of what was happening turned a blind eye."
Watson added: "One thing is for certain: someone has to join the dots. And that should be the police. There are a few hardy child- protection specialists who for many years, have been burrowing away, trying to uncover the truth. Their work and insight should be taken more seriously. The police should work with them.
"The hacking scandal was about the police failing to follow clear leads of wrongdoing by powerful people. They could do this because politicians turned a blind eye.
"This is potentially worse. Some of those powerful people involved in a cover-up may well have been – and could still be – powerful politicians."
He added: "I'm not going to let this drop despite warnings from people who should know that my personal safety is imperiled if I dig any deeper. It's spooked me so much that I've kept a detailed log of all the allegations should anything happen."
Watson called for a "properly resourced" investigation, which would allow the voices of the victims to be heard in public.
He concluded: "What I am going to do personally is to speak out on this extreme case of organised abuse in the highest places. At the core of all child abuse is the abuse of power.
"The fundamental power of the adult over the child. Wherever this occurs it is an abomination. But these extreme cases are abuse of power by some of the most powerful people. Abuse of trust by some of the most trusted. It is a sickening story, but one which – like the truth about Jimmy Savile – is now going to be told."