Notorious paedophile's night in the pub with Barrow MP
A NOTORIOUS paedophile - who campaigned for sex with children to be legalised - spent two hours drinking and debating with Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock.
Tom O'Carroll, a former chairman of the Paedophile Information Exchange, a controversial activist group which campaigned to abolish the age of consent, has been immediately suspended by the Labour Party.
It has since come to light that the 70-year-old, who was jailed in 2006 for distributing indecent images of children, went door-to-door with Labour in the run-up to the recent Risedale by-election.
He also spent two hours debating Trident and Syria at a Christmas party at Cunningham's, the former Furness Hotel, in Bath Street, Barrow.
Police contacted Mr Woodcock's office last Friday because of safeguarding issues surrounding Mr O'Carroll.
The Barrow and Furness MP said: "The idea of him using Labour activities to get the opportunity to prey on children is sickening beyond words".
He added that the most disturbing thing was the "pleasant and articulate" demeanour of "this highly dangerous man".
Mr O'Connell said he was upset by the MP's comments, adding that he had always had leanings towards Labour and it was Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader that made him join.
The convicted pervert denied he had intended to use the party as a way to push his beliefs regarding legalising sex with children.
He said: "I am going to resign straight away as the last thing I wanted to do was embarrass Mr Corbyn.
"I joined because I supported him and his policies.
"I had a long conversation with Mr Woodcock at a Labour event at Cunningham's. I spent about two hours with him. Not one-on-one but with three or four other new members.
"I bought him a couple of pints and now he has said some terrible things about me.
"We had a lively debate that night talking about Trident and Syria. I'm with Corbyn when it comes to Trident. It was a perfectly civilised debate and the atmosphere was very agreeable.
"I was campaigning during the Risedale by-election and there was a safeguarding issue in case children opened the doors."
He added that at no point was he ever on his own and was always accompanied by another member.
He added: "I will now step down from the party as I never wanted any of this or to embarass Mr Corbyn in any way."
Mr Woodcock admitted Mr O'Carroll was part of a group he was discussing politics with at the Furness Labour Christmas party.
PAEDOPHILE KICKED OUT OF LABOUR: Update on paedophile Tom O'Carroll in Barrow who thankfully has now been suspended from the Labour Party after I wrote demanding his expulsionPosted by
John Woodcock MP on Tuesday, 16 February 2016
He said: "I had no idea who he was at the time but meeting him then allowed me later to match him with images of him in the public domain.
"Looking back, the most disturbing thing about that meeting was how pleasant and articulate was the demeanour of this highly dangerous man - a million miles from the myth of the shifty paedophile who can be identified from his suspicious manner.
"The idea of him using Labour activities to get the opportunity to prey on children is sickening beyond words and I am glad that the national party moved swiftly after I became aware of his identity at the weekend.
"I will do everything in my power to keep people safe and am asking Labour and all other political parties to review their vetting processes in the light of this chilling incident."
Terry McSorley, chairman of Barrow and District Labour Party said: "We can assure the public that he will have no further involvement in any party activity whatsovever.
"Action was taken as soon as we became aware he was in the background."
The news horrified party members who called for him to be "immediately thrown out", on the basis he was jailed in 2006 for distributing indecent images of children.
Former Barrow mayor, Labour trade union representative and party executive, Terry Waiting, said he would leave if Mr O'Carroll stayed.
He said to get him removed as a member would take time as there was a process they would have to go through.
He said: "I would be very annoyed if he was allowed to remain and I would leave. It's not on. If he has a long track record and he has been in court then he has no place in the party."
Copeland MP Jamie Reed has echoed Mr Woodcock's call, tweeting: "Totally right."
He said: "It is absolutely right that the party have suspended his membership and hopefully he will be expelled from the party permanently."
Cumbria police said they were unable to comment.