A NOTORIOUS paedophile - who campaigned for sex with children as young as ten to be legalised - was invited to a House of Lords bash by a charity.

Tom O’Carroll, a former head of the Paedophile Information Exchange (Pie), which campaigned to lower the age of sexual consent, was among 60 guests who were thanked at a reception for donating money to Book Aid International.

Book Aid International is a charity which sends books to children in Sub Saharan Africa and around the world.

Speaking to a national newspaper at his flat in Barrow, the 73-year-old said: “I was kind of a guest of honour.

“A few years ago I did give a pretty substantial amount.

“I was invited by one of the members of the Lords, who is patron or chairman.”

In 1980 he wrote a book entitled Paedophilia: The Radical Case, in which he argues some sexual relationships between an adult and a child should be “normalised”.

O’Carroll was a key activist for PIE – which was set up in 1974 to campaign for a change in the law – and was once described as ‘one of the most infamous perverts on Earth’.

He was jailed in 1981 for ‘corrupting public morals’ and again more than two decades later for child sex offences.

He received a two-and-a-half year jail-term at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court in December 2006 for two counts of distributing indecent images of children.

Book Aid International’s chief executive Alison Tweed said: “We were all shocked to learn of Mr O’Carroll’s history. We have already taken action to sever all ties and will increase our vigilance for future invitation-only events. We hope that this incident does not in any way affect our ability to continue our vital work helping children around the world to achieve their potential.”

She confirmed O’Carroll donated less than £500 in total over three separate occasions since 2015 and this money had been refunded. No children were at the event.

A House of Lords spokesperson said: “The event sponsored by Lord Boateng, on behalf of Book Aid International, met the rules regarding the use of banqueting facilities in the House of Lords.

“Those who were invited to attend the event went through airport-style security on entry to the estate and were not left unsupervised. The organisation arranging an event and the member who sponsors it are responsible for who they invite to attend.”

Barrow MP John Woodcock said: “It is alarming that the charity apparently did not conduct checks on their donors given their focus on children, and I hope that this will be a wake-up call to this organisation and other publishers.”