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Thatcher's Tory Conspiracy Against the Labour Party

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According to Andrew Rosthorn (Lobster 51), Owen Oyston, the British Labour Party’s biggest private contributor under Margaret Thatcher, was the target of a Tory conspiracy that resulted in him serving a six year sentence for the rape and indecent assault of a young woman.

The group of Tories involved in this conspiracy included three government ministers, Sir Robert Atkins, Lord Waddington and Lord Blaker, Bill Harrison (property developer), Christopher More (private detective) and Michael Murrin (political activist). As well as Oyston, the group also attempted to smear several Labour politicians based in Lancashire. Sir Allan Green, the Director of Public Prosecutions, refused to prosecute these men. Soon afterwards, Green was forced to resign after being observed talking to a prostitute on a London street.

The new DPP got the message and Operation Cheetah was launched. This police inquiry cost over £20m. However, it failed to obtain any convictions, although it did achieve a lot of bad publicity for people like Derek Hatton, a strong opponent of Thatcher, who was eventually cleared of all charges.

Owen Oyston was convicted and served a six year period in prison. The Labour MP, Dale Campbell-Savours, has campaigned against his conviction. As he pointed out in the House of Commons in October 1998:

(1) No scientific evidence for rape exists.

(2) The police lost the original interview notes.

(3) The incident was not reported until two years after it took place.

(4) Miss J claimed that the rape and the sexual assault took place in 1991. The friend of Miss J, Lysa Rubotham, who was present throughout, insists that no rape took place.

(5) That the Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service concealed from his lawyers the fact that two documents in the possession could be used to prove his innocence.

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