British parliamentarian Enoch Powell has been named in a probe into an alleged paedophile network.
The late Tory MP, who is regarded as one of the most divisive politicians of the 20th Century, was named to Scotland Yard by the Bishop of Durham amidst claims of 'ritual satanic abuse'.
The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, contacted police after Powell's name was passed to him by a former Bishop of Monmouth, Dominic Walker, who first heard the allegation when he was a vicar counselling young adults in the 1980s.
Mr Walker is believed to have warned the Right Rev Butler that at the time he was told of the claims against Powell, unsubstantiated allegations that an unknown number of MPs had been involved in satanic cult-type abuse involving children, were widespread.
The claim is being examined by Operation Fenbridge, one of a number of police probes into 'Establishment paedophile rings'.
A Church of England spokesman confirmed the reports stating: "The name of Enoch Powell was passed to Operation Fenbridge by one of our safeguarding team on the instruction of Bishop Paul Butler."
Mr Powell achieved notoriety with his Rivers of Blood speech, in which he warned about the dangers of uncontrolled immigration Britain. His political career ended abruptly in 1968 when Tory leader Edward Heath sacked him from the Shadow Cabinet the following day, although Powell remained an MP until 1974.
He is the latest senior Parliamentarian to be made the subject of police inquiries into alleged Establishment sex rings.
The Metropolitan Police has several ongoing investigations relating to claims against suspected abusers, including the former Liberal MP Cyril Smith. Detectives are also investigating allegations against former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.
In a further development to the sex-ring investigations, police are to be given access to secret files held on MPs in the House of Commons archives as they hunt for evidence on suspected abusers, including former Liberal MP Cyril Smith.
Multiple claims of satanic abuse were made in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the notorious case in the Orkney Islands during which children were removed from their homes in dawn raids. A subsequent Government-backed inquiry found there was no evidence to substantiate any of the 86 separate alleged cases.
Under safeguarding rules, implemented in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, institutions such as the Church of England now automatically pass allegations of abuse to the police for assessment.
Simon Heffer, who is Powell's authorised biographer, told the Mail on Sunday, which revealed the claims against the former politician, that he considered them to be "absolute nonsense".
Scotland Yard last night said it did not name individuals being investigated as part of its ongoing inquiries into the alleged sex rings.