Wednesday, March 23, 2016

British politician is CLEARED of triple murder and child abuse claims as £3m Operation Midland finally ends

Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor was today formally cleared of child abuse and murder allegations as Scotland Yard's £3million Operation Midland finally came to an end.

For more than a year Mr Proctor, 69, has strenuously denied historical allegations that he was part of a VIP paedophile ring that murdered three boys.

Mr Proctor is understood to be the last living person under investigation over the allegations of serial murder and abuse which were made against him and other high-profile figures by a solitary witness, a suspected serial fantasist known as ‘Nick’.

Today, the former member for Basildon and Billericay was told that police would be taking no further action against him, and called for a public inquiry into Operation Midland, the probe that was sparked by the allegations.

The decision to clear Mr Proctor is a humiliating climbdown for the Met, which had previously described his accuser’s allegations as ‘credible and true’.

'I have been advised that the Metropolitan Police Service have informed my solicitors that they intend to take no further action with regard to my involvement with Operation Midland,' he said.

'I wish to make a short statement. I will make a longer one on the publication of my book “Credible and True. The Political and Personal Memoir of K. Harvey Proctor” on Tuesday, 29th March 2016.

'I believe Operation Midland should now be the subject of a truly independent public inquiry.

'I consider that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Patricia Gallan, Steve Rodhouse and Kenny McDonald should tender their resignations from the Metropolitan Police Service forthwith.'

He also called for Nick and news website ExaroNews, which has run a series of stories on the investigation, to be prosecuted for allegedly 'seeking to pervert the course of justice'.

At lunchtime today, a senior officer updated Mr Proctor’s solicitor on the bungled 15-month investigation, which has seen the former MP interviewed under caution and his home in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, raided by police.

Mr Proctor, who was twice interviewed under caution as part of Operation Midland, consistently denied any wrongdoing, and said he was the victim of a homosexual witch hunt.

As revealed by the Mail last month, Operation Midland, which has involved 27 officers and cost more than £2million, had uncovered no evidence to substantiate claims that senior politicians and defence chiefs had been part of a murderous paedophile ring.

The main witness, who uses the pseudonym Nick, has been discredited as a fantasist and critics have called for him – and anyone who encouraged him to make false allegations - to be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.

Nick claimed to have witnessed the murder of three boys by a gang including former Prime Minister Edward Heath, the late ex home secretary Leon Brittan and a string of ex-spymasters.

He also alleged he was abused by Britain’s most distinguished living soldier, Field Marshal Lord Bramall, 92, whose home was raided in front of his dying wife before he was interviewed under caution.

In January, 10 months after police ransacked his home, Lord Bramall, a former head of the Army, was told he would face no charges but since then Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has repeatedly refused to apologise to him.

Last month, Sir Bernard was snubbed over a new long-term contract as he tried to justify sending 22 officers to raid Lord Bramall’s home at breakfast time.

The Met chief had originally hoped to receive a three-year extension to his current five-year deal, but amid the continuing furore over Operation Midland, Theresa May announced he would only get a further 12 months in the job.

The Home Secretary’s decision weakened Sir Bernard’s authority at the Met and led one of his arch critics to brand him a ‘lame-duck’ commissioner who was now effectively on ‘probation’.

Home Office sources believe he will leave later this year. It is believed Mrs May is already giving ‘serious consideration’ to the idea of recruiting his successor from overseas.

The commissioner's future had been in the balance following the Met’s shambolic child sex investigation into former Armed Forces chief and D-Day veteran Lord Bramall.

In the face of widespread criticism, Sir Bernard launched a fight-back, setting up an ‘independent’ inquiry into his force’s handling of historical sexual allegations against public figures, to be led by retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques.

However, the Met chief sparked a secrecy row by saying only the key findings of the report will be made public.

And friends of Lord Bramall and Lord Brittan claimed the move was a ‘blatant’ attempt to kick the row into the long grass.

Lord Brittan’s widow is said to be deeply unhappy about how the Met has handled Nick’s allegations against her late husband, and separate false rape claims made against him by a suspected fantasist known as Jane. The claims made by Nick relate to the period between 1975 and 1984, when he was aged between seven and 16.

The Met later confirmed that Operation Midland had now closed, after leading officer Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse had found there was not enough evidence for anyone to be charged.

'The credibility of the allegations was assessed after a process involving extended questioning of the complainant by specialist child protection detectives,' the Force's statement said. 'Following the assessment, an investigation was launched.'

Earlier today, Mr Proctor said deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, fellow Labour MP John Mann and London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith 'should hang their heads in shame', for making 'self-serving' comments on claims that a VIP child sex ring ran out of Westminster.

Mr Proctor accused the Met and other police forces of being 'the leakiest of bodies' after details of their investigation, including a search of his home, appeared in the media.

The resulting coverage 'engulfed me and destroyed my life', he wrote, as he issued a plea to Parliament to 'redress the imbalance in the law in favour of people alleging sexual abuse'.

In the letter he criticised some of today's politicians who, he said, have 'courted press attention and constituency idolatry' by publicly commenting on the claims.

He wrote: 'The likes of Tom Watson, John Mann (who described me on the day of my house search as 'the first of many') and Zac Goldsmith should hang their heads in shame - I doubt they will do so as by their words they have shown themselves to be the antithesis of their sobriquet in parliamentary terms, 'honourable' men.

'I only hope in their lives they never face the turmoil that their varying degrees of encouragement to fantasists and the police has caused me this past year.'

'Operation Midland, and its ineptitude, should be investigated by Parliament and the lessons learnt applied to all cases,' Mr Proctor wrote, adding: 'The Met, and other police constabularies, are the 'leakiest' of bodies.

'Currently to pass on such information to the press or third parties is a disciplinary offence; it should be a criminal one.'

He also attacked the police for stating publicly that they thought Nick's claims were 'credible and true' as he called for Parliament to investigate the probe.

However he also called on MPs to support Mr Hogan-Howe to 'to stand up to the bullying of the child abuse fantasists on the internet', as well as make internet companies such as Google liable to defamation laws.

Original report here

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