Category Archives: Edward Heath

October 15 2017 – “Ted Heath sex abuse expert: I’d never let him near children” / “Met DIDN’T probe claim by 11-year-old” – Mail on Sunday – Simon Walters

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4980996/Child-sex-expert-not-trust-Ted-Heath-children.html

‘I’d never let him near children’: Leading child sex abuse expert who investigated said she would not trust former Prime Minister Ted Heath were he alive today

  • Dr Elly Hanson says Ted Heath would not meet ‘modern safeguarding criteria’
  • She hit out at the ‘hostile’ response to police enquiry into the late Prime Minister
  • Compared it to the Harvey Weinstein scandal in being late to surface in media 

One of Britain’s leading experts on child sex abuse who took part in the investigation into paedophile claims against Sir Edward Heath has said she would not trust him with children were he alive today.

Dr Elly Hanson, a clinical psychologist who specialises in abuse and trauma, said her opinion was based on secret evidence obtained by police concerning Sir Edward’s alleged crimes.

She also criticised the ‘hostile’ response to the police inquiry into the former Prime Minister, who died in 2005, which said he should be questioned under caution over the abuse allegations if he were alive.

Dr Hanson compared the response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the silence that shrouded his alleged behaviour before this month’s revelations, arguing that it deterred other sex abuse victims from reporting crimes.

She spoke out after Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale faced pressure to resign over claims that he was ‘duped’ by ‘fantasist’ allegations against Sir Edward.

Dr Elly Hanson (pictured) , a clinical psychologist and one of the leading experts on child sex abuse, says she would not trust former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath with children if he were alive today 

Dr Elly Hanson (pictured) , a clinical psychologist and one of the leading experts on child sex abuse, says she would not trust former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath with children if he were alive today

A report by Mr Veale said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Sir Edward of young boys would justify questioning him under caution – though did not prove his guilt.

Dr Hanson told The Mail on Sunday: ‘On the balance of probabilities and based on the information I have seen, if I was asked to decide if Sir Edward should have access to children I would say he would not meet the modern safeguarding threshold to protect them from risk.’

One of four ‘independent scrutineers’ given full access to secret details of child sex allegations against Sir Edward, Dr Hanson praised the ‘professional, thorough and sensitive’ inquiry.

‘Just because a jury can never decide guilt or otherwise in this case does not mean we cannot or should not even look at it,’ she said.

‘Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and Harvey Weinstein are all innocent in the eyes of the law, but we have been able to have a discussion about what they are alleged to have done.

Yet some appear to think we are not entitled to have the same discussion about Sir Edward Heath.

‘I am not saying he is in the same category as them, or that he is guilty. But in my view, the fact that he was Prime Minister makes it all the more important that we can discuss it.’

She said some of the evidence obtained by police was ‘very compelling’, often with ‘supporting information’.

Dr Hanson said: ‘The hostile response by some to the inquiry into Sir Edward Heath is disappointing. To label everyone who comes forward as fantasist is unfair and unhelpful. It sends completely the wrong message to all victims of sexual abuse.

‘As we have seen in the Weinstein case, if they feel they won’t be listened to they will remain silent.’

A recent report said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Ted Heath (pictured) of young boys would justify questioning him under caution

A recent report said seven of 42 allegations of assault by Ted Heath (pictured) of young boys would justify questioning him under caution

She was backed by fellow ‘scrutineer’ Perdeep Tanday, who runs a pharmacy business in Salisbury, Sir Edward’s home city.

Mr Tanday, appointed to ‘represent the public view’, said he was ‘shocked’ to learn from detectives of details of Sir Edward’s alleged crimes.

He said: ‘I always had great respect for Edward Heath as a politician but the allegations were shocking.

I believe the majority were 100 per cent genuine and convincing. The evidence was of a high quality and in many cases corroborated.’

Asked if he would have trusted Sir Edward with his three grown-up sons when they were younger, Mr Tanday declined to answer.

Mr Tanday, 51, added: ‘Unlike those criticising Mr Veale, I know the facts.

The evidence was gathered by detectives with decades of experience of investigating rape, murder and other serious crimes. I trust them.’

Mr Veale received further support from Wiltshire MP Claire Perry, former adviser to David Cameron on the sexualisation of children.

‘We would have been doing victims of sexual abuse a great disservice if we hadn’t investigated these claims and I fully support Mike Veale,’ said Ms Perry.

But Wiltshire North Conservative MP James Gray, who knew Sir Edward, said: ‘Mr Veale tried to make a name for himself on the back of the Jimmy Savile hysteria and came unstuck.

‘He has besmirched Sir Edward’s good name and should resign.’

The two other ‘scrutineers’, human rights QC Danny Friedman and surgeon Professor Vassilios Papalois, said Operation Conifer was ‘fair, sensitive and rigorous’.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4981076/Police-didn-t-investigate-boy-s-claims-Ted-Heath-abuse.html

Met police DID NOT probe claim by 11-year-old boy that he had been abused by Ted Heath because of policy not to investigate allegations against dead people

  • The now 68-year-old alleged victim reported made a complaint in April 2015
  • It was assumed the Met had investigated before deciding not to pursue the case
  • But it has been revealed it wasn’t looked into because of lack of ‘current risk’

A key criticism levelled at the police chief under fire for the paedophile investigation into Sir Edward Heath was exposed as false today.

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale has been condemned for including the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy by Sir Edward in 1961 among seven cases he said would warrant questioning the former Prime Minister under caution were he alive today.

Critics said Mr Veale had blundered because Scotland Yard ‘investigated’ the case in 2015 and ‘dropped’ it.

In fact, Scotland Yard did NOT investigate the claim because they secretly introduced a policy ‘not to prove or disprove’ child sex allegations against dead people, The Mail on Sunday can disclose.

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Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale (pictured)'s team did not investigate an 11-year-old boy's claim that he was abused by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath because of a policy not to look into cases involving dead people

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale (pictured)’s team did not investigate an 11-year-old boy’s claim that he was abused by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath because of a policy not to look into cases involving dead people

However Mr Veale’s team DID investigate it and found evidence that they say suggests it could be true.

The alleged victim of the rape, who is now 68 and went on to be convicted of child sex abuse crimes himself, complained to the Metropolitan Police in April 2015.

Four months later, the force said it had obtained a ‘full account’ from the complainant and, after a ‘full assessment of the allegation’, decided there were ‘no lines of inquiry that could be proportionately pursued’.

The statement was interpreted as meaning that the Met had carried out a full investigation and dismissed the claim as groundless – and was used to attack Mr Veale’s claim that the allegation was serious.

However, this newspaper can disclose that Scotland Yard did not investigate the matter because of its new policy on ‘response to allegations of sexual abuse against deceased suspects’ – which can be revealed for the first time.

In a statement to The Mail on Sunday, a Scotland Yard spokesperson said the rules state: ‘The purpose is not to prove or disprove the offence reported.’

Instead, the main aim is to find out if the suspect was linked to other abusers and prevent any ‘current risk to children’.

It adds: ‘A full and detailed criminal investigation may not be required to achieve this.’

By contrast, Mr Veale’s team was ordered to carry out a full investigation into the claims against Sir Edward, who died in 2005.

Rules set out last year by Operation Hydrant, the national police inquiry into all historic child sex abuse inquiries, said it was vital to ‘establish the facts and identify offenders deceased or not.

‘The closer to power, the greater is the duty to investigate.

Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath (pictured) died in 2005. Since his death it has been alleged he committed several sexual assaults against young boys 

Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath (pictured) died in 2005. Since his death it has been alleged he committed several sexual assaults against young boys

‘Due to Sir Edward’s prominence, it is particularly relevant to investigate allegations against him.’

Mr Veale’s supporters reject criticism for investigating complaints by ‘victims’ who may have gone on to abuse children themselves or were rent boys.

They highlighted research that suggests some people become abusers as a result of being abused themselves as young children.

A well-placed source said: ‘Wiltshire Police fully expected to discover the Heath claims were nonsense, and that if there was any evidence, it would be well hidden.

‘They were as surprised as anyone to find the evidence was there with telltale patterns of behaviour, but no one had really looked for it.

‘If, as they believe, some of the allegations are true, other police forces who failed to act in the past will have a lot to answer for.’

The controversy took a new twist yesterday after the alleged rape victim’s sister reportedly said her brother’s claims were a ‘crock of ****’. She is said to have called him a ‘born liar’.

Ted Heath would have been questioned over sex abuse allegations

 

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October 8 2017 – “Ted Heath police chief: Now probe ‘cover-up’ in Westminster” – Mail on Sunday [Simon Walters] + “At last…a policeman who isn’t just a political pawn” [Maggie Oliver]

http://tapnewswire.com/2017/10/police-heath-was-pedocriminal-cover-up-slips-up/

Police – ‘Heath was pedocriminal’. Cover-up slips up.

Ted Heath police chief calls for a new inquiry into a Westminster child-sex ring ‘covered up’ by the Establishment

  • Wiltshire Police chief Mike Veale was formally accused of leading a ‘witch hunt’
  • Back at his desk in Devizes he called for an inquiry into ‘sinister’ claims
  • He attacked idea sex abuse of ‘rent boys’ was less serious than abuse of wealthy 

Mike Veale has spent two years being assailed by the Establishment over his investigation into paedophile allegations against Sir Edward Heath.

The Wiltshire Chief Constable has had to bite his lip as mandarins, ex-Cabinet Ministers, Tory MPs, peers, members of the judiciary and media moguls lambasted his controversial Operation Conifer.

He was accused of being ‘stupid’, leading a ‘witch-hunt’, and told he would be forced to resign the moment it saw the light of day.

The police chief has called for an investigation into claims of a child-sex ring being covered up by the establishment

The police chief has called for an investigation into claims of a child-sex ring being covered up by the establishment

Well, it did on Thursday – and 24 hours later he was back at his desk at Wiltshire Police HQ in Devizes.

In his first major interview since the release of a report which said seven child abuse allegations against Sir Edward – including the rape of an 11-year-old boy – would warrant questioning the former Prime Minister under caution were he still alive, Mr Veale:

  • Called for a new inquiry to ‘lance the boil’ of ‘sinister’ claims that a Westminster child-sex ring was covered up by the Establishment;
  • Said he could have spent ‘two or three’ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper;
  • Attacked ‘sickening’ suggestions that the sexual abuse of ‘rent boys’ and those ravaged by drugs or alcohol was less serious than cases involving ‘wealthy people from Middle England’.

Married Mr Veale, tall and with a rugby wing-forward’s build, is not an obvious candidate for membership of the Establishment.

Mike Veale was dismissed as stupid when he headed the investigation into crimes alleged to have been committed by the former prime minister

Mike Veale was dismissed as stupid when he headed the investigation into crimes alleged to have been committed by the former prime minister

The 51-year-old’s accent retains the soft burr of his Somerset childhood; he left Midsomer Norton secondary school aged 16 and spent ten years on the beat.

‘I’m a down-to-earth guy, my social circle is not wine bars and gin and tonics,’ he says, smiling, before adding: ‘But I’m a bit more astute than a dogged old cop.’ Just in case you think he is a yokel in a uniform, which he isn’t.

He says a ‘relentless campaign by the Establishment’ to undermine him over the Heath inquiry caused him ‘the most stress and soul-searching I’ve had in 30 years. There were some dark days’.

His features, as fair and fresh as a cider apple, strain as he grapples with his tormentor – that ‘inanimate object’, as he calls the Establishment.

‘It can be quite sinister. I was told early on in Conifer, “You’ll lose your job, the Establishment will get you”. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe in Martians. I used to think, “What are these people on about?” ’

Asked if the Heath inquiry had changed his mind, Mr Veale replies in a flash: ‘Yes.’

Is he really suggesting allegations of a wider Westminster paedophile ring – dismissed as fantasy after a separate inquiry into ex-Home Secretary Leon Brittan and others collapsed – could be true? Each word of his reply is delivered as carefully and as slowly as a PC stalking a burglar.

‘If any, if even one bit of this [Conifer] is true, what did the Government know, the Civil Service, the security services? Those questions need to be answered.’

Surely, though, it’s all hearsay?

Mike Veale attacked the idea that sex abuse of rent boys is less serious than that of wealthy people from Middle England

Mike Veale attacked the idea that sex abuse of rent boys is less serious than that of wealthy people from Middle England

He won’t have it and points to the recent decision by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) to extend its scope to include claims of an Establishment cover-up – significantly, after they learned of the Conifer findings.

Highly laudable, says Mr Veale, but so far IICSA has done zilch about actually investigating it.

‘It needs someone to look into the potential for cover-up or a conspiracy.

‘In the last two years I’ve spoken to people who genuinely believe… there are too many people making too many assertions… around the Establishment.

‘Compelling, intelligent people who have moved me.

‘The boil needs to be lanced one way or another. If there is nothing to hide, open the doors.’

Mike Veale said he could have spent ¿two or three¿ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper

Mike Veale said he could have spent ‘two or three’ more years investigating Sir Edward if his officers had been allowed to dig deeper

Frustratingly, he won’t say more, citing the confidentiality of his inquiry. But it has the ring of a job application, not to join the Establishment, rather to expose it.

Far from going on a ‘fishing operation’ against Sir Edward, as some have said, Mr Veale suggests he barely touched the surface.

‘The reason it is not a witch-hunt is because it could have gone on two or three years longer.’

Police investigated only victims who came forward, instead of seeking them out as they normally would.

Mr Veale’s inability to give details of each case or any corroboration to protect anonymity played into the hands of those who said the accusations against Sir Edward were flimsy.

But claims that Mr Veale was not thorough are unfair. He ordered regular independent scrutiny checks. He even copied the BBC TV series New Tricks, starring Dennis Waterman and Amanda Redman, about retired cops who investigate unsolved crimes. His team of 24 officers included eight hard-nosed retired detectives.

The old-fashioned country boy air about Mr Veale, whose black shoes gleam like a guardsman’s, is matched by a progressive policing more akin to Notting Hill than Midsomer Norton. ‘The old CID attitude to rape was sometimes “blame the woman”. That changed.

‘It’s the same with child sex abuse. Victims must be able to trust police.’

Nothing riles him more than the insinuation that allegations made by former rent boys should be treated with scepticism because of their background.

‘It rolls off people’s tongues that it’s somehow all right because it’s a rent boy,’ he fires back.

‘The rent boy is just a kid. My son is 14. I’d be mortified if he was trivialised like that.’

He rages at the notion that allegations from ‘people ravaged by drugs or alcohol have little credibility but if it’s from a Middle England or wealthy background it must be true’.

He says that he ‘nearly went through the TV’ in fury when a bulletin suggested ‘police should spend more time investigating allegations by genuine victims’.

He says: ‘The inference that unless they’re from Middle England then they’re not genuine sickened me.

‘I don’t give a monkey’s what background victims are from or what position in society they hold.

‘We treated them all with respect and dignity.’

At last… a policeman who isn’t just a political pawn: MAGGIE OLIVER says Ted Heath police chief gave a textbook demonstration of how forces should be free from political interference

It’s not often that I have a good word to say about police chiefs. Greater Manchester Police bosses forced me out of a job I loved and top brass everywhere are usually too busy doing the bidding of politicians.

But there are still a few who aren’t political pawns. One is Mike Veale, the inspirational Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police.

Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference and able to investigate crimes without fear or favour.

'Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference,' writes Maggie Oliver, who exposed the Rochdale grooming ring

‘Mr Veale has given a textbook demonstration of how the police should be free from political interference,’ writes Maggie Oliver, who exposed the Rochdale grooming ring

He has been subjected to fierce Establishment criticism for investigating sex abuse claims against former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

Lesser police chiefs would have dropped the investigation by now, but not Mr Veale. He’s doing exactly what police chiefs should be doing – investigating serious complaints and not being deterred by the fact his force could arrive at a very inconvenient truth.

All too often, the threat of uncovering something politicians don’t want the public to know stops investigations in their tracks.

I know because it happened to me. As a detective for Greater Manchester Police, I spent years working on murders, rapes and child protection issues, helping eventually bring the Rochdale grooming gang to justice.

Maggie Oliver writes it was reasonable to investigate allegations from the time of Ted Heath, whose whip Tim Fortescue said he could never cover up a scandal involving small boys

Maggie Oliver writes it was reasonable to investigate allegations from the time of Ted Heath, whose whip Tim Fortescue said he could never cover up a scandal involving small boys

In 2004, I went to bosses and warned them that large numbers of Asian men were violently abusing white girls.

Even though I had strong evidence that would lead to convictions, the investigation was closed down. The police did not want to go there.

They were worried about damaging ‘community cohesion’. And the more I pushed for justice, the more I came under attack from bosses.

My chief constable said I was ‘too emotionally involved’. I was bullied, isolated and I eventually collapsed at work in a sergeant’s office due to severe stress.

I had no choice but to resign in order to speak out publicly and expose the truth. As a chief constable, Mr Veale is harder to silence and he is right to stand his ground.

Tim Fortescue, a Whip in Heath’s Government in the 1970s, boasted he could cover up a ‘scandal involving small boys’.

So there are very reasonable grounds to investigate allegations from this time.

I wish there were more like Mr Veale. When we return to a culture where police can follow the evidence without being petrified of the political consequences, we’ll all be better off for it.

 

October 8 2017 – “It’s never ‘tough’ to pick on the dead” – Mail on Sunday – Peter Hitchens

IMG_9510

This Portrait is in storage within the Cathedral Library [September 9 2017] – No Public Access [except on Heritage Open Days eg September 9 2017] – “Bishop Bell has a worldwide reputation for his tireless work for international reconciliation, the arts, education, and church unity. The House that bears his name provides a place where work in these areas can continue and prosper. The generosity of an Anglican Order, the Community of the Servants of the Cross (CSC) has enabled the purchase of the House. Canon Peter Kefford (Treasurer of Chichester Cathedral 2003-2009) was the prime initiator in establishing George Bell House as a centre for Education, Vocation and Reconciliation” Photograph: Howard Coster, 1953. It is the last portrait photograph of Bishop Bell.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4959468/Peter-Hitchens-says-Theresa-deserved-conference-saga.html

It’s never ‘tough’ to pick on the dead 

The spirit of justice seems to be dead in many parts of this country. I always disliked Ted Heath but I am revolted by the police treatment of him, and by some public reaction to it.

The police do not decide guilt or innocence. No man should be condemned without a hearing and we are all innocent until proven guilty.

Have we forgotten these ancient British rules? I hope not. Now I gather that the Church of England’s hierarchy are trembling in their cassocks about a report (soon to be published) into their disgraceful smearing of the late Bishop George Bell, a man of real courage and principle who makes them look like pygmies.

To appear as if they were tough on today’s real paedophiles (which they aren’t), these prelates condemned Bishop Bell on the basis of a solitary uncorroborated allegation made decades after the alleged crime. Blackening the names of dead men to boost your own reputation is a pretty wretched thing to do.

We can only punish it with contempt. But we should punish it all the same, or nobody is safe.

 

October 6 2017 – “The Police report on Ted Heath is a tissue of baseless innuendo and craven self-protection” – Daily Telegraph – Matthew Scott

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/06/police-report-ted-heath-tissue-baseless-innuendo-craven-self/

The police report on Ted Heath is a tissue of baseless innuendo and craven self-protection

Photo 
Wiltshire Police claims it is obliged to suspect Ted Heath of being a paedophile CREDIT: HARRY TODD/GETTY/FOX

The heavily “redacted” Operation Conifer Report into Sir Edward Heath consists of 109 pages of self-justification and virtually no evidence of any kind.  It is a document that is as empty as it is verbose. Its central conclusion, that were he still alive he would be interviewed under caution, tells us almost nothing.

It fails to make any sort of case against the former prime minister, but equally fails to lift the miasma of suspicion that will probably now surround him for all time. Speaking last December Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale said he hoped that the inquiry would “contribute to the wider picture of truth seeking and reconciliation.” If that was indeed the purpose, it will certainly not succeed.

Those who already believed that Heath was a villain will claim that the Report lends them support. Those who were sceptical will point to the fact that the vast majority of allegations…

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October 6 2017 – “We don’t know if Ted Heath abused boys, but it’s right to try to find out” – The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/05/dont-know-edward-heath-abused-boys

Illustration by Robert G Fresson
Illustration by Robert G Fresson

How could it possibly be true? The idea that Britain could have unknowingly harboured a paedophile prime minister, a man whose predilection for assaulting children didn’t stop him reaching the highest office in the land, is so grotesque as to be almost inconceivable.

We know about Jimmy Savile, about the MP Cyril Smith, about how horribly easy it can be to abuse in plain sight if enough people choose not to see. We know too about the suppression of inconvenient truth in scandals from Hillsborough downwards.

But still, a senior politician so obviously in the glare of the spotlight and so vulnerable to blackmail, raping and getting away with it? Even half a century ago, it’s still hard to imagine nobody would have known or had the decency to act.

Yet the findings of Operation Conifer require us at least to imagine such a thing. Were he still alive, Ted Heath would be in a police station now being interviewed under caution about seven separate alleged assaults, on boys as young as 10 and 11 as well as adult men. Indeed, it may only be the failure to imagine such a thing that prevented Heath from being interviewed while he was still here to defend himself.

We still await a ruling from the Independent Police Complaints Commission on three alleged historical failures by police to deal appropriately with concerns raised about Heath, and whether these were indeed missed opportunities to get at the truth. But it is surely not the alleged victims’ fault that Wiltshire police’s verdict – that it is impossible to say Heath was guilty, but equally impossible to find him innocent – feels so horribly unsatisfactory.

For if true, these allegations are cataclysmic, shaking whatever trust remains in the establishment to its foundations. Yet it is very much an “if”. Had Heath been questioned before his death, it is perfectly possible he would have been cleared. The ignominious collapse of the recent Metropolitan police inquiry into alleged abuse by a string of public figures, after its star witness “Nick” was discredited, is an uncomfortable reminder that victims can also be liars. (It remains hard not to see both Nick, and those whose lives he wrecked by accusing them, as victims, if only in Nick’s case of his own demons.)

Sir Edward Heath
Pinterest
‘It may only be the failure to imagine such a thing that prevented Heath from being interviewed while he was still here to defend himself.’ Photograph: Johnny Eggitt/AFP/Getty Images

It’s rare, but it happens, and perhaps especially when big names are involved. In the Heath case, police concluded that at least two of the many allegations against him they dismissed were deliberate attempts to mislead. Nothing in this murky affair is clear. Yet that hasn’t stopped a public rush to judgment, with some commentators crying witch-hunt while others claim there is no smoke without fire.

But if Wiltshire police couldn’t be sure about Heath after two years of investigation, then the rest of us aren’t going to crack the case based on gut prejudice alone. You don’t know. I don’t know. And yet there may be lessons to learn from this collective ignorance.

The Heath case is in that sense a prelude to the historical child abuse inquiry set up by Theresa May, which faces similar difficulties in following trails that may have long gone cold, but on a vastly bigger scale.

Despite the warnings that they weren’t set up to try individual cases, that their purpose was to give victims a voice and draw overarching general lessons rather than to prove guilt or innocence beyond the grave, the inquiry now led by Alexis Jay (after several false starts) also faces expectations it surely can’t hope to meet.

Yet the alternatives to opening this Pandora’s box all seem worse. Difficult as it has been, Chief Constable Mike Veale (who led the Heath inquiry for Wiltshire police) was right that it would have been a “dereliction of duty” not to investigate claims against such a senior politician. Silence would have been deadly not just for the victims – if that is indeed what they were – but for a wider establishment that now feels itself under siege. Into the vacuum would have crept any number of conspiracy theories.

Abuse victims everywhere would have felt publicly disbelieved and perpetrators, perhaps, relieved. The unforgivable failure by previous generations to ensure justice was done in child abuse cases confers a moral responsibility on this one to try. What the Ted Heath example provides is an early test of our ability to deal with the resulting messy ambiguity.

We don’t need to know whether Heath himself was guilty to grasp how such things could have been theoretically possible, and that is the key to knowing how to stop them. It could have been possible not only because of the culture of deference surrounding politicians 50 years ago, but because the word of a prostitute (several of the allegations relate to paid sexual encounters) or child could so easily not have been believed over that of the leader of the opposition. Time and time again, we see abuse going unchecked when the abuser is deemed more significant or credible than the victim.

That’s how it happened with the grooming gangs operating in so many British cities, exploiting girls in care and getting away with it because those girls were dismissed as trouble. That’s how it happened at the BBC, where nobody questioned the teenagers passing in and out of Savile’s dressing room because he was “the talent” and the talent was to be indulged.

It’s how it happened in churches and boarding schools, doctors’ surgeries and football clubs, and anywhere else – including within families – women and children were taught to submit to a higher authority who could not be questioned. It’s how it happens still in jury deliberations on so-called date rape cases, where he comes across as such a promising young man, and anyway wasn’t she drunk? To this day, opportunist attackers and abusers still single out the victims least likely to be believed; the troubled, the marginalised, the easily blamed.

But the lesson from all this is not to believe all victims unquestioningly. Rather, it is to refrain from disbelieving any group of people without good reason, and to follow instead where the evidence leads. Ironically, the single greatest danger to potential future victims may be precisely that rush to judge so many instinctively feel in the Heath case; the unthinking assumptions we all harbour, if we’re honest, about who looks most like the liar.

Gaby Hinsliff is a Guardian columnist

October 6 2017 – “Sir Edward Heath had a case to answer on sex abuse allegations, Wiltshire Police say” – Church Times

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2017/6-october/news/uk/sir-edward-heath-had-a-case-to-answer-on-sex-abuse-allegations-wiltshire-police-say

Sir Edward Heath had a case to answer on sex abuse allegations, Wiltshire Police say

05 OCTOBER 2017

Fixture: the blue plaque outside Sir Edward’s former home in Salisbury, where the appeal for victims took place

 

WILTSHIRE Police, at the end of a two-year investigation into sexual-abuse allegations made against Sir Edward Heath (News, 7 August 2015), have said that, had he still been alive, seven of the allegations would have led to the former Prime Minister’s being interviewed under caution.

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, this week defended Sir Edward. “There is a relatively low threshold for being interviewed under caution,” he writes (Comment). “It does not imply guilt. Only a court could determine that. Heath’s own evi­d­ence would have been essential to a fair process.”

PAInvestigated: Sir Edward Heath, photographed in 2000, aged 84

The investigation, Operation Conifer, began in August 2015 with a much-criticised launch outside Sir Edward’s former home in the cathedral close at Salisbury, where police appealed for any victims of sexual abuse to come forward. It has since been said that the Chief Con­stable of Wiltshire, Mike Veale, now regrets this choice of location, though not the appeal.

Altogether, Wiltshire Police in­­vestigated 42 separate allegations against Sir Edward, who died in 2005, from 40 individuals. Operation Conifer has also led to the investigation of other suspects.

It is understood that the police erred on the side of caution when choosing the allegations concerning seven different complainants. Two others were said to have been re­­moved from the list at a late stage. The seven includes the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy “during a paid sexual encounter in private in a dwelling”. Other allegations include one of rape of a male under 16, three of indecent assault on a male under 16, four of indecent assault on a male under 14, and two of indecent assault on a male over 16.

The collapse of a similar invest­igation, Operation Midland, into an alleged satanic paedophile ring in Westminster, based on the evidence of an individual later labelled “a fan­tasist”, made Wiltshire Police very cautious. A statement earlier this year said: “A panel of independent experts outside of policing are pro­viding ongoing scrutiny of the in­­vestigation to ensure its proportion­ality and justification.

“Furthermore, in line with recog­nised best practice, Wiltshire Police recently commissioned Operation Hydrant to undertake an independ­ent review of the investigation to ensure its ongoing proportionality and justification.”

None the less, those who knew Sir Edward dispute the allegations. There is, for example, a discrepancy over whether Sir Edward ever drove himself, denied by friends but af­­firmed in the police report. Details of this and many of the allegations, however, are withheld from the summary report, published on Thurs­­day, to protect the identities of those making them. Further evi­d­ence is said to exist in the fuller 350-page report that has been sent in confidence to the Home Office and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

In a further statement, Bishop Holtam said: “The investigation by Wiltshire Police has been very chal­lenging. Victims of abuse need to know they will be taken seriously, allegations investigated thoroughly, and that no one is above the law.”

Mr Veale said on Thursday: “The report does not draw any conclusions as to the likely guilt or innocence of Sir Edward Heath.” He was, however, “satisfied there are compelling and obvious reasons to investigate allegations made against Sir Edward Heath.”

Sir Edward Heath, who was Conservative Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974, was a member of the congregation of Salisbury Cathedral from 1985 until his death in 2005. The Acting Dean of Salis­bury, Canon Edward Probert, said that the report was likely to raise issues for people who might or might not be directly associated with this particular investigation.

“The Cathedral is fully committed to offering support for victims of any kind of abuse, and ensuring that their voice is heard.”

The case has a parallel with the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made against George Bell, a former Bishop of Chichester. Lord Carlile, appointed to investig­ate allegations, has completed his report (News, 25 November 2016), and its publication is expected in the next few weeks.

 

Complexity doesn’t imply criminality’: Nicholas Holtam on Edward Heath

October 1 2017 – “Heath ‘abused boys young as 11′” – Mail on Sunday – Oct 1 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4937366/Ted-Heath-abused-boys-young-11.html

Ted Heath ‘abused boys young as 11’: Bombshell police report details 42 assault claims and one ‘rape of underage male’ with two cases linked to ex-premier’s interest in sailing

  • The controversial report into paedophile allegations against Sir Edward Heath includes claims he sexually assaulted boys as young as 11 
  • Some of the more serious allegations are linked to the sailing world 
  • The report will say that seven of the allegations are sufficiently credible to justify questioning Sir Edward under caution were he alive today

The controversial report into paedophile allegations against Sir Edward Heath includes claims that he sexually assaulted boys as young as 11, it emerged last night.

Some of the most serious allegations, which include at least one rape and span his five decades as an MP, are linked to the sailing world. The former Prime Minister was a skilled yachtsman.

The report will say that seven of the allegations are sufficiently credible to justify questioning Sir Edward under caution were he alive today. One of the seven is said to involve the rape of an underage boy. Two were linked to his interest in sailing and allegedly occurred in Guernsey and Jersey.

The sailing connection: The former Prime Minister was a renowned yachtsman, and even won races on board his vessel Morning Cloud. Two of the abuse allegations against Heath - pictured on the yacht in 1975 - are linked to his love of sailing and are alleged to have taken place in the Channel Islands

The sailing connection: The former Prime Minister was a renowned yachtsman, and even won races on board his vessel Morning Cloud. Two of the abuse allegations against Heath – pictured on the yacht in 1975 – are linked to his love of sailing and are alleged to have taken place in the Channel Islands

It is thought that at least two of the other seven most serious allegations occurred in Wiltshire, where Sir Edward lived at Arundells, a mansion in Salisbury. It is not known if the alleged crimes happened there.

Two separate allegations are said to have been made by individuals in ‘prominent’ positions today. It is thought they were reporting the alleged abuse of others.

The Mail on Sunday has been told that at least one allegation relates to a boy younger than 11 but we have been unable to confirm this.

And according to one unconfirmed report, some claims refer to the music world – Heath was known as an orchestra conductor.

Ready for a backlash: Chief Constable Mike Veale

The astonishing disclosures come just four days before the findings of Operation Conifer – a two-year, £1.5 million investigation into Sir Edward – are made public by Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Mike Veale.

Mr Veale has faced fierce criticism from those who claim the allegations are fantasy.

Crucially, the inquiry does not prove Sir Edward’s guilt: its remit was limited to saying if the claims justified questioning him.

It is understood that the report rejects three of the main arguments used by Sir Edward’s friends to combat the allegations: that he would have few opportunities to commit such crimes because he couldn’t drive and never owned a car; that for most of his long career he had round-the-clock police protection; and that he was asexual.

The report says Sir Edward’s former police bodyguards said they did not watch him 24 hours a day and that for much of his political life he had no protection at all.

It says he could drive – though bizarrely there is no record of him having had a driving licence – and at various times owned a Rover 2000 and Vauxhall Viva.

And it says former aides said they were certain he did have consenting sexual relationships with adults.

STORY THAT’S DIVIDED WESTMINSTER

COMMENT By Simon Walters 

There is a sense of incredulity at Westminster as the clock ticks down to Thursday’s publication of the findings of Operation Conifer.

It appears we will officially be told there are genuine grounds to believe Sir Edward Heath may have been a paedophile. The report is to be unveiled by Mike Veale, Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police at its HQ in Swindon – a town better known for its ‘Magic Roundabout’ junction than cracking Watergate-style scandals.

If Mr Veale has been duped by fantasists, North Wiltshire Tory MP James Gray will be the first Westminster figure to call for him to quit. Mr Gray told me: ‘I knew Ted Heath and don’t for a minute believe he was a paedophile. If he was it would have come out long ago. If he produces firm evidence, I will be the first to apologise. If he doesn’t, he must go.’

Mr Gray can expect strong support from Sir Edward’s No 10 private secretary Lord Armstrong and ex-Tory Chancellor Nigel Lawson who have been just as scathing about Mr Veale.

But Mr Veale has backing from key police figures, including Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who is in charge of all UK historic child sex investigations, and Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton, who supervises national police operations. Both men have seen his report.

Separately, he receives support today from Tory Minister John Glen, MP for Salisbury in Wiltshire – Sir Edward’s home city. Most assumed Mr Veale would abandon Operation Conifer after an inquiry into claims of a Westminster paedophile ring involving Home Secretary Leon Brittan collapsed over bogus claims.

When we reported that he pressed ahead because he thought some allegations against Sir Edward were ‘120 per cent true’, some asked: how can Heath have committed such crimes when he had police bodyguards?

If, when Mr Veale makes his statement in Swindon on Thursday, it is all fantasy like TV’s Magic Roundabout, he can expect to depart the police force at the first exit.

But if it contains solid facts, few will be laughing.

Furthermore, the report says:

  • 42 claims of child sex abuse include at least one rape of an underage boy. Most alleged victims were boys aged 11 to 15;
  • Some were rent boys or from ‘low-life’ backgrounds. Others were boys he encountered elsewhere. Nine of the 42 claims were already on police files, in some cases for decades, but had been dismissed;
  • Allegations date from the mid- 1950s when he was Chief Whip to the 1990s when he was in his 70s;
  • Places where alleged crimes occurred are generally referred to as ‘public places’. At least one is said to have happened in a hotel. Two allegations were made by ‘senior professionals’. Mr Veale is expected to say that he went to great lengths to avoid errors made by other police investigations into historic sex abuse allegations, such as being taken in by ‘fantasists’.

Riddle: Heath outside his Rover - he owned cars despite not having a licence

Riddle: Heath outside his Rover – he owned cars despite not having a licence

One accuser is said to have made three bogus claims and faces being prosecuted.

Nor has Mr Veale shied away from examining his own force’s record. The inquiry was told by a retired Wiltshire policeman that plans to prosecute an individual in the 1990s were dropped when the person threatened to claim in court that they had procured rent boys for Sir Edward.

KEY QUESTIONS FACED BY THE POLICE INQUIRY

Why haven’t the 42 allegations come to police attention before?

A Several did but were dismissed as bogus. Mr Veale reopened complaints buried in police files. The report says some did not complain at the time because they feared they would be ignored in an age when such complaints against VIPs were rarely investigated.

Q If only seven ‘victims’ would warrant police action, are the others bogus?

A Not necessarily. Police erred on the side of caution, and at least two were left out of the top category at the last minute.

Q Since Heath had police protection for much of his life, how could he abuse young boys without police knowing?

A Police who guarded Heath said that they did not always watch him 24 hours a day. There were lengthy spells when he had no protection.

Q Some of Heath’s friends said he never owned a car.

A Heath owned two cars – a Rover 2000 and Vauxhall Viva.

Does the report prove Sir Edward was guilty of anything?

A No. The inquiry did not have the power to do that and would need more evidence even to consider recommending prosecution.

Q What happens now?

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said last month it is to study whether the report has any relevance to claims of an historic Westminster child sex ring and allegations of a cover-up involving Government Whips.

Mr Veale recruited eight of Britain’s most senior retired detectives to boost the 24-strong Wiltshire Police inquiry.

Mr Veale is expected to give a robust response to those who say it is pointless to investigate a dead man on the grounds that he can never be put in the dock, arguing that police have a special duty to probe alleged corruption in high places. Conifer was set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

No victims are referred to by name in the 100-page inquiry summary to honour a pledge of lifetime anonymity – although they are included in the full 350-page report given to the Home Office and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

This newspaper has been told the report lists the allegations against Sir Edward, who died aged 89 in 2005, in five categories:

1. Seven ‘victims’ whose accounts would warrant interviewing him under caution, including the alleged rape of a boy.

2. Sixteen ‘vulnerable’ cases whose accounts fall just short of similar action due to an ‘element of undermining evidence’, including fading memory.

3. Ten cases including ‘third parties’ – complainants who said others had been abused by Sir Edward but not themselves. When police tracked down the alleged victims in these cases they gave the same account, but named other individuals as being the person who had been abused. It is thought that they wanted to expose Sir Edward without admitting he had assaulted them. It includes people who are married with children and want to put the matter behind them but felt compelled to act as well.

4. Six cases including one individual who is to be prosecuted over three bogus claims. Three others withdrew complaints.

5. Three complaints were made anonymously.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘If this report shows there were serious grounds for believing Edward Heath was involved in the sexual abuse of children, it will cause a huge shockwave and it could indicate that claims of an Establishment cover-up of paedophiles in Westminster have been true all along.

‘When Theresa May was asked about the inquiry last week she said it was vital that all child sex abuse allegations are investigated properly. She is right.

‘The public need to be reassured that no one is above the law whatever their position in public life. It is interesting that some MPs and parts of the media appear so keen to vilify Mr Veale without knowing what is in the Conifer report.’

Friends of Mr Veale say he is ready to face down an anticipated hostile reception to his report from Sir Edward’s defenders. One said: ‘Mike’s view is that although Sir Edward is dead and cannot be prosecuted, the nearer you are to power, the more important it is to investigate alleged wrongdoing.’

Police chief has been pilloried… simply for doing his duty: MP JOHN GLEN defends the man who launched the Heath sex abuse inquiry 

If Sir Edward Heath were still alive today, I would be his local MP. His famous former home, Arundells, lies in the very heart of my Salisbury constituency.

So I was as appalled as anyone else at the manner in which the inquiry into sex abuse allegations against him began in 2015.

For a Wiltshire Police officer to stand outside Arundells to appeal for witnesses was insensitive.

Guard: An officer on duty outside Sir Edward's Salisbury home on the day the abuse inquiry was launched

Guard: An officer on duty outside Sir Edward’s Salisbury home on the day the abuse inquiry was launched

 

But over the past year, my anger at that ill-judged approach has given way to greater concerns.

I have watched with increasing disquiet as the inquiry has been subjected to repeated attacks seemingly designed to discredit it before it even sees the light of day.

And the man who took the difficult decision to launch it, Mike Veale, has been pilloried, his competence and professionalism questioned.

As someone who knows and respects Mr Veale, I find this deeply unfair.

In my constituency dealings with him, I have found him to be a dedicated and principled police officer.

In deciding to proceed with this inquiry, Mr Veale faced a profoundly difficult decision.

Sir Edward’s friends are understandably concerned that his reputation is not destroyed when he is no longer here to defend himself.

Given how other high-profile political sex-abuse inquiries collapsed, Mr Veale could have been forgiven for ignoring the allegations concerning Sir Edward.

Scotland Yard’s disgraceful hounding of former Tory Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan will have borne heavily on his mind.

I suspect that if Mr Veale’s main concern was his own future career prospects, he would never have launched this inquiry. Instead, he did what I think was the right thing and decided that every allegation of such a serious crime must be judged on its own merits, however unpleasant and controversial.

If there are victims of historic child sex abuse in this case, they deserve to be heard and have their allegations properly investigated.

Sadly, critics of Operation Conifer have casually conflated it with previous discredited inquiries, as if one set of unfounded allegations automatically disproves others in perpetuity.

Nothing could be more damaging to public trust in our police and political system.

Of course some mistakes will have been made in Operation Conifer, such as its launch. And in any such complex investigation, unfounded claims will have been made and unreliable witnesses spoken to.

But Mr Veale has made extraordinary efforts to ensure this inquiry is proportionate and appropriate.

This inquiry was never going to ‘prove’ Sir Edward’s guilt one way or the other.

Only a court of law can do that and obviously the former PM can no longer face trial. But Operation Conifer may at least shed some light on whether he should have done.

 

Police chief has been pilloried… simply for doing his duty: MP JOHN GLEN defends the man who launched the Heath sex abuse inquiry

If Sir Edward Heath were still alive today, I would be his local MP. His famous former home, Arundells, lies in the very heart of my Salisbury constituency.

So I was as appalled as anyone else at the manner in which the inquiry into sex abuse allegations against him began in 2015.

For a Wiltshire Police officer to stand outside Arundells to appeal for witnesses was insensitive.

Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale's competence and professionalism has been questioned after launching the Heath sex abuse inquiry

But over the past year, my anger at that ill-judged approach has given way to greater concerns.

I have watched with increasing disquiet as the inquiry has been subjected to repeated attacks seemingly designed to discredit it before it even sees the light of day.

And the man who took the difficult decision to launch it, Mike Veale, has been pilloried, his competence and professionalism questioned.

As someone who knows and respects Mr Veale, I find this deeply unfair.

In my constituency dealings with him, I have found him to be a dedicated and principled police officer.

In deciding to proceed with this inquiry, Mr Veale faced a profoundly difficult decision.

Guard: An officer on duty outside Sir Edward's Salisbury home on the day the abuse inquiry was launched

Sir Edward’s friends are understandably concerned that his reputation is not destroyed when he is no longer here to defend himself.

Given how other high-profile political sex-abuse inquiries collapsed, Mr Veale could have been forgiven for ignoring the allegations concerning Sir Edward.

Scotland Yard’s disgraceful hounding of former Tory Home Secretary Sir Leon Brittan will have borne heavily on his mind.

I suspect that if Mr Veale’s main concern was his own future career prospects, he would never have launched this inquiry. Instead, he did what I think was the right thing and decided that every allegation of such a serious crime must be judged on its own merits, however unpleasant and controversial.

If there are victims of historic child sex abuse in this case, they deserve to be heard and have their allegations properly investigated.

Sadly, critics of Operation Conifer have casually conflated it with previous discredited inquiries, as if one set of unfounded allegations automatically disproves others in perpetuity.

Nothing could be more damaging to public trust in our police and political system.

Of course some mistakes will have been made in Operation Conifer, such as its launch. And in any such complex investigation, unfounded claims will have been made and unreliable witnesses spoken to.

But Mr Veale has made extraordinary efforts to ensure this inquiry is proportionate and appropriate.

This inquiry was never going to ‘prove’ Sir Edward’s guilt one way or the other.

Only a court of law can do that and obviously the former PM can no longer face trial. But Operation Conifer may at least shed some light on whether he should have done.

 

BREAKING NEWS – OCTOBER 5 2017

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/10318089/bbc-news-channel

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41503143 (Seligman)

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-abuse-heath/late-pm-heath-had-questions-to-answer-over-child-sex-abuse-claims-police-idUKKBN1CA101

http://news.sky.com/story/sir-edward-heath-would-have-been-questioned-over-child-sex-abuse-claims-say-police-11067641 (Seligman)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/sir-edward-heath-report-child-sex-abuse-allegations-investigation-inquiry-grounds-interview-caution-a7984256.html (Seligman)

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/sir-edward-heath-faced-investigation-claims-raped-young-boys-102557704.html

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/05/ted-heath-would-have-been-questioned-over-seven-abuse-claims-police-say (Guardian)

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/edward-heath_uk_59d5eca1e4b0becae80271dc?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D544576591_uk (Huff Post)

 

https://twitter.com/WillBlackWriter?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Will Black)

https://twitter.com/glindsay34?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (“Sir”)

https://www.davidicke.com/article/430937/sir-edward-heath-report-finds-grounds-investigate-former-prime-minister-child-sex-abuse-allegations (Icke)