Category Archives: The Mail on Sunday

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.

 Scroll down for video

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 – “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 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)

 

September 10 2017 – “Sex Abuse Inquiry To Probe Ted Heath” – The Mail On Sunday – Front Page

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4869068/Sex-abuse-probe-investigate-Ted-Heath.html

Sex abuse probe WILL investigate Ted Heath over paedophile claims: Public inquiry set to look at explosive report by Chief Constable who says allegations against the ex-PM are ‘120 per cent’ genuine

  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will look at theoutcome of Operation Conifer, a inquiry into Heath by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale
  • His confidential report is due to be published in the next few weeks 
  • The developments came as one Tory MP warned his party not to try to stop Mr Veale from publishing his findings 
  • Findings of Operation Conifer support claims that Sir Edward’s alleged crimes were reported to police years ago but buried by the Establishment 

View comments

The controversial investigation into allegations that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile has been dramatically widened, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Officials at Britain’s biggest ever public inquiry confirmed that they are to study the findings of an explosive police report into claims that the former Prime Minister was a child abuser.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – set up to investigate claims that a Westminster paedophile ring was covered up by the Establishment – will now look at the outcome of Operation Conifer, a two-year inquiry into Heath led by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale. His confidential report is due to be published in the next few weeks.

The controversial investigation into allegations that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile has been dramatically widened, The Mail on Sunday can reveal

The controversial investigation into allegations that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile has been dramatically widened, The Mail on Sunday can reveal

A spokesman for the IICSA told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘In the context of the Westminster investigation, the inquiry will be interested to see and consider the outcome of Wiltshire Police’s investigation into allegations against Sir Edward Heath.’

It is believed to be the first time the inquiry has referred specifically to the Heath investigation.

The statement follows a little-noticed change on the IICSA website on August 30 that the scope of its Westminster inquiry is to be widened to take account of ‘recent police investigations’.

The amendment did not refer to Operation Conifer, but The Mail on Sunday has been told that it was linked to the imminent conclusion of Mr Veale’s probe.

The website added the IICSA would be ‘reviewing, collating and aggregating the work of previous investigations, some of which may not be in the public domain’.

The Mail on Sunday revealed earlier this year how Mr Veale defied pressure to call off his investigations because he believed some claims were ‘120 per cent genuine’.

The developments came as one Tory MP warned his party not to try to stop Mr Veale from publishing his findings.

Several Conservative politicians have called Operation Conifer, which has cost £1.5 million, a waste of time and public money. They say it is pointless because Sir Edward died 12 years ago and could never be prosecuted.

But Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said Mr Veale had been wrongly vilified and there were ‘powerful voices who would like to silence Operation Conifer’.

Mr Veale was a ‘courageous and honest’ policeman and ‘must be allowed to complete his investigation, free of abuse, intimidation or pressure,’ Mr Bridgen writes in today’s Mail on Sunday. There should be no cover-up, regardless of any embarrassment to the Conservatives – or anyone else.

In February, this newspaper reported that more than 30 people had come forward to Wiltshire Police with allegations of sexual abuse by Sir Edward. The alleged victims were said to have given ‘strikingly similar’ accounts of incidents, even though the individuals were not known to each other.

According to some sources, the findings of Operation Conifer support claims that Sir Edward’s alleged crimes were reported to police years ago but buried by the Establishment.

Inquiry One: Wiltshire police probe

Wiltshire Police have been investigating child abuse claims against Sir Edward Heath for the past two years. Led by Chief Constable Mike Veale Operation Conifer has cost taxpayers £1.5 million so far and will finish in the next six weeks.

Led by Chief Constable Mike Veale Operation Conifer has cost taxpayers £1.5 million so far and will finish in the next six weeks

 

Led by Chief Constable Mike Veale Operation Conifer has cost taxpayers £1.5 million so far and will finish in the next six weeks

At one stage there were 20 people working on the case: six detectives, a PC and 13 civilian staff. They have interviewed Heath’s former friends, staff and sailing companions, fellow politicians and civil servants, and even examined his papers in Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

A panel of experts was brought in to provide independent oversight of Operation Conifer following claims that it was a witch-hunt, and a waste of money given that Heath is dead and so cannot be prosecuted. Two people were arrested and questioned following claims made as part of Operation Conifer but in April they were told they faced no further action.

After the investigation is closed, a summary will be published, while a fuller report will be handed to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to consider as part of its investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring in Westminster.

Inquiry Two: VIP sex ring report

The public inquiry into historic child abuse was set up by David Cameron in July 2014 after growing pressure from MPs and campaigners who feared the Establishment had covered up sex crimes by public figures.

Professor Alexis Jay became the fourth chairman last summer but immediately faced a fresh crisis as counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson, was suspended and then resigned

 

Professor Alexis Jay became the fourth chairman last summer but immediately faced a fresh crisis as counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson, was suspended and then resigned

But the inquiry struggled to get off the ground as the first two chairmen, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf, were forced to quit over perceived conflicts of interest.

The inquiry then chose New Zealand judge Dame Lowell Goddard to take over, but she too quit after a year in charge.

Professor Alexis Jay became the fourth chairman last summer but immediately faced a fresh crisis as counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson, was suspended and then resigned.

Several other lawyers left and a series of survivors’ groups severed their links over their concerns about the inquiry’s leadership, scope and lack of progress.

The inquiry finally held its first public hearing in February this year after spending some £20 million, but it could last as long as a decade and cost more than £100 million.

Some of those who said he abused them are believed to have told police they went on to commit sexual abuse themselves as a result.

Operation Conifer was set up in 2015 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, but Mr Veale came under pressure to abandon it last year after separate claims of a paedophile ring at Westminster involving the late former Home Secretary Lord Brittan and ex-Defence chief Lord Bramall were found to be groundless.

The claims investigated by Wiltshire Police, understood to date from the 1960s to 1990s, are not linked to the discredited evidence of the man known as ‘Nick’, who made the false claims against Lord Brittan and Lord Bramall. The Met has now apologised and paid a reported £100,000 compensation.

Allegations that Sir Edward was involved in satanic orgies have been dismissed as fantasy by one expert asked to review the case.

Several senior politicians have dismissed allegations against Heath as absurd and unfounded. Former Tory Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind complained Sir Edward’s reputation was being ‘besmirched’.

Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, who was Sir Edward’s private secretary in No 10, criticised the inquiry in a letter to The Times last week, saying the allegations were ‘totally uncharacteristic and unlikely.’

Lord Armstrong referred to unspecified ‘concerns about the conduct of the inquiry’ and called for ‘an independent review of the investigation by a retired judge’.

And Wiltshire Tory MP James Gray said: ‘I do not believe the allegations against Sir Edward. If Mr Veale fails to justify his inquiry, he will be in serious difficulties.’

Sir Edward’s sexuality has been the source of speculation for decades. Some believed he was gay, others said he was asexual. At one point, he was being investigated by five police forces: the Met, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Kent and Jersey.

The claims, some of which were proved false, include alleged links to a convicted brothel keeper known as Madam Ling-Ling.

A paedophile dossier compiled by Labour peer Baroness Castle, a member of Harold Wilson’s Labour Government in the 1970s, said Sir Edward offered young boys trips on his yacht. In a separate incident, one man claimed Sir Edward picked him up in the 1960s when he was a 12-year-old hitchhiking in Kent and lured him to his Mayfair flat.

A IICSA spokesman declined to say if the change in its official stance, as detailed on the website, was to enable it to consider the findings of Mr Veale’s report.

Wiltshire Police said it had not yet sent its findings to the national inquiry, but expected to do so within the next six weeks.

  • REPORTING TEAM: Simon Walters, Glen Owen, Martin Beckford and Brendan Carlin

Thirty alleged victims and an inquiry mired in controversy 

By Martin Beckford  

The police investigation into Sir Edward Heath was controversial from the very beginning.

Superintendent Sean Memory stood outside the gates of Arundells, the late PM’s home in Salisbury, to declare in a televised statement that ‘anyone who believes they may have been a victim’ should come forward.

Wiltshire Police has since acknowledged this was inappropriate, while Supt Memory is now on sick leave and being investigated for misconduct over an unrelated matter.

FLASHBACK: How The Mail on Sunday has reported the probe

 

The original claim under investigation was that the trial of a brothel keeper had once collapsed because she threatened to reveal how she procured boys for Heath.

But the Independent Police Complaints Commission watchdog later said there was no evidence of a cover-up.

More than a dozen people came forward to make allegations against Heath, who died in 2005 and who had been widely regarded as ‘completely asexual’ by friends.

Detectives were accused of going on a ‘fishing expedition’ by interviewing former Downing Street staff, Heath’s yacht crew and even the editor of Private Eye magazine, which had published jokes about ‘Sailor Heath’.

The most contentious allegation, however, was that Heath was linked to a network of paedophiles who held satanic orgies and stabbed children in churches.

The lurid claims were dismissed as fantasy by an expert in ritual abuse cases. Dr Rachel Hoskins concluded they were false memories unearthed in therapy.

She was also alarmed to discover that detectives were studying the discredited statements made by a man known only as ‘Nick’, who had falsely accused military chiefs and MPs, including Heath, of being part of a murderous VIP sex ring. After The Mail on Sunday revealed the astonishing allegations, Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale strongly defended his investigation, declaring in a rare open letter: ‘This is not a “fishing trip” or “witch-hunt”.’

Earlier this year this newspaper told how Mr Veale is convinced the claims against Heath are ‘120 per cent’ genuine.

The number of alleged victims to come forward has risen to more than 30 and some of their accounts are ‘strikingly similar’.

Because Heath is dead and so cannot stand trial, his guilt or innocence can never be proven, and so the controversy over the accusations will likely continue long after Operation Conifer finishes its work.

My party may not like it, but there must not be a cover-up, says Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire 

I was greatly concerned when I read a letter in the Times on Friday concerning the police inquiry into claims of historic child sexual abuse by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

The letter from Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, who was Sir Edward’s Downing Street private secretary, criticises Operation Conifer, led by Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale.

It refers to unspecified ‘concerns about [its] conduct’ and calls for ‘an independent review of the investigation by a retired judge’. In my view this is both unjustified and improper.

Lord Armstrong, who went on to become Cabinet Secretary, has made no secret of the fact that he thinks Sir Edward is innocent. He has described the allegations as ‘totally uncharacteristic and unlikely’.

With all due to respect to Lord Armstrong, I believe he would be well advised not to interfere.

He is not the only one who has criticised Mr Veale: he has been vilified by sections of the media and some of my fellow Conservative MPs.

My message to them is: Leave Mr Veale to do his job.

The timing of Lord Armstrong’s intervention is no coincidence. Mr Veale has indicated that he intends to publish a summary of the findings of Operation Conifer shortly. It would be wholly wrong if the Establishment had any part in this investigation.

It is natural that some will be sceptical about the investigation into Sir Edward. A separate inquiry by the Metropolitan Police, called Operation Midland, collapsed last year after the main allegations were found to be groundless.

For decades, rumours about Jimmy Savile were dismissed by institutions such as the BBC, terrified about the impact of negative publicity on their reputation

For decades, rumours about Jimmy Savile were dismissed by institutions such as the BBC, terrified about the impact of negative publicity on their reputation

Mr Veale declined calls to abandon his inquiry on the grounds that he believed the allegations concerning Sir Edward deserved to be taken seriously, on their own merit.

I congratulate him for doing so. I believe he is an honest, courageous and diligent police officer who deserves the chance to complete his investigation and announce his findings in public.

There are powerful voices who would like to silence Operation Conifer. My own party will be severely embarrassed if it transpires the claims against Sir Edward were true. But that is no reason for covering it up.

We have been here before. For decades, rumours about Jimmy Savile were dismissed by institutions such as the BBC, terrified about the impact of negative publicity on their reputation. It seems we have not learned our lesson. Sometimes the unthinkable does occur, and our knee-jerk reaction should not be to put a lid on it.

A brief period followed during which the chastened forces looked into historic allegations of abuse. But the process was tainted by a few bad apples who spotted the chance to revel in the limelight – and possibly make some money in the process.

But that should not be used by the Establishment as an excuse to shelve the entire process.

For all the problems associated with investigating these historic allegations, we have learned the hard way the perils of sweeping them under the carpet.

If we assume that all accusers are fantasists, we compound the distress of genuine victims who have carried their burden in secret for years.

As an MP, I have taken a close interest in trying to help these victims – the powerless against the powerful, battling to be heard when the weight of the state is lined up against them.

That is why Chief Constable Veale must be allowed to complete his investigation, free of intimidation of any sort.

Referring to the inquiry, set up when she was Home Secretary, Theresa May said last week: ‘If we turn a blind eye to this abuse, as has happened too much in the past, more crimes will be committed and more children will be suffering in silence.’

The Prime Minister is right.