Former UK PM would be questioned over rape

Aaron Brown
October 6, 2017

The former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath would have been questioned over seven allegations of sex abuse, if he had still been alive when the claims emerged.

"Of the large pool of allegations contained in today's report, six of them would definitively have led the police to interview Sir Edward under caution". Two were later released without charge and one remains under investigation.

The ex-PM, who never had a serious relationship, died in 2005 aged 89, four years after leaving Parliament.

None of the allegations for which Sir Edward would have been questioned relate to when he was prime minister.

But a probe launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the alleged historical corruption found no evidence that the retired officer's claims were true. The seven includes the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy "during a paid sexual encounter in private in a dwelling".

"The safeguarding and protection of vulnerable people will continue to be out primary reasons for conducting this investigation".

The findings will be passed to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is being chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, and which will likely consider the report as part of its efforts to see whether powerful people have been spared criminal investigation.

Lord Macdonald, the country's former top prosecutor, said police had been trying to "cover their backs" at the expense of a man who can't defend himself.

In it, he said the decision to undertake the "incredibly complex and challenging investigation" was "not taken lightly", but added he would not be "buckling under pressure not to investigate or to conclude the investigation prematurely".

Claim: Heath allegedly raped and indecently assaulted a boy, 11, during a paid sexual encounter.

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One offence of sexual abuse is alleged to have occurred in 1967 while Heath was leader of the Conservative party; another when he was trade minister in 1964.

An allegation that Ted Heath indecently assaulted a 10 year old boy in Kent in the company of another unknown man in a public location in 1962.

Heath was made Tory party leader a year later.

Sir Edward's godson, Lincoln Seligman, told Sky News: "What I want is a judge-led inquiry to look at those allegations as evidence - which is what the police have not done".

"It will now be a matter for others to evaluate and decide what steps should be taken in relation to the Operation Conifer findings...but I believe this represents a watershed moment for people and victims who have suggested or implied there has been a state cover-up of senior figures who may have been involved in child abuse", said the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Mike Veale.

Sir Edward Heath's reputation should not be left in limbo.

A former solicitor-general accused Wiltshire police of turning the inquiry into a "game show" following the publication of a report on Thursday.

Mr Veale added the inquiry was "politically sensitive" but denied direct pressure on investigators.

The report made public today is not the full version.

The investigation, which drew to a close in August, was sparked by a wave of allegations of historic sexual abuse following the death of DJ Jimmy Savile in 2011.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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