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Five police forces probe child sex claims against Ted Heath

By Hayden Smith

Published 05/08/2015

Paedophile Jimmy Savile and Ted Heath on set of Jim’ll Fix It in 1980
Paedophile Jimmy Savile and Ted Heath on set of Jim’ll Fix It in 1980

At least five police forces are investigating sex abuse allegations linked to Sir Edward Heath, it has been revealed.

On a dramatic day the former Prime Minister was named in connection with inquiries carried out by detectives in London, Kent and Jersey.

Late last night, Hampshire Police also confirmed it is investigating allegations made against Sir Edward.

On Monday Wiltshire Police appealed for potential victims and witnesses to come forward after the late politician became the most high-profile figure embroiled in historical child sex claims.

Reports subsequently emerged that Sir Edward is being looked at as part of Operation Midland, a Scotland Yard inquiry into claims a VIP paedophile ring operated in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Metropolitan Police has not confirmed the claims.

A spokesman said: "We are not giving a running commentary on Operation Midland."

The States of Jersey Police (SoJP) confirmed the former Prime Minister features in Operation Whistle, an inquiry into alleged historical abuse on the island. Operation Whistle was launched by police in Jersey in June as part of Operation Hydrant, a UK-wide co-ordination of sex abuse probes.

Later Kent Police said it had received a report of a sexual assault in the east of the county in the 1960s. A spokesman said: "The victim has named Sir Edward Heath in connection with the allegation. Detectives are making initial inquiries and will obtain a full account from the victim."

Wiltshire Police said its officers and the NSPCC had received "a number of calls" following appeals for information. The force said in a statement: "The investigation team will be reviewing the information and following up any lines of inquiry as a result."

A spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm how many people had made contact and the "validity" of the calls was not known at this stage.

It had received a mixture of "intelligence" and "third party" calls, she added.

Sir Edward's name was dramatically linked to paedophile claims on Monday when the police watchdog announced an inquiry into allegations that a prosecution against an individual was shelved after a threat was made to "expose" the politician.

A woman who was in charge of a brothel had been due to stand trial, but said she would expose him, according to reports.

The IPCC is also looking into whether Wiltshire Police followed up a claim made against him in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, a man claimed he was raped at the age of 12 by the former PM. The alleged victim, now aged in his 60s, has claimed he reported being sexually assaulted by the Conservative MP in 1961 but was branded "a liar and a fantasist".

Labour MP Tom Watson has claimed he passed information relating to two allegations of child abuse involving Sir Edward to police since 2012.

The Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation said: "We welcome the investigation by Wiltshire Police, which we wholeheartedly believe will clear Sir Edward's name and we will co-operate fully with the police in their inquiries."

Sir Edward, who led the Conservative government between 1970 and 1974, never married and was famously reticent about his private life.

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