Lord Bramall condemns Met Police's 'absurd' child sex probe
Former armed forces chief Lord Bramall has launched a blistering attack on the Metropolitan Police for its handling of child sex abuse allegations against him.
The 92-year-old D-Day veteran, whose home was raided by police last March while he had breakfast with his terminally ill wife, said detectives "didn't bother" to get any corroboration for the claims before launching the inquiry.
And he said he was left to prove the allegations were not true.
The probe was dropped by the Met last month after an inquiry that saw him publicly named as a suspect.
Lord Bramall alleged that officers did not speak to witnesses who cast doubts on the allegations against him until 10 months after he was first spoken to.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, he said that had the allegations not been so serious, he would have roared with laughter.
Lord Bramall said: "Allegations had been made about me. I said, 'what are they?'. All they said was the allegation was I had abused an under-age male 40 years ago."
Referring to one specific claim, he added: "Hardly, if the man's a field marshal, he's likely to choose Remembrance Sunday to have a sex party.
"I just don't see how a level-headed policeman could have believed a word of it without corroboration, which he didn't bother to get.
"It was I that had to prove I couldn't have done it. The same with the sex pool parties ... absurd business of the policeman saying, 'can you swim?'. And I said, 'yes, I can swim'."
Lord Bramall described seeing the officer's face "light up" at this information.
He was questioned as part of the Met's Operation Midland - a controversial inquiry into alleged child sex abuse and murder linked to VIPs.
According to reports, that operation is on the verge of being scrapped, although Scotland Yard said on Wednesday that the probe was "ongoing".
The investigation was launched in November 2014 following allegations that boys were sexually abused by a paedophile ring centred around Westminster more than 30 years ago.
There were claims that sex parties were held at the exclusive Dolphin Square apartment block near the Houses of Parliament.
The inquiry - which centred on allegations by a man known as "Nick" - was ratcheted up when police announced they were also looking into the alleged murder of three young boys.
Scotland Yard said it would not comment on the new criticism from Lord Bramall, and in a statement last month refused to apologise for its handling of the investigation.
Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan said: "I fully recognise how unpleasant it may be to be investigated by the police over allegations of historic abuse.
"For a person to have their innocence publicly called into question must be appalling, and so I have every sympathy with Lord Bramall and his late wife and regret the distress they endured during this investigation."
In a lengthy statement, the senior officer said police would be put off investigating claims if they had to apologise when inquiries did not end with a suspect being charged.
"The Metropolitan Police accepts absolutely that we should apologise when we get things wrong, and we have not shrunk from doing so.
"However, if we were to apologise whenever we investigated allegations that did not lead to a charge, we believe this would have a harmful impact on the judgments made by officers and on the confidence of the public.
"Investigators may be less likely to pursue allegations they knew would be hard to prove, whereas they should be focused on establishing the existence, or otherwise, of relevant evidence."