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Ex-MP refers five former Met officers to police over false VIP paedophile claims

Harvey Proctor, 72, had his home raided by officers in connection to claims that turned out to be false.

Carl Beech and Harvey Proctor (CPS/Danny Lawson/PA)
Carl Beech and Harvey Proctor (CPS/Danny Lawson/PA)

By Margaret Davis, PA Crime Correspondent

Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor has reported five former Met officers to the police in a bid to spark a fresh inquiry into a disastrous investigation into false claims of a VIP paedophile ring.

At a press conference in central London, the 72-year-old announced that he had made a series of reports to Northumbria Police.

They include allegations linked to applications for search warrants in Operation Midland, an investigation based on false claims by fantasist Carl Beech, and a public statement by a detective early in the investigation that Beech’s claims were “credible and true”.

The officers concerned are former deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse, who now has a senior role at the National Crime Agency; ex-detective superintendent Kenny McDonald, detective sergeant Eric Sword, detective inspector Alison Hepworth and detective chief inspector Diane Tudway.

Watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct found no evidence of misconduct or criminality by the officers during Operation Midland.

Mr Proctor also told journalists he believes two complainants, known as A and B, who gave accounts that apparently backed up Beech, should be investigated for perverting the course of justice.

He told journalists he believes two complainants, known as a and b, who gave accounts that apparently backed up Beech, should be investigated for perverting the course of justice; and that a seven-month delay between the end of Operation Midland and starting the investigation into Carl Beech for making false claims should also be subject to inquiry.

Mr Proctor made the reports to Northumbria Police, which has referred the matters back to the Met.

He believes the Met should now call in an independent force to investigate.

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Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor (Danny Lawson/PA)

Operation Midland, that began in 2014, saw dawn raids on the homes of D-day veteran Lord Bramall, the late Lord (Leon) Brittan and Mr Proctor following a series of horrifying allegations that turned out to be lies.

Beech falsely claimed that he and other boys were raped and tortured in the 1970s and 1980s and that one young boy was even murdered by members of a VIP paedophile ring.

He is now serving an 18-year prison sentence for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.

The Metropolitan Police was heavily criticised over Operation Midland in an independent review of the case by former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques.

He reprimanded the force for believing Beech for too long, Mr McDonald for announcing publicly that Beech’s claims were “credible and true”, and officers for applying for search warrants with flawed information and for failing to close the investigation sooner.

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Carl Beech (CPS/PA)

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) received a referral from Northumbria Police on Thursday, October 31, 2019 following a complaint comprising criminal allegations in relation to five former MPS officers involved in Operation Midland.

“The MPS is assessing the complaint.”

The investigation and its aftermath are now under review by another watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

Members of the Home Affairs Select Committee are also looking at how complaints against police are dealt with, including the effectiveness of the IOPC and the role of local forces.

PA

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