Failed police probe 'disastrous' for genuine abuse victims, says cleared ex-MP
The failed police investigation into claims of a VIP paedophile ring has had "a disastrous effect" for genuine abuse victims, a cleared former MP has said.
Harvey Proctor, who was investigated as part of Scotland Yard's doomed Operation Midland, vented his fury at a press conference, calling on Home Secretary Theresa May to "consider her position".
He claimed that the public inquiry into historical child abuse and a separate judge-led probe into how Scotland Yard dealt with claims against public figures will be "a whitewash".
"The outcome of these two fake inquiries will be a whitewash and a cover-up and a deliberate exercise in kicking the issue into the long grass until the architects of the scandal have moved on to collect their pensions," the former politician said.
Operation Midland investigated claims that boys were sexually abused by a number of public figures more than 30 years ago, focusing on allegations made by a man known as 'Nick', and two other complainants who came forward later.
As well as sexual abuse, detectives looked at claims that three victims were murdered.
Mr Proctor was finally told last week that he would face no further action due to lack of evidence, after his home was raided and he was twice interviewed under caution.
Breaking down several times during the press conference at a hotel near Scotland Yard, the 69-year-old said: "It has been a harrowing time for me, my family and my friends. The trauma I have experienced I would not wish on anyone, not even on Nick."
Mr Proctor accused the police of being "too afraid" to shut down £1.8 million Operation Midland, the 16-month investigation that ended last week without a single arrest.
Addressing the alleged murders, he said: "There are and never were any bodies, they dug up no bodies, there were no names, no grieving families and no complaints because it was all a figment of one man's imagination, bolstered by a political glitterati and investigated by policemen who have watched too much Miss Marple and Midsomer Murders, and when they established the truth - some time ago I think - they were too afraid of each other and the media to pull the plug."
He later added: "Operation Midland has had a disastrous effect on genuine complaints of child sexual abuse both present and historical. I think it has been incredibly counterproductive."
In a lengthy statement announcing the end of the inquiry, Scotland Yard said detectives would continue to separately investigate the 1979 disappearance of 15-year-old Martin Allen.
Mr Proctor accused the police of giving his family false hope.
He said: "It is too cruel for words that the Metropolitan Police Service used the 1979 disappearance of Martin Allen ... in their closing statement on Operation Midland.
"This is on the strength of Nick's impression that Martin was murdered by a VIP paedophile ring. Allen's family have been given false hope by police as their cover to keep faith with Nick."
His solicitors have asked the Met to investigate Nick and agency Exaro News for allegedly "wasting police time and seeking to pervert the course of justice".
Mr Proctor said: "They did not reply. They have not investigated. They have fallen foul of not recording the report of a crime."
Scotland Yard said last week that there was no evidence that investigators were "knowingly misled by a complainant".