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Ted Heath 'completely asexual', says ex-aide

Sir Edward Heath was "completely asexual", according to one of the former prime minister's closest advisers.

Lord Armstrong of Ilminster said child sex abuse allegations levelled at Sir Edward were "totally uncharacteristic and unlikely".

The late politician is being investigated by seven police forces over the claims as the police watchdog probes Wiltshire Police over whether a report of abuse, allegedly made in the 1990s, was followed up properly.

Lord Armstrong, the Conservative leader's principal private secretary during his time as prime minister from 1970 to 1974, told the BBC he "never felt a whiff of sexuality about Ted Heath, whether it was in relation to women, men or children".

He said: "I knew him for 35 years, I worked very closely with him while he was prime minister and we remained friends for the rest of his life.

"You usually detect some sense of sexuality when you are friends or work closely with them. I think he was completely asexual. There are some people like that and I think he was one of them."

The claims were unlikely because Sir Edward was under the guard of Scotland Yard protection officers when at home and did not drive, Lord Armstrong added.

"It just seems to me highly unlikely that he could have escaped all that to do the kind of thing that is described," he said.

His comments come after a former brothel keeper claimed she had arranged male escorts for the former premier.

Myra Ling-Ling Forde, 67, said Sir Edward was a "shy gay man" but not a paedophile.

Sir Edward died at home in Salisbury at 89 in July 2005.

Lord Armstrong described the police's decision to speak to reporters outside Heath's house as "disgraceful" and said the investigation should have been carried out in private.

The peer told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think that the Metropolitan Police have shown how you should handle it.

"Clearly they have had allegations reported to them, they have investigated them and they have decided that there was nothing to them, but they have not gone public with all of that, they have done that as it should be done, in private.

"Clearly when criminal offences of this kind have been committed they ought to be investigated.

"But I think that the way that this particular matter has been handled, partly by the police, partly by the media, because the allegations are so unspecific and unsubstantial, that should have been done in private.

"And I think that the publicity for all this has been against justice and unfair."

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