Search

Paedophile allegations inquiry over former Old Bexley and Sidcup MP Sir Edward Heath set to publish findings

PUBLISHED: 09:27 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:27 05 October 2017

Police investigating allegations that former prime minister Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile will publish their findings today. Chris Ison/PA Wire

Police investigating allegations that former prime minister Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile will publish their findings today. Chris Ison/PA Wire

The former prime minster was born in Broadstairs

The police force investigating allegations that former prime minister Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile will publish its findings today.

Wiltshire Police will make public the “summary closure report” of its inquiry into the former Old Bexley and Sidcup MP, who represented the constituency from 1950 to 2001.

The probe, called Operation Conifer, was launched in 2015 after Sir Edward was named as a suspect in an investigation into historical child sex abuse.

The findings will be passed to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is being chaired by Professor Alexis Jay.

Reports at the weekend claimed Wiltshire Police, which conducted the £1.5 million investigation, believed it would have had enough grounds to interview the late politician under caution if the Chatham House Grammar School alumni was still alive.

Operation Conifer has proven controversial since a senior police officer made a television appeal outside Sir Edward’s former home in Salisbury urging victims to come forward.

Friends and colleagues of the Broadstairs-born politician have said he was “completely asexual” and the child sex abuse allegations were “totally uncharacteristic and unlikely”.

Lincoln Seligman, Sir Edward’s godson, has called for an official inquiry saying there were serious flaws in Operation Conifer.

“My suspicion is that we will learn nothing from the report except innuendo and that really takes nobody any further forward, except it leaves a dark stain over a man who can’t defend himself,” he said this week.

“What we are looking for is a judge-led review of a: how the police have conducted Operation Conifer and b: all the evidence it has produced.

“We want a judge to look at that who will be independent and impartial and to me that is the opposite of cover-up, because we want the truth and we believe the truth will exonerate him (Sir Edward).”

Last year, the probe found no evidence that a prosecution against a brothel keeper was dropped because of threats to allege publicly that Sir Edward had been involved in sexual offences.

In November, Dr Rachel Hoskins, who was enlisted by detectives to examine evidence, said she had “exposed a catalogue of fabrication” at the heart of the probe and warned the force it should immediately end its investigation into a key accuser’s “pernicious” claims of satanic ritual abuse.

The leading criminologist also branded the inquiry “a disgrace” and said that, while the force had accepted her report, she had “little confidence” police would pass the findings on to MPs.

Speaking last month, chief constable Mike Veale said: “This investigation has followed and complied with national guidance from the outset and throughout and this extends to the publication of the report.

“The report will include detail of the scale and scope of the investigation, and a summary of its findings.

“It is important to stress that it is not the role of the police to judge the guilt or innocence of people in our criminal justice system.

“Likewise, it is equally as important for people not to speculate about the veracity of the allegations against Sir Edward Heath.”

Sir Edward, who led the Conservative government from 1970 to 1974, died at home in Salisbury in July 2005, aged 89.

Latest Bexley news

Saturday, December 16, 2017

If you’re planning to visit loved ones over the Christmas period, you might want to plan ahead if you’re using the trains.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Children and families minister Robert Goodwill visited the West Street Neighbourhood Nursery and West Street Children’s Centre to talk to parents, carers and staff.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Traders and shoppers enjoyed the fun-filled Sidcup Christmas Extravaganza on Saturday, December 9.

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Bexley primary school pupil has nabbed a top prize at the Perfect Packed Lunch Awards.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Police in Bexley have released CCTV footage today, Friday, December 15, of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a serious assault.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Metropolitan Police is reminding people to protect their homes from burglary during the Christmas period.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Residents in Bexley are deeply concerned about a spike in burglaries in the borough that appears to be specifically targeting the small Indian community.

Most read news

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Bexley Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder