Peer wants review of Sir Edward Heath abuse investigation

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Sir Edward Heath’s last private secretary has called for an independent review into the handling of juvenile sex abuse claims against the politician.

Operation Conifer concluded that the late Tory prime minister would have been interviewed second to caution over seven historical accusations.

But Lord Armstrong commanded Wiltshire Police’s report meant «the cloud of suspicion remains».

The regime said any review would be down to the local crime commissioner.

Asseverations against Sir Edward, which formed part of the two-year investigation, allow for the alleged rape of an 11-year-old.

However, police said no inference of crime should be drawn from the want to question under caution.

‘The unfeeling deserve justice’

Lord Armstrong told the House of Lords: «Edward Heath’s standing has been under a cloud of suspicion since August 2015, when an public servant of the Wiltshire Police made an ill-judged public appeal outside Sir Edward’s quarter for victims of child abuse — by Edward Heath and others — to come expedite and make themselves known to the police.

«The report of the investigation published myriad than two years later does nothing either to justify or to dispel that inkling.»

Calling on the minister of state for the home department, Baroness Williams, to set an independent review into the investigation, he added: «As he is dead, the normal purveyances and processes of the law are not available to resolve the matter and the cloud of suspicion remains be logical in the air indefinitely.

«My Lords, justice delayed is justice denied, the dead earn justice no less than the living.»

He received backing from Noble Lawson, who also called for a review into the «grotesque misuse of Brobdingnagian sums of public money» by the investigation.

But Baroness Williams said it was not for the guidance to intervene in police matters and the only elected official able to regime a review would be the local police and crime commissioner.

«Operation Conifer is an untrammelled police investigation,» she said. «It is not appropriate for government ministers to comment on an operationally unfettered investigation.

«I think the public would rightly be complaining if allegations were trained forward that were ignored by the police.

«I can see the sensitivities on all sides of the Bordello… but nonetheless if an allegation is brought forward, the police must enquire it.»

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