Fresh abuse quiz for shamed Tory: Former MP Harvey Proctor to be interviewed for second time by detectives investigating claims of a VIP paedophile ring
- Already quizzed in March over claims he was present during abuse of boys
- Insists he did not attend ‘sex parties’ at apartments in Dolphin Square
- Former Essex MP is angered by the continuing insinuations against him
- Quit Parliament in 1987 after admitting ‘spanking sessions’ with rent boys
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor is expected to be interviewed for a second time today by detectives investigating claims of a VIP paedophile ring.
He was interviewed under police caution in March over claims he was present when underage boys were abused and murdered at Westminster ‘sex parties’.
The 68-year-old, who quit Parliament in 1987 after admitting ‘spanking sessions’ with rent boys, vigorously denied any knowledge of the abuse and deaths of three young boys.
He said he did not attend ‘sex parties’ at apartments in Dolphin Square near Parliament and claimed to be trapped in a ‘Kafkaesque fantasy’.
However, detectives from Operation Midland – which was set up to examine claims of systematic child abuse by a Westminster paedophile ring operating in the 1970s and 1980s – are set to grill him for a second time today.
The former Essex MP is angered by the continuing insinuations against him and is planning to release a lengthy statement at a press conference tomorrow.
The statement is expected to list the allegations, reiterate his firm denials and tell how he believes those wrongly accused of abuse can be protected by the law.
‘If someone faces allegations, of course the police should investigate,’ he told The Independent on Sunday.
‘But they have to produce some evidence. When people hear what has been claimed about what I am supposed to have done, they will find it both astonishing, totally far-fetched and hair-raising.
‘The police of course have an obligation to look into any claims, particularly given previous shortcomings. On Tuesday I will be open, frank and honest.’
Mr Proctor says his statement will be critical of the weight apparently attached to the evidence of a particular witness.
Mr Proctor said he did not attend ‘sex parties’ at apartments in Dolphin Square (pictured) near Parliament and claimed to be trapped in a ‘Kafkaesque fantasy’
He was first questioned after Scotland Yard officers spent two days searching his grace-and-favour home at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire in March.
Mr Proctor quickly proclaimed his innocence, denying any knowledge of abuse or murders.
Standing in the grounds of Belvoir Castle, he said he was ‘helping police with their inquiries’. At no stage has he been arrested.
Mr Proctor, who represented Basildon and nearby Billericay, was an outspoken hard-right Tory but left Parliament after pleading guilty to gross indecency.
The MP – who was given the nickname ‘Wacko’ – would order rent boys as young as 17 to call him ‘Sir’ or ‘Keith’ and pretend he was a headmaster as he caned them.
He was fined just £1,450 but the case signalled the end of his career because his confession followed years of vehement denials.
The 68-year-old quit Parliament in 1987 after admitting ‘spanking sessions’ with rent boys
Two months before his court appearance it was revealed how Mr Proctor was caught by security staff on holiday in Morocco with a naked 15-year-old local boy hiding under his bed.
He later went to work for the Duke of Rutland as his private secretary and in recent years has been responsible for ‘public and park events’.
The 1987 offences would no longer be crimes under current laws after the age of consent for homosexual activity changed from 21 to 16.
A friend of Mr Proctor’s who has seen a draft of his statement said last night: ‘I think people will find what he has to say is very powerful. People will wonder how anyone can begin to believe this stuff.
‘I think people will find it hair-raising that things can have got so far. He will be frank and forthright, but his statement won’t just reflect his anger, although there is plenty he could complain about.
‘He has thought long and hard about all this and the injustice that has faced so many of the accused, and is seeking to be constructive.
‘I think people will be genuinely horrified. He certainly doesn’t want to diminish the terrible things done to abused children, but what he was convicted of has nothing to do with that. I’m afraid the police will have questions to answer.’
Scotland Yard declined to comment last night.
BREAKING NEWS: Harvey Proctor is CLEARED of triple murder and child abuse claims as £3m Operation Midland finally ends
- Former Tory MP has always denied being part of VIP paedophile ring
- Allegations were made by suspected serial fantasist known as ‘Nick’
- He was told today that police were taking no further action against him
- Ex-politician calls for public inquiry into Operation Midland, the probe sparked by the claims
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor (pictured) was today formally cleared of child abuse and murder allegations as Scotland Yard’s £3million Operation Midland finally came to an end
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor was today formally cleared of child abuse and murder allegations as Scotland Yard’s £3million Operation Midland finally came to an end.
For more than a year, Mr Proctor, 69, has strenuously denied historic allegations that he was part of a VIP paedophile ring that murdered three boys.
Mr Proctor is understood to be the last living person under investigation over the allegations of serial murder and abuse which were made against him and other high-profile figures by a solitary witness, and suspected serial fantasist known as ‘Nick’.
Today, the former member for Basildon and Billericay was told that police would be taking no further action against him, and called for a public inquiry into Operation Midland, the probe that was sparked by the allegations.
The decision to clear Mr Proctor is a humiliating climbdown for the Met, which had previously described his accuser’s allegations as ‘credible and true’.
‘I have been advised that the Metropolitan Police Service have informed my solicitors that they intend to take no further action with regard to my involvement with Operation Midland,’ he said.
‘I wish to make a short statement. I will make a longer one on the publication of my book “Credible and True. The Political and Personal Memoir of K. Harvey Proctor” on Tuesday, 29th March 2016.
‘I believe Operation Midland should now be the subject of a truly independent public inquiry.
‘I consider that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Patricia Gallan, Steve Rodhouse and Kenny McDonald should tender their resignations from the Metropolitan Police Service forthwith.’
He also called for Nick and news website ExaroNews, which has run a series of stories on the investigation, to be prosecuted for allegedly ‘seeking to pervert the course of justice’.
He added: ‘I wish to thank my family and friends, my solicitors Raza Sakhi and Nabeel Gatrad of Sakhi Solicitors, Leicester and commend the free, inquisitive and independent minded media, who have all supported me over the last year.’
The decision to clear Mr Proctor was revealed exclusively by the Mail last month.
At lunchtime today, a senior officer updated Mr Proctor’s solicitor on the bungled 15 month investigation, which has seen the former MP interviewed under caution and his home in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, raided by police.
Mr Proctor, who was twice interviewed under caution as part of Operation Midland, consistently denied any wrongdoing, and said he was the victim of a homosexual witch hunt.
As revealed by the Mail last month, Operation Midland, which has involved 27 officers and cost more than £2million, had uncovered no evidence to substantiate claims that senior politicians and defence chiefs had been part of a murderous paedophile ring.
Mr Proctor, pictured in 1987, has strenuously denied allegations that he was part of a VIP paedophile ring that murdered three boys
The decision to clear Mr Proctor (pictured at his shirt shop in 1992) is a humiliating climbdown for the Met, which had previously described his accuser’s allegations as ‘credible and true’
The main witness, who uses the pseudonym Nick, has been discredited as a fantasist and critics have called for him – and anyone who encouraged him to make false allegations – to be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.
Nick claimed to have witnessed the murder of three boys by a gang including former Prime Minister Edward Heath, the late ex home secretary Leon Brittan and a string of ex-spymasters.
The decision to clear Mr Proctor was revealed exclusively by the Mail last month
He also alleged he was abused by Britain’s most distinguished living soldier, Field Marshal Lord Bramall, 92, whose home was raided in front of his dying wife before he was interviewed under caution.
In January, 10 months after police ransacked his home, Lord Bramall, a former head of the Army, was told he would face no charges but since then Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has repeatedly refused to apologise to him.
Last month, Sir Bernard was snubbed over a new long-term contract as he tried to justify sending 22 officers to raid Lord Bramall’s home at breakfast time.
The Met chief had originally hoped to receive a three year extension to his current five year deal, but amid the continuing furore over Operation Midland, Theresa May announced he would only get a further 12 months in the job.
The Home Secretary’s decision weakened Sir Bernard’s authority at the Met and led one of his arch critics to brand him a ‘lame-duck’ commissioner who was now effectively on ‘probation’.
Home Office sources believe he will leave later this year. It is believed Mrs May is already giving ‘serious consideration’ to the idea of recruiting his successor from overseas.
The commissioner’s future had been in the balance following the Met’s shambolic child sex investigation into former Armed Forces chief and D-Day veteran Lord Bramall.
In the face of widespread criticism, Sir Bernard launched a fight-back, setting up an ‘independent’ inquiry into his force’s handling of historical sexual allegations against public figures, to be led by retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques.
Nick claimed to have witnessed the murder of three boys by a gang including the late ex home secretary Leon Brittan (left) and a string of ex-spymasters. He also alleged he was abused by Britain’s most distinguished living soldier, Field Marshal Lord Bramall, 92, (right) whose home was raided in front of his dying wife
However, the Met chief sparked a secrecy row by saying only the key findings of the report will be made public.
And friends of Lord Bramall and Lord Brittan claimed the move was a ‘blatant’ attempt to kick the row into the long grass.
Lord Brittan’s widow is said to be deeply unhappy about how the Met has handled Nick’s allegations against her late husband, and separate false rape claims made against him by a suspected fantasist known as Jane. The claims made by Nick relate to the period between 1975 and 1984, when he was aged between seven and 16.
Last month, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (pictured) was snubbed over a new long-term contract as he tried to justify sending 22 officers to raid Lord Bramall’s home
Earlier today, Mr Proctor said deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, fellow Labour MP John Mann and London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith ‘should hang their heads in shame’, for making ‘self-serving’ comments on claims that a VIP child sex ring ran out of Westminster.
Mr Proctor accused the Met and other police forces of being ‘the leakiest of bodies’ after details of their investigation, including a search of his home, appeared in the media.
The resulting coverage ‘engulfed me and destroyed my life’, he wrote, as he issued a plea to Parliament to ‘redress the imbalance in the law in favour of people alleging sexual abuse’.
Mr Proctor previously revealed he faced allegations of murder, rape and abuse of young boys as part of of a group of men who abused children in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the letter he criticised some of today’s politicians who, he said, have ‘courted press attention and constituency idolatry’ by publicly commenting on the claims.
He wrote: ‘The likes of Tom Watson, John Mann (who described me on the day of my house search as ‘the first of many’) and Zac Goldsmith should hang their heads in shame – I doubt they will do so as by their words they have shown themselves to be the antithesis of their sobriquet in parliamentary terms, ‘honourable’ men.
‘I only hope in their lives they never face the turmoil that their varying degrees of encouragement to fantasists and the police has caused me this past year.’
Scotland Yard is yet to comment on the future of Operation Midland.
‘Operation Midland, and its ineptitude, should be investigated by Parliament and the lessons learnt applied to all cases,’ Mr Proctor wrote, adding: ‘The Met, and other police constabularies, are the ‘leakiest’ of bodies.
‘Currently to pass on such information to the press or third parties is a disciplinary offence; it should be a criminal one.’
He also attacked the police for stating publicly that they thought Nick’s claims were ‘credible and true’ as he called for Parliament to investigate the probe.
However he also called on MPs to support Mr Hogan-Howe to ‘to stand up to the bullying of the child abuse fantasists on the internet’, as well as make internet companies such as Google liable to defamation laws.
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