Sir Edward Heath named as a suspected paedophile by police

Police investigated sex abuse claims against Edward Heath made by dead people

Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath would have been interviewed under caution if he had been alive to face allegations of historical child sex abuse, a report has revealed.

Those allegations relate to the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy; indecent assault of a 10-year-old boy; indecent assault of a 15-year-old boy; indecent assault on a male over the age of 16.

Wiltshire police defended their decision to pursue the investigation - but stressed today's report did not imply any inference of guilt.

October 1970: British prime minister Edward Heath chatting with United States president Richard Nixon (1913 - 1994) at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, the official country residence of the British PM. At the time Heath was MP for Bexley and Lord Privy Seal in Harold Macmillan's government with responsibility for negotiating the UK's first attempt to join the European Economic Community. Was Sir Edward Heath a paedophile or was he not?

Wiltshire police said in a statement: "Wiltshire Police carried out an impartial and thorough investigation in line with national guidance from the College of Policing".

Investigators had begun reviewing allegations against Mr. Heath when a retired police officer came forward in 2014 with information about a 1994 trial that had been "discontinued", the police said.

Police added that two people may have attempted to mislead them by alleging abuse, with one of them making three disclosures purporting to be three different people.

Officers have been investigating sex abuse claims against Heath, who died in 2005 aged 89.

When sexual consent for a paid sexual act was withdrawn in a hotel in Wiltshire, Sir Edward Heath indecently assaulted an adult man around 1992. He remains the only British Prime Minister to have won a major global sporting trophy whilst in office.

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"It will now be a matter for others to evaluate and decide what steps should be taken in relation to the Operation Conifer findings...but I believe this represents a watershed moment for people and victims who have suggested or implied there has been a state cover-up of senior figures who may have been involved in child abuse", said the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Mike Veale. "I knew him as a child".

"When I grew up I formed a closer relationship with him".

One of the people was cautioned by officers while another is now being investigated.

A former solicitor-general accused Wiltshire police of turning the inquiry into a "game show" following the publication of a report on Thursday.

It will also look into allegations about child abuse against two other deceased politicians, the former Labour MP Greville Janner and the former Liberal MP Cyril Smith.

Veale denied the investigation into Heath was a "fishing expedition" or "witch hunt" and vowed not to bow to "unacceptable" media pressure.

"If you make a mass appeal for victims you are sure to get them, whether they are legitimate or not", he told Radio 4's Today program.

There is a sweeping, ongoing inquiry into child sexual abuse in Britain that is aimed at discovering what those in power could have done to prevent abuse in various institutions across the country.

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