Former PM 'would have been interviewed under caution'
- Author: Rogelio Becker Oct 06, 2017,
Oct 06, 2017, 0:22
Wiltshire Police set up the investigation two years ago, after several allegations of child sex abuse into the Broadstairs-born former minister. Sputnik spoke to an expert who said there was "credible evidence" Heath had abused young boys.
"All those who knew Sir Edward Heath or worked with him are, without exception, convinced that the allegations of child abuse will all be found to be groundless".
With a significant number of serious claims made against a senior political figure, it would have been irresponsible and unprofessional for Chief Constable Mike Veale to look the other way. "Heath's own evidence would have been essential to a fair process".
"All these allegations happened when he was an MP and some of them when he was Leader of the Opposition in the 1960s".
The report concerning Sir Edward says had he still been alive and interviewed under caution, 'his account would be as important as other evidence gathered as part of the wider investigation.
The allegations made to and the evidence collected by the police should be independently reviewed and an independent conclusion arrived at. After that it would have been up to the CPS to decide whether to prosecute him.
1961 Heath allegedly raped and indecently assaulted an 11-year-old boy during a paid sexual encounter in private in a dwelling.
But in May past year, the probe found no evidence to support the corruption claims involving madam Myra Ling-Ling Forde, who herself said she had no knowledge of misconduct.
Another boy aged 15 allegedly indecently assaulted in a chance meeting in a public building in Guernsey in 1967 when Heath was Tory Party leader.
Chief Constable Mike Veale of Wiltshire Police said detectives drew no conclusions about the innocence or guilt of Heath, who was Conservative prime minister between 1970 and 1974.
"No inference of guilt should be drawn by the decision to interview under caution", a spokesperson added.
"Our thinking is that he will be completely exonerated but I fear, even if he is, that damage has been done and that seems grossly unfair". "I don't believe any of the allegations", he said.
The allegations included child sexual abuse and rape and indecent assault, physical abuse and sexual abuse against an adult.
A raft of politicians from across the political spectrum has been accused of abusing children, including Liberal Democrat Sir Cyril Smith and Labour peer and former MP Lord Janner.
The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, this week defended Sir Edward: 'There is a relatively low threshold for being interviewed under caution, ' he wrote in the Church Times.
"The only prospect of closure if from the overarching inquiry into sexual abuse".
The police reports, however, will be considered by the UK's Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. 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.
Three offences, between 1976 and 1992, occurred after Heath had served as the seventh postwar British prime minister.
Politically he was a bitter opponent of Margaret Thatcher who eventually took his job as party leader in 1975.