A police investigation into allegations that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile is being closed amid claims it has found no evidence to justify tarnishing the former prime minister’s reputation.
The police chief investigating the claims said last month he was convinced that the allegations were ‘120 per cent’ genuine and that Heath’s vile crimes were reported to police years ago and covered up by the Establishment.
The £1 million probe has been subject to criticism since being launched two years ago, with many people saying it was a waste of tax payer’s money.
The inquiry, named Operation Conifer, is set to be closed in the coming weeks, but the findings will remain confidential.
Friends of the late Conservative politician have insisted that the Wiltshire police inquiry had found no evidence to implicate Heath.
The Telegraph reports:
A well-placed source said investigators, mostly retired detectives, hired a year ago on 12-month contracts had been told they were not being renewed.
“The inquiry is coming to an end. The contracts are up and have not been renewed even though there was an option to do that,” said the source.
Chief Constable Mike Veale will come under pressure to resign if his force fails to justify the investigation. Reports claimed he believed “120 per cent” the former prime minister was guilty.
Lord Armstrong, the former Cabinet secretary and Sir Edward’s principal private secretary from 1970 to 1974, said: “I simply don’t understand how the Chief Constable got himself into such a position. Some of the lines of inquiry they are pursuing are absolutely ludicrous.
“They have interviewed former staff at No 10 and asked them if they were ever aware of young men slipping in and out of 10 Downing Street. It’s absurd. You couldn’t slip in or out. There was a door with a policeman on it.”
Anthony Churchill, who crewed with the Tory leader on his racing yacht Morning Cloud, said: “If the police chief thinks it is 120 per cent likely that Edward Heath was a paedophile, then the crew of Morning Cloud would say it is 140 per cent certain he was not.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said of the final report: “Our approach to public confidence is to be as open and transparent as possible, and at the conclusion of the police investigation, the force will take advice as to what we can legally put in to the public domain.”