The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will investigate allegations of child sexual abuse made against the former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath as part of their Westminster investigation.
Allegations against Heath have been investigated by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Mike Veale. Operation Conifer has been investigating Heath over a period of 2 years and Mike Veale’s confidential report is due to be published in the next few weeks. It is has been reported that Veale believes that the claims made against Heath are, “120% genuine.”
A spokesman for the IICSA has said, “In the context of the Westminster investigation, the inquiry will be interested to see and consider the outcome of Wiltshire’s Police investigation into allegations against Sir Edward Heath.”
It is thought that there has been pressure placed on Veale not to publish his findings by Conservative MPs. It has been stated that as Heath is deceased and cannot be prosecuted the investigation is a, “waste of time and public money.”
However, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgeman has said, “Mr Veale has been wrongly vilified and there were powerful voices who would like to silence Operation Conifer. Mr Veale was a courageous and honest Policeman and must be allowed to complete his investigation, free of abuse, intimidation or pressure. There should be no cover up, regardless of any embarrassment to the Conservatives or anyone else.”
It has been reported that 30 people have given evidence to Operation Conifer and despite the individuals not knowing each other, they have given, “strikingly similar accounts of incidents”. It is further thought that the allegations were reported to the Police years ago but were “buried by the Establishment.”
A number of senior politicians have dismissed the allegations against Heath and are concerned that his reputation is being damaged by the investigation. However, in the Paedophile dossier compiled by Labour peer Baroness Castle, a member of Harold Wilson’s Labour Government in the 1970s, it was stated that,” Sir Edward offered young boys trips on his yacht and in a separate incident, one man claimed Sir Edward picked him up in the 1960s when he was a 12-year-old hitchhiking in Kent and lured him to his Mayfair flat.”
Wiltshire Police have said that their findings will be sent to the IICSA within six weeks. If you think you have suffered with abuse in the past, speak to our specialist child abuse solicitors team.