Harvey Proctor has refused to give evidence to the judge-led review of the handling of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation of historic allegations of sexual abuse against public figures and accused it of being ‘a cover up’.
In February Scotland Yard appointed retired judge Sir Richard Henriques to head up an inquiry following criticism of the Met’s conduct of Operation Midland, the troubled investigation that focused on the activities of prominent figures from the worlds of politics, military and law enforcement at the Dolphin Square estate in Pimlico, south-west London.
The former Tory MP, who claimed that he was the victim of a ‘homosexual witch hunt’, has written to Sir Richard’s lawyer saying: ‘You are participating in a secret inquiry which is a cover-up and destined to become a ‘brilliant’ whitewash.’
In August last year Proctor, who has been arrested twice, called a press conference at which he catalogued claims made by the anonymous ‘Nick’.
‘Anonymity is given to anyone prepared to make untruthful accusations of child sexual abuse whilst the accused are routinely fingered publicly without any credible evidence first being found,’ said Proctor. ‘This is not justice. It is an abuse of power.’
Proctor, a Tory MP from 1979 to 1987 for the Essex constituencies of Basildon and then Billericay, named eight high profile figures who featured in Nick’s claims – including, the late Conservative politician Leon Brittan, former heads of MI5 and MI6 chief, ex armed forces chief Lord Bramall and the late PM Ted Heath – linked to the investigation. He repeated one particularly lurid allegation in which it was claimed that ex PM Heath stopped Proctor from castrating Nick with a penknife.
Proctor takes issue with the claims to independence of the Henriques review. He argues that Sir Richard was appointed by the Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe ‘who is in charge of the organisation that Sir Richard seeks to investigate’. ‘Sir Richard is to report his findings secretly and directly to Sir Bernard who has already announced it will remain private other than for what Sir Bernard wishes himself to be made public,’ Proctor writes. ‘It is effectively a private and secret inquiry set up by Sir Bernard himself.’
‘Sir Bernard is a prime mover and architect in why Operation Midland was a flawed investigation. You have been asked to investigate its shortcomings by the person who should be the focus of your investigation.’
Proctor also claims Sir Richard was the author of ‘a flawed and disputed report’ into allegations against the late Lord Greville Janner, also investigated under Operation Midland. It has been reported that the Janner’s family is also refusing to co-operate with the Henriques review.
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council's journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year's Criminal Justice Alliance's journalism award