Between 2014 and 2016, the Metropolitan Police hounded a number of prominent people as a result of false allegations of historical child sex abuse and murder. Operation Midland, as it was known, relied almost entirely on the claims of the fantasist, Carl Beech known as Nick, who in July 2019 was convicted of perverting the course of justice and fraud; he was jailed for 18 years (his appeal against the sentence is pending).
In 2016, a report by Sir Richard Henriques, a retired High Court judge, revealed a catalogue of shocking mistakes by the police. He identified 43 failings in all. None of the culpable police officers, however, has so far been punished.
One section of the report was withheld from publication. It concerned an allegation of rape made against Lord(Leon) Brittan by a female fantasist some 50 years after the alleged offence took place. The Met insisted on interviewing Lord Brittan as he was dying, even though by that stage the testimony of the fantasist had been discredited. It appears that they did this under pressure from Tom Watson, the current Labour deputy leader.
Sir Richard Henriques has called for the suppressed section of his report to be published. In the Lords on 30 September, Alistair Lexden asked the government to ensure that it is made public. He said: “Is there not an overwhelming national interest in ensuring that the report is published in full, so that all the lessons that arise from it can be learned? Is not full publication also essential to ensure, among other things, that complete justice is at last done to the late Lord Brittan, a great servant of our state ; and that those whose misconduct added to his distress and that of his courageous wife in his last days are exposed and dealt with?”
In its reply, the government did no more than confirm that “ the Metropolitan Police Service has already committed to publishing the report.” It was strongly pressed to get a firm date fixed for publication.
Follow the link to read the exchanges in the Lords… theyworkforyou