Former PM Ted Heath allegedly sexually assaulted boys as young as 10

Former Tory MP who worked for Edward Heath This just doesn't fit

Former prime minister Sir Edward Heath would have been interviewed over allegations of sex abuse if he had survived, an investigation has revealed.

In its report the IPPC found no evidence to support the allegation that the case was dropped because the suspect had threatened to make allegations against Heath.

Britain has been rocked in recent years by a series of revelations involving the sexual abuse of children by public figures - including United Kingdom entertainer Jimmy Savile - and allegations that the British establishment may have sought to cover up historic abuse claims involving some former senior politicians.

"The disclosed offences spanned from 1956 to 1992, and each was alleged to have occurred whilst Sir Edward Heath was a publicly elected member of parliament".

Between 1990 and 1992: Heath also allegedly indecently assaulted a boy aged between 12 and 14 between 1990 and 1992 in a garden in Wiltshire, though the report warns tehre is undermining evidence for this offence that they would have nevertheless liked to have questioned him on.

Paul Mills, the police commander for the investigation, dubbed Operation Conifer, said Sir Edward would have been interviewed "to obtain his account in relation to the allegations made against him".

Operation Conifer was not the only high-profile police inquiry of recent times - set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal - to attract fierce criticism.

"Edward Heath was an extremely prominent and influential person, one of the most powerful people in the world".

"The allegations against him were of the utmost seriousness and from a significant number of people", Veale said.

Wiltshire Police said that two were later released without charge, while the third remains under investigation.

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The claims include: the rape of an 11-year-old boy in 1961 in a "paid sexual encounter"; the indecent assault of a 10-year-old boy in a public place in 1962; and the indecent assault of a 15-year-old boy during three paid encounters around 1964.

"Given these circumstances, it would be an indefensible dereliction of duty not to investigate the allegations against a former Prime Minister, even though he is deceased".

Claim: Heath allegedly assaulted, over clothing, an adult male during a chance encounter at a public event.

"It is no surprise at all that Wiltshire police should have concluded that they would have interviewed Sir Edward had he been alive".

Sir Edward had a reputation of being cold and indifferent towards women.

Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Armstrong of Ilminster and Lord Hunt of Wirral, friends of Sir Edward, issued a joint statement calling for an independent judge-led inquiry and described the Operation Conifer report as "profoundly unsatisfactory". "I believe this was the right moral, ethical and professional thing to do".

"The investigation did not know what it did not know", he said.

In it, he said the decision to undertake the "incredibly complex and challenging investigation" was "not taken lightly", but added he would not be "buckling under pressure not to investigate or to conclude the investigation prematurely".

The investigation opened when a brothel owner suggested she had information concerning Heath and the abuse of children, however, whether she made the statement or not was put into review.

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