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scandal of the century

Everything we know about child sex abuse claims against Edward Heath

No fewer than seven UK police departments are now investigating the former Prime Minister.

Politics - Edward Heath - Cowes File photo of Edward Heath in 1971, during his term as Prime Minister. PA ARCHIVE IMAGES PA ARCHIVE IMAGES

SEVEN POLICE DEPARTMENTS in England have now launched investigations into child sexual abuse allegedly involving former Prime Minister Edward Heath.

There appears to have been a flood of allegations this week, since the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on Monday announced they were investigating claims related to the former Conservative leader, who died in 2005.

Here’s who’s investigating him, and what we know so far:


As you might have guessed from its name, the IPCC doesn’t conduct criminal investigations itself, but rather keeps tabs on police forces in the UK.

On Monday, the body said they were examining complaints about how police in Wiltshire, in south-west England, handled a separate child sex abuse investigation in the 1990s.

It is alleged that a criminal prosecution was not pursued, when a person threatened to expose that Sir Edward Heath may have been involved in offences concerning children.

The probe was launched after a tip-off from a retired senior police officer.

It had been claimed that Myra Forde, convicted in 1995 of running an underage prostitution ring in Heath’s home town of Salisbury, threatened to expose him as a client during an earlier investigation in 1990.

However, Forde broke her long silence yesterday, when her former solicitor told the Salisbury Journal:

My former client wishes me to make it very clear that at no stage did she state that Ted Heath was a client and at no stage did she threaten to expose him as a client of hers if the prosecution was continued.


Britain Former Leader 1989 file photo of Edward Heath sitting in the garden of his home in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Associated Press Associated Press

Also on Monday, police in Heath’s home county put out an extraordinary appeal for victims or anyone with information to come forward:

[Heath] lived in Salisbury for many years and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our enquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.
Some people may never have spoken out about the abuse they have suffered but we would urge them to please contact us and to not suffer in silence.

The appeal appears to have worked, with Wiltshire police issuing further statements later on this week, saying they have received, and continue to receive, “a number of calls” about the former PM.


Yesterday, police on the island of Jersey revealed that the former Prime Minister “does feature as part of Operation Whistle” – an inquiry into historical child sex abuse.

According to police, that probe was started late last year after they were inundated with historical claims surrounding care homes on the island, where shocking child abuse is thought to have occurred on a systematic basis, for decades.

The wide-ranging investigation involves 45 suspects, 13 of whom are “people of public prominence.”

Scotland Yard

Lord Sewel resigns PA WIRE PA WIRE

On Tuesday, the investigative website Exaro News reported the Metropolitan Police has for nearly a year been investigating Edward Heath, as part of Operation Midland.

That inquiry is centred on claims of historical rape and sexual abuse at the exclusive Dolphin Square apartments in the Pimlico section of London.

Part of that investigation involves claims that members of a “VIP” paedophile ring – including a then Conservative MP – murdered three boys.

The chief witness, now in his 40s, did not say Heath played any part in the killings, but claims he did rape him repeatedly, in several different locations.

Although BBC News corroborated the claim that the former PM was involved in Operation Midland, the Met Police issued a statement insisting it would:

…maintain its stance of neither confirming nor denying names of any individual who may or may not be part of this investigation.


Police in Kent, southeast of London, said they had received a report on Tuesday of a sexual assault in the 1960s.

The victim has named Sir Edward Heath in connection with the allegation. Detectives are making initial inquiries and will obtain a full account from the victim.

Other police departments

Edward Heath - Bloody Sunday Edward Heath in later life, two years before his death in 2005. EMPICS Sports Photo Agency EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

Today, Thames Valley police announced that news reports earlier in the week had elicited a further child abuse allegation against Heath.

Following recent media coverage in relation to historic allegations made against former Prime Minister Edward Heath, Thames Valley Police has since received information which we are investigating further.

This afternoon, Gloucestershire police confirmed they too had received a complaint:

We can confirm we have received an allegation against Sir Edward Heath.
The Constabulary has referred the allegation to Operation Hydrant (overseeing police inquiries into historical child sexual abuse) officers and we will be liaising closely with them to decide the appropriate investigating authority.

Also today, Hampshire police announced, without offering further details, that they were “investigating allegations” against Heath, who served as Prime Minister from 1970-1974, and was an MP for more than half a century, from 1950 to 2001.

This morning, North Yorkshire police specified that they were not investigating a specific allegation against Heath, but that they were:

Undertaking a comprehensive search of force systems to assess if there is any information or intelligence held in relation to Mr Heath.

Contains reporting by AFP.

Read: Ted Heath accused of raping 12-year-old boy>

Read: UK police – We believe witness who says an MP murdered a boy during an “abuse party”>

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