Five police forces probe ex-UK PM Heath

  • 06/08/2015
Former British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath (Reuters)
Former British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath (Reuters)

At least five police forces are investigating child sex claims involving former British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

Detectives in Wiltshire, London, Kent, Jersey and Hampshire are looking into abuse allegations linked to the late politician.

The scope of police scrutiny widened after an investigation was launched into an alleged cover-up of a claim against Heath.

On Monday (local time) he became the most high-profile figure linked to historical paedophile allegations, when the police watchdog announced an inquiry.

This followed allegations a woman, named in reports as Filipino Myra Ling-Ling Forde, had been due to stand trial in the 1990s for running a brothel but the case was allegedly dropped when she said she would name Heath.

Forde was later convicted on two separate occasions of offences related to running a brothel from a residential property in Salisbury.

Scotland Yard has refused to confirm suggestions that Heath is being looked at as part of Operation Midland, a Scotland Yard inquiry into claims a VIP paedophile ring operated in the 1970s and 1980s.

Midland is part of a wider umbrella of investigations by Scotland Yard, dubbed Operation Fairbank, into allegations of abuse involving senior politicians and high-profile figures.

A man, now aged in his 60s, claimed he was raped at the age of 12 by the Conservative MP in 1961 but was branded "a liar and a fantasist" when he reported it to social workers two months later.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "In April 2015 an allegation of rape was made to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). An officer from Operation Fairbank interviewed the complainant that same month and obtained a full account. Support services were offered.

"However, after a full assessment of the allegation there were no lines of inquiry that could proportionately be pursued by the MPS."

He said the force was not prepared to discuss why that decision had been taken.

Heath, who led the Conservative government between 1970 and 1974, never married and was famously reticent about his private life.

One biographer concluded that he may have been a latent or repressed homosexual while another thought he was "pretty well sexless". He died at home in Salisbury aged 89 in July 2005.