UK

Operation Midland: Lord Brittan had 'no case to answer'

Lord Brittan Image copyright PA
Image caption Lord Brittan died in January 2015 aged 75

Lord Brittan would have had no case to answer under the Met Police's now-closed investigation into claims of a paedophile ring at Westminster, his widow has been told by police.

The late former home secretary had been investigated as part of Operation Midland, which was closed this week.

The inquiry had looked at claims of child abuse in the 1970s and 1980s.

Lady Brittan said a letter from the Met Police exonerated Lord Brittan. The Met declined to comment.

In a statement, Lady Brittan said: "On 21st March I received a letter from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) confirming that my late husband and companion of 35 years - Leon Brittan - would have had no case to answer with regard to allegations made against him and subsequently investigated by Operation Midland.

"This comes after the failure by the MPS to inform my late husband that he had no case to answer with regard to an earlier allegation, even though the MPS had already established this before Leon died."

Earlier this year, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised to Lady Brittan in person for not informing her earlier that her husband would not have faced prosecution over a separate rape allegation.

Lord Brittan died in January last year unaware the investigation into the claim, which he denied, had been dropped.

'Questions to answer'

"We are pleased that the rest of the world now knows for sure what I, my family and Leon's friends have always known - that he was a dedicated public servant, a devoted family man - and innocent," said Lady Brittan's statement.

She said she understood that the force "had a duty to investigate these allegations", but added: "I believe that the MPS and its leadership have many outstanding questions to answer with regard to the conduct and strategic direction of Midland and indeed the earlier investigation."

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "It would be inappropriate for the Metropolitan Police Service to publicly comment upon, or confirm, the content of private correspondence."

Operation Midland was set up in November 2014 to examine historical claims boys were abused by a group of powerful men from politics, the military and law enforcement agencies.

Scotland Yard announced the inquiry had been closed on Monday without any charges brought.

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