Met Police payouts to Lords over child abuse claims

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image caption"Nick" accused ex-head of the Army Lord Bramall (left) and ex-home secretary Lord Brittan

The Metropolitan Police Service has paid compensation to retired field marshal Lord Bramall and the family of the late Lord Brittan over false accusations of child sex abuse.

The Met has not revealed the amount paid but it is reported to be £100,000.

Both men were accused by a man known as "Nick", who is being investigated for perverting the course of justice.

It comes after the Met's child abuse investigation, Operation Midland, was criticised in a recent report.

Lord Bramall, a Normandy veteran who retired from the House of Lords in 2013, was accused in 2014 of child sexual abuse by Nick.

Within weeks, the Met launched a major investigation and the following year Lord Bramall's home was raided by more than 20 officers.

His wife died before his name was cleared.

Former Home Secretary Lord Brittan had also been investigated as part of Operation Midland, and in addition faced a separate allegation that he had raped a 19-year-old woman. His home was also raided by officers.

Both cases against him were eventually dropped, but only after he died in January 2015.

Formal apologies

Then-Met Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised last year to former head of the Army Lord Bramall, ex-Conservative MP Harvey Proctor and the widow of Lord Brittan "for the intrusion into their homes and the impact of Operation Midland on their lives".

This came after all three men were accused of abuse by Nick, but later cleared.

Mr Proctor is continuing his legal claim against the police.

Operation Midland was a Met Police inquiry into claims a Westminster VIP paedophile ring abused children in the 1970s and 1980s. It closed in March 2016 without any charges being brought.

Former judge Sir Richard Henriques previously criticised Operation Midland for inaccuracies in search warrants used to search the homes of those accused, and failing to properly assess the credibility of Nick.

Sir Richard also said the investigation went on too long, and detectives lacked key information.

The Met was also criticised for describing the allegations as "credible and true" early in the inquiry.

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