Ministers under fire over 'dodgy' report into police's VIP paedo probe

Minister Kit Malthouse under fire over police complaints watchdog’s ‘dodgy’ report into bungled Operation Midland celebrity paedophile ring probe as he says Priti Patel is ‘considering her options’

Priti Patel is ‘considering her options’ for the future of the independence police complaints watchdog, her deputy said today as he came under fire over its ‘dodgy’ report into Scotland Yard’s discredited celebrity paedophile probe 

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse faced a barrage of angry questions over the actions of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), whose conduct is being examined by MPs.

He was taken to task over a report by the IOPC into Operation Midland, the bungled Met probe into into baseless allegations of child abuse against VIPs including Tory former ministers.

The 2019 review of Scotland Yard’s handling of complaints by ‘Nick’ – fantasist Carl Beech – recommended no officers face punitive action because they acted honestly even while making mistakes.  

Tory MP Tim Loughton said that the IOPC investigation had been a ‘whitewash’ and a ‘dodgy report that fails to grasp the seriousness of what has happened with Operation Midland’.

Asked if the Home Secretary might take action over the report Mr Malthouse said: ‘ At the moment she is considering her options.’

But asked what the options were he added: ‘I don’t have that to hand i’m afraid’.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse faced a barrage of angry questions over the actions of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), whose conduct is being examined by MPs.

Tory MP Tim Loughton said that the IOPC investigation had been a ‘whitewash’ and a ‘dodgy report that fails to grasp the seriousness of what has happened with Operation Midland’.

Operation Midland led to high profile former politicians being investigated on suspicion of child sex offences. They included the former Cabinet minister Leon Brittan.

Carl Beech’s ludicrous allegations were deemed ‘credible and true’ by the Metropolitan Police. He was later jailed for perverting the course of justice.

Operation Midland  led to high profile former politicians being investigated on suspicion of child sex offences. They included the former Cabinet minister Leon Brittan.

He was accused by Beech, whose ludicrous allegations were deemed ‘credible and true’ by the Metropolitan Police. Beech was later jailed for perverting the course of justice.

The fiasco not only cost the taxpayer millions of pounds but also severely damaged the reputations of other innocent public figures, including Field Marshal Lord Bramall, Edward Heath and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

The exchange came the day after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick appeared in front of MPs.

She came under fire over her role in Operation Midland yesterday as she admitted ‘many mistakes’ were made but stood by her decision to investigate Carl Beech’s ‘credible’ claims.

The Scotland Yard Commissioner told MPs public confidence in her force had been damaged by the disastrous multimillion-pound inquiry into an alleged VIP paedophile ring based on the lies of fantasist Carl Beech, known as ‘Nick’.

During a grilling by MPs, the officer appeared unclear about her role in the scandal, claiming first that she left the force before Beech was interviewed by detectives before clarifying she was Assistant Commissioner at the time. 

But she defended the decision to investigate Beech’s claims, even though it turned out he was a ‘very, very capable liar’ who had the ability to ‘lie in a credible manner’, she said. Her use of the word credible echoes former Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald in 2014 when he said he and senior officers believed Nick’s allegations to be ‘credible and true’. 

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