Daily Mail - 01.08.2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1
Page 11


Daily Mail, Thursday, August 1, 2019

Yvette Cooper
says she wants
to consult
about a

THE Labour chairman of a Com-
mons committee was last night
under pressure to launch an inves-
tigation into the bungled VIP child
abuse inquiry.
Yvette Cooper yesterday refused to
commit to investigating Scotland
Yard’s Operation Midland in the wake
of this week’s explosive intervention
by retired High Court judge Sir Rich-
ard Henriques.
But Tory MPs on the home affairs com-
mittee that she leads said ‘natural justice’
demanded it should begin an investiga-
tion to find out what went wrong.
In an article for the Daily Mail, Sir Rich-
ard suggested detectives on Midland,
which probed the claims of the fantasist
‘Nick’, had used false evidence to obtain
warrants to raid the homes of Harvey
Proctor, former Armed Forces chief Lord
Bramall and ex-home secretary Leon
Brittan. He suggested police may have
broken the law.
His intervention has triggered demands
for: an independent criminal inquiry; for
Scotland Yard to publish Sir Richard’s
original report in full; and for police
watchdogs to look again at the issue.
Yesterday MPs suggested the home

By Jack Doyle Associate Editor

affairs committee should get involved
and launch a parliamentary inquiry as
well as question Met Commissioner
Cressida Dick.
Policing minister Kit Malthouse told
Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I have no
doubt that the home affairs committee
will probably want to look at this affair
in some detail and the Metropolitan
Police Commissioner will have to
appear and answer for the force.’
Under a previous chairman, the com-
mittee questioned Labour’s deputy
leader Tom Watson, who has been
accused of creating a ‘moral panic’
around alleged Establishment sex abuse.
But that probe took place before Nick –
real name Carl Beech – was jailed for 18

‘Too many have
been hurt’

From the Mail on Tuesday Wednesday’s Mail

... and mayor shirks call for probe too

F th M il T d




Wednesday’s Mail





years for his bogus claims of
child rape and murder.
Committee member and ex-
minister Tim Loughton said: ‘It
was clear from an earlier inquiry
when the committee took evi-
dence from Tom Watson and
senior Met officers ... that police
action was not evidence based.
‘It is absolutely right that poli-
ticians and other high-profile
public figures should be investi-
gated when allegations are
made but they should be sub-
ject to no less a level of natural
justice than anyone else.
‘Vulnerable public figures were

hounded by poor policing and
sensationalist journalism
ramped up by headline-seeking
politicians who should have
known better.’
Another committee member,
Sir Christopher Chope, said: ‘Is
this an issue of sufficient signifi-
cance that the committee
should be discussing it and con-
ducting an inquiry? Absolutely
yes.’ He suggested the terms of
the inquiry could be widened to
look at the ‘pressure’ put on
prosecutors to investigate.
Former first secretary of state

Damian Green said: ‘It’s clearly
an issue of significant public
interest that an important select
committee should look at.’
And senior Tory backbencher
Nigel Evans said the committee
should examine Mr Watson’s
role. ‘Yvette Cooper should be
campaigning for full disclosure
and whoever is damaged by this
so be it,’ he added. ‘There are
too many people who have been
hurt by this and hurt badly and
they deserve justice.’
But Miss Cooper said she
wanted to speak to other com-

mittee members before making
a decision. ‘I can’t speak for the
committee at this time. We will
have to talk about it. There may
be different views,’ she added.
On Monday the Independent
Office for Police Conduct
rejected Sir Richard’s
allegations and insisted it had
conducted a ‘careful assess-
ment’ of the allegations in which
‘no suspicion of criminality
was identified’.
The watchdog cleared three
Met officers of wrongdoing in its
lengthy inquiry.

SADIQ Khan has said the Metropolitan
Police will ‘learn further lessons’ from the
failed VIP child abuse inquiry.
But Mayor of London Mr Khan
appeared to back away from sugges-
tions of a further formal inquiry into
Operation Midland.
The Labour mayor has political
oversight of Scotland Yard

from City Hall and is responsible for
setting its budget.
He has come under pressure to inter-
vene in the case after former high court
judge Sir Richard Henriques accused
police of using false evidence to obtain
search warrants. However, a spokesman

for Mr Khan said that the mayor did not
want to deter victims of abuse from
coming forward.
The spokesman said: ‘The Met have
accepted they did not get everything right
in this case and will seek to learn further
lessons from this case.
‘It is very important that victims con-
tinue to feel able to come forward.’

By Associate Editor

Pressure on

Cooper as

she stalls

over inquiry

by Commons

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