Scotland Yard officers swoop on Surrey home of former chief of the defence staff, Baron Bramall of Bushfield, as well as properties linked with Lord Brittan in a co-ordinated operation
Police investigating claims of a paedophile ring involving some of Britain’s most powerful figures have searched the home of one of Britain’s most senior former soldiers.
Scotland Yard detectives swooped on the family home of Field Marshall Lord Bramall of Bushfield, the former chief of the defence staff and a D-Day veteran.
It is not known whether Lord Bramall, 91, was present at the property at a leafy village near Farnham, Surrey, when the search took place.
Lord Bramall, pictured in 2000
It was part of a co-ordinated operation last week which also targeted properties belonging to Lord Brittan of Spennithorne, the former home secretary, just six weeks after his death.
Lord Brittan’s family home near Leyburn, North Yorkshire, and his property in Pimlico, north London, were visited by detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland, which was set up to investigate claims of child sex abuse by Westminster politicans and other VIPs.
The raids took place at the same time last Wednesday as police searches at the Lincolnshire home of Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative MP who was embroiled in a scandal involving male prostitutes in 1986, the Sunday Mirror reported.
Lord Brittan died in January aged 75 following a long fight against cancer.
About 20 officers from Operation Midland are understood to have taken part in the co-ordinated searches.
Forensics officers were also involved, it is understood.
Lord Brittan, who died in January
As Edwin Bramall, Eton-educated Lord Bramall commanded a platoon at the D-Day landings and led the Army as chief of the general staff during the Falklands campaign.
He was awarded the Military Cross in 1945.
Harvey Proctor, pictured in 1987
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We can confirm officers from Operation Midland, on Wednesday March 4, conducted searches at an address in Westminster, an address in Leyburn, an address in Farnham and an address in Grantham in connection with their inquiries.”
There was no answer at Lord Bramall’s home on Sunday.
The gates of the two-storey £750,000 cottage-style house were open and a woman could be seen upstairs, but no-one came to the white-painted front door when reporters knocked.
A black VW Golf and a black Ford Fiesta were parked on the long gravel driveway of the large house.
Neighbours described the police operation at Lord Bramall’s cottage early on Wednesday morning.
One woman who emerged from a nearby property said: “I saw the police, they were here for most of the day. There were lots of cars in the driveway.
“I’ve no idea why they needed so many, he’s an elderly man.”
Drinkers outside the Plume and Feathers public house in the village said they had noticed what was going on at around 9am.
A man aged in his 60s, who asked not to be named, said: “I saw some people say could they help. They were trying to ask what was going on, and they said they were Met police.
“The people said they could see that while one of the police cars was marked, most of them were not.
“Some of the officers were wearing flak jacket body armour.”
Another women who lives nearby, who is in her 60s, said: “As if you need body armour to attend the house of a man in his nineties, it’s ridiculous.
“I know they are only doing their job but that seems very unnecessary indeed.”
The police inquiry has focused on claims that VIPs abused children in the Seventies and Eighties.
But last year senior officers was confirmed the operation had become a murder investigation examining links between alleged abuse and the deaths of three boys.
By David Barrett