Operation Midland

All posts tagged Operation Midland

Police search home of Lord Bramall as part of paedophile sex abuse inquiry

Published March 8, 2015 by misty534

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

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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

‘Willie Whitelaw ordered police to scrap inquiry into VIP child sex abuse ring’: Police launch probe into sensational new cover-up claims

Published December 7, 2014 by misty534
  • Detectives investigating claim that Whitelaw ordered police to drop inquiry
  • He allegedly told a senior Met Police boss to quash year-long investigation
  • It came following revelation CPS prosecutor was considering 350 offences
  • The revelation provides new line of inquiry for investigation into VIP gang

Detectives are investigating claims that former Conservative Home Secretary William Whitelaw ordered police to drop an investigation into a VIP paedophile ring.

Whitelaw allegedly told a senior Metropolitan Police boss to quash a year-long investigation into a gang accused of abusing 40 children, the youngest of whom was six.

The alleged intervention came in 1980 after a newspaper revealed the country’s chief prosecutor was considering 350 offences against the gang, including allegations it ‘obtained young boys for politicians, prominent lawyers and film stars’.

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He also says he was told by his police source that Whitelaw called a senior police boss and told him to halt the inquiry.

Mr Edwards said: ‘My source told me the Home Secretary had spoken to a senior Met Police boss and demanded action was taken to make sure nothing more was printed about the affair and that the investigation be dropped.’

The Mail on Sunday can reveal Mr Edwards has spoken to senior detectives working on the Met’s Operation Midland about the incident, but the Met would not confirm this. Midland was set up last month to investigate sensational claims that boys were murdered and abused by Conservative politicians at parties held in Dolphin Square, an upmarket block of flats close to Westminster popular with MPs, in the 1980s.

Mr Edwards said he had been invited to give a statement to detectives in the next few weeks and hopes to give evidence to the upcoming Home Office inquiry into historic sexual abuse.

Last night, campaigning MP Simon Danczuk described the allegations as ‘a breakthrough’ in the Westminster child abuse scandal and suggested it was strong evidence there was a paedophile network operating at the heart of the Establishment.

The article, unearthed by The Mail on Sunday from newspaper archives, provides a fresh line of inquiry for police probing claims a paedophile network with links to Westminster.

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It revealed six officers in a special unit were conducting the operation from Arbour Square police station in East London. Police had taken statements from 40 youngsters, it said, and established the gang had links between London and Liverpool.

It said 12 children in Liverpool from schools for the ‘educationally subnormal’ had given police information. Mr Edwards told The Mail on Sunday his police contact, an experienced detective sergeant who was part of the Arbour Square team, told him when the story broke it ‘caused an eruption at the top in Scotland Yard’.

‘My friend told me the anti-corruption squad, then known as A10, had been told to carry out an urgent investigation about how this matter had got in the press,’ he said.

‘He told me he had been threatened with demotion. Within a day or two I was summoned to the anti-corruption branch HQ at Tintagel House in Vauxhall [South London]. At the end of the interview, which went on for two hours, I was told I could be in breach of the Official Secrets Act and the matter would be formally reported to the DPP to consider whether I should be prosecuted.’

Mr Edwards, who is president of the Crime Reporters Association and was chief crime correspondent on The Mirror, said he heard nothing more from police or the DPP. The Mail on Sunday asked Scotland Yard whether Mr Edwards’s police source, who is now in his 80s and in a care home, was disciplined. It refused to answer questions and claimed it was ‘unable to pursue such historical inquiries’. The Crown Prosecution Service said there was not enough information in Mr Edwards’s article to search DPP records.

Viscount Whitelaw, who was Deputy Prime Minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government from 1979 to 1988, died in 1999. Mr Edwards’s claims come amid a flurry of allegations politicians were involved in a VIP paedophile ring.

Operation Midland was started after a man came forward to say he witnessed a Tory MP murder a boy at a party. The man also claimed that a different Tory MP watched as a boy was sexually abused.

The Met’s Operation Fernbridge is looking into claims that politicians, lawyers and pop stars abused children at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, South-West London, in the 1980s. Police have confirmed disgraced former Liberal Democrat MP Sir Cyril Smith was a visitor and this year The Mail on Sunday interviewed a boy he abused.

Last night, Mr Danczuk said: ‘This is the strongest evidence yet that there was a paedophile network operating at the heart of the Establishment. The fact we now know hundreds of child abuse offences linked to politicians and other prominent people were being examined by the DPP is a breakthrough.

‘That Cabinet Ministers and police helped shut this investigation down through collusion and cover-up is something the Government’s child sex abuse inquiry must look at.’

by Paul Cahalan & Peter Henn