Police who investigated false VIP paedophile claims by fantasist ‘Nick’ should face a fresh inquiry, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says
- Ben Wallace said any police officers who lied should be ‘investigated properly’
- Defence secretary said cops should be held to account over false abuse claims
- Former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques said police searches broke the law in the bungled probe into the fantasist Carl Beech
- Police watchdogs cleared officers over allegations they misled a judge into granting search warrants to carry out raids on the homes of VIP suspects
Police should face a fresh investigation over the bungled inquiry into claims by fantasist ‘Nick’, the Defence Secretary said.
Ben Wallace said officers who lied should be ‘investigated properly’ as he condemned the case.
In an excoriating attack on the police, Mr Wallace said former Armed Forces chief Field Marshal Lord Bramall had his reputation ‘trashed’ by bogus sex abuse claims made by Nick, real name Carl Beech.
Asked by the Mail if police officers should be held to account over the pursuit of false accusations, he said: ‘Absolutely.
Westminster paedophile accuser Carl Beech whose accusations against high profile politicians and celebrities sparked Operation Midland
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (left) said any police officers who lied to get search warrants should be investigated. Former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques (right) said police searches broke the law in the bungled probe into the fantasist known as ‘Nick’
‘If people have either lied or broken the law, of course they should be investigated properly.
‘If there’s no satisfaction with the independent police investigation that happened then of course they should.’
After Beech was jailed for 18 years last month for perverting the course of justice, fraud and other offences, former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques said police searches broke the law in the bungled probe into the fantasist.
However, police watchdogs cleared officers over allegations they misled a judge into granting search warrants to carry out raids on the homes of Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.
In an extraordinary intervention, which piles pressure on Home Secretary Priti Patel to launch a new inquiry into Scotland Yard’s bungled Operation Midland investigation, Mr Wallace also raised concerns about the way veterans were being investigated over their actions on the battlefield.
Speaking about the legal witch-hunt into British troops, he said there was a wider issue about police investigations.
…AND PUT IRA KILLERS IN THE DOCK
Ben Wallace today ruled out an amnesty for terrorists in Northern Ireland, claiming they should be put ‘in the dock’ for their crimes.
The Defence Secretary called for a reconciliation process into the Troubles, which could see individuals confess to their crimes knowing they wouldn’t be prosecuted – but he refused to condone an all-out reprieve.
It is the first time a Secretary of State has raised the prospect of reconciliation. Senior Tory MPs have previously said a Nelson Mandela-style commission would be the best solution. Mr Wallace, a former Scots Guard who served in Northern Ireland, said: ‘I don’t support an amnesty for terrorists. I don’t think that is a solution.
‘What I do think is that there a place for reconciliation, but how we get there… we must make sure we don’t let off the hook the murderers that are still out there.’
Referring to the IRA and other ‘terrorist’ groups, he said: ‘They’re the people that caused the Troubles and they are the ones who should be in the dock.’
He added: ‘We’ve just seen the whole Nick fantasist issue and how people are held without any clarity about their reputation.
Lord Bramall’s whole reputation was trashed over an investigation without any clarity.’
As Mr Wallace spoke out, the head of Britain’s version of the FBI was facing questions over the decision to appoint the controversial police chief who led Operation Midland as her deputy.
Critics say the promotion of former Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse to head of operations at the National Crime Agency (NCA) is a ‘reward for failure’.
Despite a series of headline-making blunders in his career, Mr Rodhouse is now joint No 2 at the NCA under director-general Lynne Owens.
Before landing his £175,000-a-year post at the elite organisation, he worked under Mrs Owens at Scotland Yard and Surrey Police.
While at the Met, he was lambasted over his role in charge of Operation Midland, and faced intense criticism over his handling of a bogus rape allegation against former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.
Lord Brittan died before he was formally cleared.
Before joining the Met, Mr Rodhouse also oversaw a heavily criticised Surrey Police inquiry into Jimmy Savile.
Daniel Janner QC – whose Labour peer father Lord Janner was falsely accused of abuse by Beech – said: ‘Given Rodhouse’s track record of astonishing failure, the public will be astounded that he has been promoted.’
The NCA declined to say if Mrs Owens sat on the selection board. Mr Rodhouse has refused to answer any questions from the Daily Mail.