Sir David Davis writes to the Home Secretary regarding Operation Midland


As reported in The Daily Mail:

A former Cabinet minister has written to Priti Patel demanding a full criminal investigation into the conduct of ‘Nick’ scandal detectives.

David Davis urged the Home Secretary in the ‘strongest possible terms’ to ensure an inquiry establishes whether officers involved in Operation Midland ‘were guilty of either criminal action or gross misconduct’.

He said police watchdogs had ‘failed miserably’ to identify the failures in Scotland Yard’s bungled VIP child sex abuse inquiry.

The Tory former Brexit Secretary’s intervention piled pressure on Miss Patel to take decisive action to ensure justice for the victims of the lies of fantasist Nick, aka Carl Beech.

Mr Davis’s plea came after the ex-judge who granted search warrants for police raids on the homes of falsely accused VIPs said that he had been misled.

In a bombshell statement on Tuesday, Howard Riddle said detectives should have disclosed evidence that undermined the credibility of Nick.

Mr Riddle said he had ‘complete confidence’ in a report by retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques slamming Operation Midland, the multi-million pound Met inquiry into the far-fetched lies of Beech. In his scathing 2016 dossier, released in full last Friday, Sir Richard identified 43 key blunders by detectives investigating Beech’s allegations.

Critically, he said Mr Riddle was ‘misled’ by police when they applied in 2015 to search the homes of retired armed forces chief Lord Bramall, the widow of former home secretary Lord Brittan and ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

But amid claims of a ‘whitewash’, the Independent Office for Police Conduct has cleared five officers of misconduct.

Two senior officers were cleared without even being interviewed. Sir Richard condemned the probe as ‘flawed’ and expressed alarm at the watchdog’s ‘lack of knowledge of criminal procedure’.

Two days after the watchdog explained its controversial findings, which prompted widespread condemnation, Mr Davis demanded a comprehensive probe into the conduct of Midland officers.

He told Miss Patel: ‘The Henriques Report published last week makes troubling reading, particularly its conclusion that six search warrants for properties associated with Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan and Harvey Proctor were unlawfully obtained.

‘We now know officers involved in Operation Midland failed in their legal duty to disclose crucial information that undermined their case when applying for the warrants. Carl Beech’s evidence was inconsistent throughout questioning and any reasonable police officer ought to have had serious doubts as to his credibility. These doubts should have been recorded and disclosed to the judge when the warrant applications were made.’

He concluded: ‘I would urge in the strongest possible terms that the official investigation into his debacle establishes whether police officers involved in Operation Midland were guilty of either criminal action or gross misconduct and the relevant authorities take the appropriate action to ensure justice for the victims.’

Mr Proctor, falsely accused of being a child killer by Beech, also wrote to Miss Patel yesterday calling for her to act.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The Home Secretary has asked Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct an inspection of the Metropolitan Police Service to ensure that lessons have been learned from Sir Richard Henriques’ report.

‘We now need to give the inspectorate the time and space to carry out that work and we won’t be commenting further while it is ongoing.’

The IOPC declined to comment on Mr Riddle’s assertion that he was misled by police over the search warrants.

As reported in The Times:

A criminal investigation into Scotland Yard’s handling of Operation Midland is inevitable after two judges concluded that police misled the courts to get search warrants, an MP said yesterday.

David Davis, the former cabinet minister, called on Priti Patel, the home secretary, to ensure that a review examined criminal action and gross misconduct. Harvey Proctor, the former MP who was falsely accused, also urged Ms Patel to hold an investigation.

Midland was the Metropolitan Police inquiry into a non-existent paedophile ring prompted by the false claims of Carl Beech, 51, who has been jailed. Howard Riddle, a former senior district judge, said he believed that police applying for search warrants gave him misleading information. He agreed with Sir Richard Henriques, a former high court judge, who found that police officers had acted unlawfully.

Lady Brittan, the widow of the former home secretary who was investigated, accused the police watchdog of allowing the Met to trash the reputations of innocent people. She told The Daily Telegraph that the failure of the Independent Office for Police Conduct to find evidence of wrongdoing by the officers showed the system was flawed.