Former PM 'would have been interviewed under caution'

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After a two-year investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made against Sir Edward Heath, Wiltshire Police has issued a report stating that seven allegations of rape and sexual assault would have warranted the former Prime Minister being interviewed under criminal caution had he still been alive.

Paul Mills, the police commander for the investigation, dubbed Operation Conifer, said Sir Edward would have been interviewed "to obtain his account in relation to the allegations made against him". Operation Conifer has also led to the investigation of other suspects.

Wiltshire police defended their decision to pursue the investigation - but stressed today's report did not imply any inference of guilt.

Heath, who was prime minister from 1970 to 1974 and died 12 years ago, would have been interviewed under caution over seven allegations including raping an 11-year-old boy and indecently assaulting men and other boys, one aged 10. None relate to his time as prime minister.

He never forgave Margaret Thatcher for ousting him as Tory leader in 1975, for years nursing a grudge which became known as the "incredible sulk". "The allegations made to and the evidence collected by the police should be independently reviewed and an independent conclusion arrived at". The seven includes the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy "during a paid sexual encounter in private in a dwelling". He was one of the people who was around in our lives.

Wiltshire police have spent the past two years reviewing allegations of crimes by Sir Edward against 40 people, including two while he was United Kingdom prime minister.

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The £1.5 million ($2 million, 1.7 million euro) probe was triggered in 2015 after Heath was named as a suspect in an investigation into so-called historical child sex abuse.

Heath's godson, Lincoln Seligman, said the police investigation had cast a stain over a man who could not defend himself.

"What we are looking for is a judge-led review of a: how the police have conducted Operation Conifer and b: all the evidence it has produced".

Claim: Heath, in the company of an unknown adult male, allegedly indecently assaulted a 10-year-old boy during a chance encounter in a public place.

He had entered Parliament in 1950, as the MP for Bexley, and served in successive Conservative Governments until 1964.

'I believe this was the right moral, ethical and professional thing to do, but I appreciate that every case needs to be judged on its own merits.

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He later played in two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys while his last action came in 2015 while he was with the Houston Texans . He started one game in 2016, a 24-17 victory over Houston on the final day of the regular season.

Operation Conifer sparked controversy nearly from the start, after a senior police officer made a television appeal outside Sir Edward's former home in Salisbury urging victims to come forward.

That is the conclusion of Operation Conifer, an inquiry by Wiltshire Police, whose results were announced this morning.

Sir Edward Heath's reputation should not be left in limbo.

Veale denied the investigation into Heath was a "fishing expedition" or "witch hunt" and vowed not to bow to "unacceptable" media pressure. Well, everyone knows that during his lifetime, and as a single man, Sir Edward was the subject of sexual innuendo and gossip.

Its findings will be passed to the wide-ranging Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is being chaired by Professor Alexis Jay.

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