Ted Heath’s godson calls for inquiry into child sex probe

Lincoln Seligman believes there were serious flaws in Operation Conifer, which has investigated claims against Sir Edward Heath. Picture: Getty Images
Lincoln Seligman believes there were serious flaws in Operation Conifer, which has investigated claims against Sir Edward Heath. Picture: Getty Images
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The godson of Sir Edward Heath has called for an official inquiry into police handling of child sex abuse allegations against the former prime minister.

Lincoln Seligman said he believes there were serious flaws in Operation Conifer, which has investigated claims against the former Conservative leader for the past two years.

He spoke as reports claimed Wiltshire Police, which conducted the £1.5 million investigation, believed it would have had enough grounds to interview the late politician under caution if he was still alive.

Mr Seligman, an artist who knew Sir Edward for more than 50 years from childhood, said Wiltshire chief constable Mike Veale was “acting as judge and jury and has already convicted the man”.

Mr Seligman said: “My suspicion is that we will learn nothing from the report except innuendo and that really takes nobody any further forward, except it leaves a dark stain over a man who can’t 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.

“We want a judge to look at that who will be independent and impartial and to me that is the opposite of cover-up, because we want the truth and we believe the truth will exonerate him (Sir Edward).”

Sir Edward, who led the Conservative government from 1970 to 1974, stepped down as an MP at the 2001 general election and died at home in Salisbury in July 2005, aged 89.

Operation Conifer was launched in 2015 after he was named as a suspect in an investigation into historical child sex abuse.

Wiltshire Police will make public on Thursday the “summary closure report” of its inquiry into Sir Edward.

The findings will be passed to the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, which is being chaired by Professor Alexis Jay.

Last year, the probe found no evidence that a prosecution against a brothel keeper was dropped because of threats to allege publicly that Sir Edward had been involved in sexual offences.

In November a report by Dr Rachel Hoskins, who was enlisted by detectives to examine Op Conifer evidence, was revealed.

Writing in The Mail On Sunday in November, she said she had “exposed a catalogue of fabrication” at the heart of the probe and warned the force it should immediately end its investigation into a key accuser’s “pernicious” claims of satanic ritual abuse.