Now top cop behind botched probes into ‘VIP paedophiles’ is to become a Lord
THE former Scotland Yard chief who presided over the disastrous inquiry into a fictitious VIP paedophile ring has been made a life peer.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe’s time at the Metropolitan Police was marked by controversy over Operation Midland, which cost taxpayers £2million.
His force was last month forced to compensate retired war hero Field Marshal Lord Bramall and the family of the late Lord Brittan after they were falsely accused of child sex abuse by a fantasist known as Nick during the probe.
Downing Street’s announcement yesterday of Sir Bernard’s elevation to the House of Lords as a crossbench peer prompted fury from ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who was himself wrongly accused of rape and murder by Nick. He said: ‘I am genuinely shocked. From what I know of Operation Midland and Sir Bernard HoganHowe’s part in it, rather than being elevated to a peerage, he should be losing his knighthood.
‘With Operation Midland he presided over the loss of £2million to taxpayers and the fall of the reputation of the Metropolitan Police.
‘It is outrageous that he has been given a peerage. He needs to reflect on the harm he has done and the commitment he made to compensate those wrongly accused under Operation Midland.
‘His credibility under Operation Midland was so shot, I can’t see how anyone in the House of Lords can now take him seriously.’
Nick is facing possible charges of fraud and perverting the course of justice after Northumbria Police passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Sir Bernard was appointed head of Scotland Yard in 2011 by Theresa May, then the Home Secretary, and Boris Johnson, who was London mayor at the time.
He was also the driving force behind the Yard’s bungled £20million Operation Elveden inquiry into alleged payments to public officials by journalists.
He retired as the head of Britain’s biggest police force this year. During his time in office he promoted a ‘total-policing’ approach and oversaw the policing of the 2012 London Olympics.
It is normal for former Metropol- itan Police commissioners to be given peerages. Sir Bernard’s predecessors include Lord Condon, Lord Stevens and Lord Blair.
Sir Paul Stephenson, who quit as Scotland Yard chief in 2011 after questions were raised over his links to an ex-News of the World executive, was not made a peer.
Sir Bernard will be joined in the House of Lords by the former Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, and the former Lord Chief Justice Sir Ian Duncan Burnett.
Also honoured with peerages are the former Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, and the former private secretary to the Queen, Sir Christopher Geidt. Mrs May has also given knighthoods to two Tory MPs. Former minister Mike Penning, the MP for Hemel Hempstead, and former Government whip and ex-party vice chairman Robert Syms, the MP for Poole, are to be honoured.
It comes despite promises by Mrs May to crack down on political honours when she took office, following David Cameron’s toxic resignation honours list, which saw party donors and former aides given seats in the Lords.
In August, an MP close to her said Mrs May would do things differently, adding: ‘You won’t see Theresa doing something like this. She wouldn’t be abusing the honours system in this way.’
‘He should lose his knighthood’
Divisive: Bernard HoganHowe