Met chief who over­saw failed sex abuse in­quiry is given peer­age

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Mar­tin Evans CRIME COR­RE­SPON­DENT

SIR Bernard Ho­gan-howe, the for­mer Metropoli­tan Po­lice com­mis­sioner who was in charge dur­ing the dis­as­trous VIP child abuse in­ves­ti­ga­tion, has been el­e­vated to the House of Lords.

Lord Ho­gan-howe was made a life peer and will sit as a cross-bencher in the House of Lords, Down­ing Street an­nounced yes­ter­day. He re­tired as the head of Bri­tain’s big­gest force ear­lier this year, after nearly six years in post.

He took over as Bri­tain’s most se­nior of­fi­cer in the wake of the Lon­don ri­ots, and over­saw the polic­ing of the 2012 Lon­don Olympics.

But he will be re­mem­bered for his han­dling of the Met’s flawed Op­er­a­tion Mid­land in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an al­leged VIP pae­dophile ring. The in­quiry was launched fol­low­ing claims that high pro­file fig­ures had raped, abused and even mur­dered young boys be­tween 1970 and 1990.

Con­vinced by the claims, de­tec­tives from Scot­land Yard mounted dawn raids on the homes of public fig­ures in­clud­ing Lord Bra­mall, the for­mer head of the army, Lord Brit­tan, the for­mer Home Sec­re­tary, and Har­vey Proc­tor, the for­mer MP.

After tra­duc­ing the rep­u­ta­tions of those ac­cused, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion closed with­out a sin­gle ar­rest.

The com­plainant in the case, known only as Nick, may be charged with fraud and per­vert­ing the course of jus­tice fol­low­ing an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Northum­bria Po­lice.

Last month, the Met awarded Lord Bra­mall and Lord Brit­tan’s widow, Lady Brit­tan, £100,000 in com­pen­sa­tion. Mr Proc­tor, who lost his home and his job as a re­sult of Op­er­a­tion Mid­land, is seek­ing £500,000 in dam­ages. Last night he ex­pressed his anger at the ap­point­ment. “I think Sir Bernard should not take his seat un­til he hon­ours the com­mit­ment he gave … to com­pen­sate all those af­fected by Op­er­a­tion Mid­land,” he said. “I would not feel com­fort­able sit­ting in the House of Lords while I con­tinue to sit in my shed.”

Lord Ho­gan-howe’s ten­ure is also re­mem­bered for Op­er­a­tion Elve­den, a lengthy probe into al­le­ga­tions that jour­nal­ists paid public fig­ures for sto­ries.

‘He should not feel com­fort­able sit­ting in the House of Lords while I con­tinue to sit in my shed’

More than 30 jour­nal­ists were ar­rested and charged dur­ing a £20mil­lion in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but all were cleared.

Lord Ho­gan-howe also or­dered a £150,000 in­ves­ti­ga­tion to iden­tify the source of a leak re­gard­ing the 2012 scan­dal in which An­drew Mitchell, the Tory Chief Whip, was ac­cused of call­ing Down­ing Street po­lice “plebs”.

In his re­tire­ment speech, he de­scribed his time as hav­ing been spent in a “rest­less search for ways to stay ahead of crim­i­nals”.

Lord Ho­gan-howe will be joined in the Lords by Gen­eral Sir Nicholas Houghton, for­mer chief of the de­fence staff; Sir Ian Dun­can Bur­nett, the for­mer lord chief jus­tice; the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, the for­mer Bishop of Lon­don; and Sir Christo­pher Geidt, the for­mer pri­vate sec­re­tary to the Queen.

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