Met chief who oversaw failed sex abuse inquiry is given peerage
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.