Westminster Paedophile Inquiry Row: A shrewd move by Scotland Yard

Sir Richard Henriques.

Sir Richard Henriques. Pic Credit: Blackpool Gazette

The decision by Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, the Met Police Commissioner, to ask Sir Richard Henriques, a distinguished  retired judge, to review police procedures covering Operation Midland is very shrewd.

At a stroke it will knock down the hysterical coverage in some newspapers of the investigation which has involved prominent VIPs being interviewed by the Met following allegations of sexual abuse and murder from a survivor known as Nick.

The papers- some of whom seem to act as judge and jury  before the investigation has been completed – in wanting to clear prominent people and cast doubt on the veracity of the victim in alleging such crimes. They have  also complained about the Met Police spending time and money looking at historic child sex abuse cases.

It will also prevent Keith Vaz, the  Labour chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, grandstanding when  Sir Bernard comes before him at the end of this month.

He will know as a lawyer that he can hardly grill Sir Bernard about the procedures of the investigation while there is an inquiry by a retired judge looking into the same issues. Nor can he second guess Sir Richard’s findings.

Indeed instead he may have to explain why his committee was so quick to condemn the Met for its handling of  its investigation into the historic alleged rape  against the late Leon Brittan  brought by  ” Jane” now an independent review by Dorset Police has largely cleared the Met of any errors.

It should also provide a valuable breathing case for the Met to take a balanced decision on whether it can proceed further with Operation Midland rather than all this orchestrated hue and cry that it must be stopped now.

Obviously it has been painful for Leon Brittan’s family and the 92 year old war hero  Lord Bramall to be at the centre of such allegations but that doesn’t mean that the police should not investigate them.

Also it is not only cases brought by Nick that will come under scrutiny but also Darren where the Met Police appear to have taken the opposite decision and decided that Darren’s claims were not worth pursuing.

One of the most interesting findings by the judge will be how he sees the police handled two entirely different victims and  their allegations and what standards were applied.

In a statement announcing the review on Wednesday, Hogan-Howe said the aim was “whether we can provide a better balance between our duty to investigate and the interests of suspects, complainants and victims.”

The Met commissioner added: “We are not afraid to learn how we can do these things better, and that’s why I’ve announced today’s review in to how we have conducted investigations in to non-recent sexual allegations involving public figures.”

Henriques is a former high court judge who conducted an inquiry into how Lord Janner escaped justice over abuse claims.

He is  also the prosecutor who  brought the killers of James Bulger to justice and nailed Harold Shipman,the GP who murdered his patients..

Before retiring he was a judge presiding over  terrorist trials including the trial of eight terrorists who would have slaughtered almost 3,000 people had their plan to bring down transatlantic airliners been successful.

So he seems a good choice to cut through all the hyperbole surrounding the VIP paedophile ring  allegations and make sound recommendations on how the Met should handle such allegations in the future. My main reservation is how much of the report will be made public. Transparency is very important in this case.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Westminster Paedophile Inquiry Row: A shrewd move by Scotland Yard

  1. One thing our modern politicians seem not to understand is the division of powers between the Lawmakers Law Enforcers. and the Judiciary. Many of them think they are above the Law and this has been shown by child abuse allegations where investigations have been shut down. The other body that needs accountability is our Intelligence Services (which may beviewed as a branch of the CIA). Our Intelligence Services resemble the Mafia than they do a fictional James Bond who spent his time making love, while the real service is deep into blackmail, alleged child abuse and disinformation.
    It is quite interesting to note that “The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse ” as removed from its remit the areas in which the Intelligence Services are claimed to be involved.
    As for this Inquiry becoming public, some harmless bits will, some religious organisations will come in for criticism, maybe some Local Authorities will come in for criticism, but one thing can be guaranteed, blank pages with State Security stamped all over them or a 100 year closure.

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  2. John Humphries tried his Daily Mail style attack on Hogan-Howe on BBC Radio 4 Today programme. He got a bloody nose (metaphor) from Hogan-Howe. I have no particular axe to grind on behalf of H-H but it was joyful to hear.

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  3. Oh dear.

    “The papers- some of whom seem to act as judge and jury before the investigation has been completed – in wanting to clear prominent people and cast doubt on the veracity of the victim [‘Nick’] in alleging such crimes.”

    Hencke, it seems that you are seeking to use your privileged position as an ‘award winning journalist’ to act as judge & jury yourself by determining that ‘Nick’ IS a victim. Did you mean ‘complainant’, ‘accuser’ or ‘alleged victim’, perhaps? If not, could you clearly detail what it is you consider ‘Nick’ to have been a victim of?

    We are all, after all, victims of one sort or another – I was a victim of bicycle theft, for example, not so very long ago – but I doubt you are referring to such minor crimes. Was ‘Nick’ a victim of sadistic abuse at the hands of Jimmy Savile, for example, as he has claimed?

    Please make the ‘brave choice’ to put your reputation on the line by being specific, and leave the convenient vagueness for another time.

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    • I am not sure what Nick has said or if he could be the figment of someone’s imagination! What I do know on studying British Security over a 50 year period is that it is not accountable to anyone it seems and as its own Agendas. Certainly the evidence I have gathered over many years shows that in certain areas the Intelligence Services have been lurking in the background and in some cases Paedophiles have been very prominent in the Security Services.
      Yet for Establishment (State) Protection the Inquiry is not allowed access areas which clearly show Intelligence involvement.
      There was a time when no Establishment figure would ever be arrested by the police, I thought these days had long since gone, Alas this is not the case and some people are above the Law and others may be out of the reach of the Law.
      No wonder people emigrate from this country and retire to Southern Europe.

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  4. ‘you have to laugh! keep doing what you are doing xxxxx we wouldnt be where we are now if it wasn’t for you and a couple of likeminded souls, hopefully we will start to see some justice for victims who have waited far far too long
    best wishes’

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