Former British prime minister 'raped an 11-year-old boy', police told

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The police report on claims that Sir Edward Heath sexually abused children has produced a chronology of seven main allegations against him.

Wiltshire police defended their decision to pursue the investigation - but stressed today's report did not imply any inference of guilt.

"In the case of seven individual disclosures, if Sir Edward Heath had been alive today, it has been concluded that he would have been interviewed under caution in order to obtain his account in relation to the allegations made against him".

"In regard to the allegations concerning Sir Edward Heath, the inquiry will investigate whether there was any knowledge within Westminster institutions, and if so, what actions were taken", a spokesman for the inquiry said.

The claims include: the rape of an 11-year-old boy in 1961 in a "paid sexual encounter"; the indecent assault of a 10-year-old boy in a public place in 1962; and the indecent assault of a 15-year-old boy during three paid encounters around 1964.

There is, for example, a discrepancy over whether Sir Edward ever drove himself, denied by friends but affirmed in the police report.

The report resembles the Carlile Report into allegations of sexual abuse against Bishop George Bell, who was Bishop of Chichester for 29 years. He was one of the people who was around in our lives.

"The allegations against him were of the utmost seriousness and from a significant number of people", Veale said.

The announcement by Wiltshire police was immediately criticised by Heath's family and supporters, who accused the force of "covering their backs at the expense of a dead man". The alleged offences are said to have occurred when he was a serving MP.

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But in May past year, the probe found no evidence to support the corruption claims involving madam Myra Ling-Ling Forde, who herself said she had no knowledge of misconduct.

But a probe launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the alleged historical corruption found no evidence that the retired officer's claims were true.

Lord Hunt of Wirral, chair of the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation, and Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, former cabinet secretary and PPS to Heath while he was prime minister, said: "The Wiltshire police report is profoundly unsatisfactory because it neither justifies nor dispels the cloud of suspicion". Operation Conifer has also led to the investigation of other suspects.

They were generous words from a former prime minister against whom he directed a ceaseless stream of criticism that lasted from the time she ousted him as Tory leader until his death, a campaign that became known as the longest sulk in parliamentary history.

'In the meantime, a fundamental, time-honoured principle should be respected, namely that a man is innocent until he is proven guilty.

Heath's reputation should not be left in limbo, his former colleagues said.

The allegations made to and the evidence collected by the police should be independently reviewed and an independent conclusion arrived at.

It was announced a year ago that the probe had found no evidence the prosecution of brothel keeper Myra Ling-Ling Forde was dropped because of threats to publicly link Sir Edward to sex abuse. "Wiltshire Police have sent their evidence to them", he told Sputnik.

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