Historical Allegations:Operation Conifer - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:31 am on 18th October 2018.

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Photo of Lord Armstrong of Ilminster Lord Armstrong of Ilminster Crossbench 11:31 am, 18th October 2018

My Lords, as the Government persist in refusing to commission an independent review of Operation Conifer, perhaps they will muster the courage to express a considered view themselves. Operation Conifer produced not a single shred of credible evidence that Sir Edward Heath might have been guilty of child abuse, and a lot of credible evidence to show that he was not. Of the 42 allegations investigated by Wiltshire Police, 35 were dismissed. Of the remaining seven unresolved allegations, four can be shown to be without foundation. The other three are probably equally baseless, the product of a conspiracy to create and disseminate false allegations of child abuse by national figures such as Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan and Sir Edward Heath. Does the Minister agree that Operation Conifer’s report falls far short of the standards of probability required to justify the institution of a criminal prosecution, if Sir Edward Heath had still been alive to be prosecuted? Does justice not require us to accept that Sir Edward Heath was not a child abuser and to consign Operation Conifer to the dustbin of history?