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Operation Midland - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:29 pm on 18th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Lexden Lord Lexden Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords) 3:29 pm, 18th March 2020

My Lords, first, I pay tribute to the Home Secretary for ordering this very important review. But how can it have been that two Metropolitan Police Commissioners were asleep on their watch, largely unconcerned, it seems, by the misdeeds and malpractices of officers during Operation Midland and, presumably, content that lessons that ought to have been learned swiftly were ignored for so long? Can my noble friend give the House three or four specific examples of the lessons that have now been apparently and belatedly learned? Finally, I return to one aspect of these police scandals that concerns me particularly as a political historian. Will the Government now stop blocking an independent inquiry into Operation Conifer, which left an unwarranted slur on the historical reputation of Sir Edward Heath? I put it to the Government that they have not given the House reasons for vetoing the inquiry but the opinions of a number of recent Home Secretaries, none of whom is a lawyer.