Operation Conifer Report

A report from Wiltshire police claims former British Prime Minister Edward Heath would have been questioned, under criminal caution, over sexual abuse claims had he been alive today. Chief Constable Mike Veale said he was “Satisfied there were compelling and obvious reasons to investigate allegations”. He goes on to say that the report “does not apportion guilt” nor does it suggest or conclude guilt. It is made clear in the report that Heath’s account would be as important as other evidence gathered during the investigation.

Additionally, it is vital that no inference of guilt be drawn even though he would have been questioned.

Sir Edward Heath died in 2005 and served as the United Kingdom’s prime minister between 1970 and 1974. The report said that in seven cases, allegations received led to Heath’s suspected involvement. None of the seven alleged offences took place during his tenure as prime minister.

Chronology of Allegations

The allegations, for which he would have been questioned, spanned from 1961 to 1992. The allegations of rape and indecent assault involve five boys under the age of consent, ranging from 10-years-old to 15, and two adult males.

The first two assaults allegedly took place in 1961 and 1962 while Heath served as MP (Member of Parliament) for Bexley and Lord Privy Seal.

Then again in 1964, Heath allegedly indecently assaulted another boy during three paid sexual encounters while he was secretary of state for industry.

The next assault allegedly occurred while Heath was the leader of the opposition in 1967.

After his time as prime minister, Heath allegedly indecently assaulted an adult male at a public event in 1976.

Much later, between 1990 and 1992 it is alleged that Heath indecently assaulted a boy of 12-14. At that time, he was serving as MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup.

Finally, in 1992 Heath allegedly indecently assaulted an adult man after consent was withdrawn. This, again, was said to have been during a paid encounter.

The report made public today is not the full version.

That will be part of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Heath's supporters

People that knew Sir Edward personally have rallied to his defence. Including his godson Lincon Seligman who had known Heath for 50 years. Following the report, Seligman told the BBC that the reports are still just allegations and he does not Believe them.

In a statement, Lord Armstrong of Ilminster and Lord Hunt of Wirral said that they, and those that knew Heath, are convinced that the reports of sexual abuse will be found to be untrue.