Harvey Proctor has accepted what is believed to be the largest ever settlement for negligent behaviour after be falsely accused in the discredited Operation Midland investigation into allegations of a VIP paedophile ring. ‘I hope the size of this award will deter police from assuming the guilt of innocent suspects and from misleading judges in order to obtain search warrants,’ said the former Tory MPwho has accepted a £500,000 compensation payment from Scotland Yard.
Operation Midland, which cost £2.5 without a single arrest being made, concerned false claims made by Carl Beech who was jailed in July for 18 years for fabricating allegations against Proctor, former prime minister Edward Heath, ex-home secretary Leon Brittan and D-day veteran Field Marshal Edwin Bramall. You can read an interview with Harvey Proctor here.
In 2014, Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald kicked off Operation Midland with his now infamous public appeal in which he blithely asserted that Nick’s account was both ‘credible and true’.
Proctor says that if his case had gone to court, he would have ‘vigorously cross-examined’ the current Met commissioner Cressida Dick for ‘her negligence in not countermanding the claim that the information was “credible and true”’ as well sd Steve Rodhouse, who was deputy assistant commissioner and is now the deputy director general of the National Crime Agency, for authorising the search warrant.
The settlement does not prevent Proctor from speaking publicly about the case. ‘I remain entirely free to condemn them – and I do,’ he said. He accused Dick of having ‘failed abjectly in her duty and should resign’ and said ‘Rodhouse’ was ‘a very stupid man’.
Proctor reckons he could have receive more compensation by going to court but added: ‘I am heartily sick of these police and their mealy-mouthed apologies to me and I did not want to take a fortune from public funds. Just enough to put my innocence beyond doubt, and to warn police not to make this same mistake with other people.’
Proctor said that he was ‘not alone in being the target of false accusers or of police negligence’. ‘I am now the only surviving figure still alive wrongly accused of these heinous crimes,’ he said. ‘In a way I also speak for the those whose voices have been stilled.’
His barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC said that the settlement was necessary to ‘reflect the damage done to Mr Proctor by negligent and incompetent policing’. ‘But it is a pity that the damages must come from public funds. They should come out of the pension pots of the police who made these grievous mistakes,’ he continued.