Farage Demands Met chief Bernard Hogan Howe Resigns Over Botched Handling Of Leon Brittan Sex Abuse Case
Nigel Farage has become the first party leader to call for Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to resign over the force’s mishandling of the Leon Brittan affair.
The Ukip leader said it was ‘unforgivable’ that former home secretary Lord Brittan was not told he had been cleared of a rape allegation months before he died.
He said the Metropolitan police had ‘failed horribly’, and Sir Bernard should ‘go into retirement’ as a result of the blunder.
What really shocks me is that months before Leon Brittan died, the Metropolitan Police decided there was no case to answer and yet didn’t tell him, and that I think is…unforgiveable’, he said.
‘He was a public figure dying of cancer, the whole effect of that hanging over him, and yet before he died he could have been told ‘Look…we’re very sorry for what’s happened, and we’re going to make a public statement fully exonerating you.
‘Think of what tremendous relief that would have given to Brittan himself, but perhaps more importantly even than that to his wife and broader family so the Met have failed horribly.’
Asked what Sir Bernard should, he told LBC Radio: ‘Go into retirement I should have thought. I’m being serious’.
The force was investigating a claim from a Labour activist, who came forward in 2012 to say that she was raped by Lord Brittan in 1967 when she was 19.
Labour MP Tom Watson played a key role in having the case reopened last year after it was closed due to lack of evidence, by writing to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The peer was questioned under caution while terminally ill with cancer.
Nigel Farage said it was ‘unforgivable’ that Lord Brittan was not told by Bernard Hogan-Howe (left) that he had been cleared of a rape allegation before he died. Scotland Yard re-opened the rape case into Lord Brittan amid pressure from Tom Watson (right)
Mr Watson had also spread claims of an Establishment paedophile cover-up, which he claimed included the peer. Days after Lord Brittan died in January this year, aged 75, Mr Watson wrote an article saying the peer stood ‘accused of multiple child rape’ and repeated accusations he said came from victims that he was ‘as close to evil as any human being could get’.
In a letter last month, Scotland Yard admitted they had decided to take no further action, and apologised to his widow Lady Brittan, through her lawyers, for the delay in providing ‘clarity’ about this and the ‘distress’ it may have caused.
The police were attacked by Lord Brittan’s brother Sir Samuel Brittan, who also called on Mr Watson to apologise in public for making ‘unfounded accusations’ about his brother.
Lord Brittan had been implicated in accusations by a man known as ‘Nick’, who claimed the former home secretary abused him more than a dozen times, and that he had also been abused by the former Prime Minister Edward Heath and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor from the age of seven. Army Generals and senior figures in the security services were also implicated in the scandal.
Detectives were said to have ‘grave doubts’ about his testimony, and to have voiced their concerns to the judge-led inquiry into historic child sex abuse.
Mr Farage said Lord Britton should ‘have been told ‘We’ve called you in, we’ve interviewed you, it’s perfectly clear that the chap making these allegations is a complete fantasist’. He said the police failure to tell him was ‘even more unforgiveable than any hornet’s nest from Tom Watson’.