FORMER Conservative prime minister Sir Edward Heath would be questioned over allegations that he raped and indecently assaulted boys as young as 10 were he alive today, a controversial police report has said.
In 1961, allegedly raping and indecently assaulting an 11-year-old boy during a "paid sexual encounter in private".
October 1970: British prime minister Edward Heath chatting with U.S. president Richard Nixon (1913 - 1994) at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, the official country residence of the British PM.
Heath was notable for negotiating Britain's entry into the European Economic Community which later became the European Union. Sir Edward Heath's reputation should not be left in limbo. "It didn't know the circumstances, veracity, the risks, the complications, implications or other vulnerability factors - until a proportionate, professional and objective investigation was conducted it would be impossible to identify and safeguard any children and other vulnerable adults who may be at risk today".
Sir Edward continued to sit in the House of Commons as the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup until his retirement in 2001 and was the Father of the House between 1992 and 2001.
An NSPCC spokesman said: "We urge anyone who has been abused in childhood to report it, however long ago it took place".
Heath, who served as prime minister between 1970 and 1974, died in 2005.
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More than 40 claims of sex abuse of either children or adults by Sir Edward have been made to police and seven of them are sufficiently strong to justify interviewing him under caution, a two-year investigation has concluded.
Inquiries into the claims were led by the Wiltshire police on behalf of 14 forces who received claims alleging that the former prime minister had carried out acts of sexual abuse.
The £1.5 million (€1.7 million) probe was triggered in 2015 after Heath was named as a suspect in an investigation into so-called historical child sex abuse.
Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, accused Mr Veale of presiding over a "tragi-comedy of incompetence" and called for a judge-led inquiry into how Sir Edward's name was "so shockingly traduced". He was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
But the decision to investigate had been "the right moral thing, ethical thing and professional thing to do", he said. He was one of the people who was around in our lives. "I knew him to be a man of great integrity and not so idiotic to jeopardise his career by indulging in anything so pointless and risky".
Wiltshire Police said that two were later released without charge, while the third remains under investigation. The publication of that report is expected in the next few weeks.
"It is no surprise at all that Wiltshire police should have concluded that they would have interviewed Sir Edward had he been alive".
Veale denied the investigation into Heath was a "fishing expedition" or "witch hunt" and vowed not to bow to "unacceptable" media pressure.