The only thing ‘credible and true’ about VIP claims is fact Tom Watson used them to boost career – The Sun

IS there any phrase in the English language now as notorious as “credible and true”?

Those were the words uttered by Det Supt Kenny McDonald as officers from the Metropolitan Police were let loose raiding the homes of elderly politicians searching for evidence to back up the allegations made by a mysterious man called “Nick”.

Nick, it was claimed, had been abused by a paedophile ring of wealthy and powerful men in the 1970s and 1980s, including the former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

On one occasion, he claimed Harvey Proctor, then a Conservative MP, had threatened to cut off his testicles with a pen knife, before being talked out of it by Heath.

One of Nick’s pals had apparently been deliberately run down and killed by the gang in a warning to Nick not to make friends.

Now we know exactly how “credible and true” these allegations were. They were fantasies cooked up by Nick himself, cynically played in an atmosphere already high with emotion following the revelations in 2012 of Jimmy Savile’s activities.

On one occasion, Beech claimed Harvey Proctor, then a Conservative MP, had threatened to cut off his testicles with a pen knife, before being talked out of it by Heath

Yesterday, Carl Beech — to use Nick’s real name — was convicted of fraud and ­perverting the course of ­justice after his tales were exposed as a total sham.

He had no injuries to ­suggest he had been abused in the way he described. He had never mentioned his ­supposed ordeal once to his former wife. His accounts simply did not add up and parts  seemed to have been lifted from a misery memoir written by someone else.


Pleasing though it is to see Beech convicted, he leaves a horrible trail of destruction in his path. Untold damage has been done to the lives of those he falsely accused. Lord Bramall, a Field Marshall who took part in the Normandy landings, saw his wife die with allegations still hanging over his head.

Lord Brittan, Home Secretary in Mrs Thatcher’s ­government, died while under investigation, and his widow watched as their home was raided by police.

Harvey Proctor lost his home and his job when the allegations emerged.

That Beech is a despicable individual who deserves a long term in jail goes without saying. But there are plenty  of others whose role in this affair leaves them in disgrace.

Obviously police have to investigate when allegations of child abuse are made, but the enthusiasm with which former Met Commissioner Lord Hogan-Howe threw resources into Operation Midland — the inquiry into Carl Beech’s allegations — raises questions into just how objective some of our senior police officers are.

Surely it could not have taken long to establish that aspects of Beech’s claims were outlandish. Yet police lavished £2.5million on the investigation, guided, it seems, by a doctrine that people claiming to be victims of sexual abuse must always be believed.

True, there was a time when genuine victims tended not to be believed, and in some cases were sent back to live with their abusers. That was a very great wrong but it cannot be righted by going  to the opposite extreme and automatically believing the stories of people claiming to be victims, however fantastical they prove to be.

Yes, child abuse is a horrible crime which can scar its victims for life but so, too, is making false allegations against innocent people.


Sadly, this kind of behaviour has been encouraged through compensation schemes which seem to hand out money willy-nilly to anyone who makes a claim they were abused as a child.

Unbelievably, Beech was awarded £22,000 in compensation for his supposed ordeal even before his claims were tested in court. He spent the money on a Ford Mustang.

How can the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, which handed over the money, not see that it is attracting liars and fantasists?

But there is one figure in the Carl Beech scandal who deserves to be singled out for particular condemnation.

When allegations about a Westminster paedophile ring first came to light, Tom ­Watson — now Labour’s deputy leader leapt upon them with relish.

He could see many of the names being touted as alleged abusers were Conservatives and sensed the opportunity to damage his opponents.

He used Prime Minister’s Questions as a forum to repeat allegations, and invited Beech to his Westminster office, politicising his claims and helping to put pressure on police to set up a wider inquiry.

He called Lord Brittan “evil”. He has at least apologised for those words, writing a letter to Lady Brittan,  but for his wider role in ­Operation Midland he still refuses to say sorry.

But a letter to Lady Brittan is not enough. If he had any decency he would recognise the pain and havoc he has caused to innocent lives and resign as Labour’s deputy leader — and as an MP, too.

Daniel Janner QC, the late Lord Janner’s son, put it best shortly after Beech was convicted yesterday.

He said: “Tom Watson should resign. He appointed himself Britain’s chief paedo-finder general and created a moral panic.  His motive was personal political advancement riding on a bandwagon of public frenzy which he had whipped up. He should hang his head in shame.”

Finally a statement in this sorry mess that is credible and true.

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