Doomed Operation Midland abuse inquiry cost £2.5m without single arrest

Scotland Yard’s doomed investigation into VIP paedophile allegations cost around £2.5 million, it has been revealed.

Britain’s largest force has confirmed the approximate total spent on the hugely controversial Operation Midland.

The 16-month inquiry was launched after claims that boys were sexually abused by public figures more than 30 years ago – but it closed in March without a single arrest.

When the probe was shut down, the most recent cost figure available was from November, when it stood at £1.7 million.

In a statement issued on Tuesday night, a spokesman said: “The Metropolitan Police Service issued costs for Operation Midland periodically through the duration of the inquiry.

“Now that the investigation has concluded the total cost of the inquiry was approximately £2.5 million based on staffing costs and overtime expenditure.”

The disclosure came after the BBC reported that it was told by the Met that it could not provide a figure for the cost in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Launched in November 2014, Operation Midland was one of the most high-profile police inquiries of recent times.

Scrutiny of the investigation intensified in January when 92-year-old D-Day veteran Lord Bramall was cleared almost nine months after he was interviewed under caution.

His home had been searched by 22 officers while he had breakfast with his terminally-ill wife. He was not arrested.

Former MP Harvey Proctor, a fierce critic of the police’s handling of the inquiry, saw his home raided and was twice interviewed under caution.

He was not arrested and was finally told in March that he would face no further action. Both men had denied the allegations.

The widow of Lord Brittan, the late former home secretary, was also told in March that he would have had no case to answer under the collapsed investigation.

In a statement at the time Lady Brittan said: “We are pleased that the rest of the world now knows for sure what I, my family and Leon’s friends have always known – that he was a dedicated public servant, a devoted family man – and innocent.”

Earlier this year Met Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe announced that he had called in a former High Court judge to examine the handling of a number of investigations involving non-recent abuse claims against public figures.

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