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Iain Dale is Presenter of LBC Drive, Managing Director of Biteback Publishing, a columnist and broadcaster and a former Conservative Parliamentary candidate.

I cannot imagine what it’s like being accused not only of being a child sex offender, but also of murdering three children than I was supposed to have interfered with. Especially if the allegations are not only a tissue of lies, but one which a senior police officer tells the public are both “credible and true”.

That’s what has happened to Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative MP. When these allegations were first made public, his home was searched by the police (who naturally tipped off the media), he lost his job on the Belvoir Estate – and then his home.

He is now penniless, and more or less destitute. He felt he had no alternative but to leave the country – but he’s now back, though living a hand to mouth existence. Last week, he got a personal apology for the way he had been treated by Operation Midland from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan Howe. On Tuesday, they met in person. Proctor told him to his face he should resign.

I haven’t known Harvey Proctor for long. I published his book, Credible and True, which makes for a harrowing read at times. It hasn’t been a bestseller: books about miscarriages of justice, or wrongful accusations of child sex abuse, rarely are. But it’s a book which ought to be read by every member of Operation Midland and when they’ve done so they should feel free to hang their collective heads in shame. Five of them are now being investigated by the IPCC. No doubt deputy heads will roll.

When I interviewed Harvey on my LBC show last week, I ended the interview by asking him what his lowest moment was. He slightly broke down. In the half hour following, I had dozens of people get in touch wanting to help. I decided to set up a JustGiving page so people could donate to help Harvey get back on his financial feet. So far, nearly £5,000 has been raised. If you’d like to make a donation, however small, you can do so here.

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So Donald Trump won. It suddenly dawned on me last weekend that, four years ago, I interviewed Trump – but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was about or what he had said.

So on Monday we found the interview in the LBC archives. It was 11 minutes long, and I have to say showed Trump in a very different light. He was chatty, funny, warm, engaging, thoughtful – all the adjectives most people wouldn’t think of using about him nowadays.

I wonder if that’s the Trump we are going to see more of over the next few years. One point he did make to me back in 2012 was that he felt Mitt Romney wasn’t hard enough to fight against what he called ‘nasty’ Democrat attacks. It was as if he knew at that point he was going to fight a very negative campaign and wouldn’t be out-dirty tricked by the evil Democrats. Well, he certainly delivered on that, didn’t he?

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I don’t know why some people are so uppity about Boris Johnson saying that Britain is almost certainly going to leave the EU Customs Union. It’s a statement of the bleeding obvious.

The reaction from many commentators and journalists demonstrates that they don’t really understand what a customs union means. One of the consequences of the EU’s is that it negotiates as a single entity in international trade deals, instead of individual member states negotiating for themselves.

So if we stay in this customs union, you have to wonder what the point of Liam Fox is. Now it may – and I repeat, may – be possible to negotiate to remain part of it, but get an op- out allowing us to forge our own way in trade deals, I suppose.  But I wouldn’t bet my house on it happening.

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The other media tizzy this week concerned Nigel Farage. The liberal elites got themselves into a right lather over the fact that the former (or is it interim?) UKIP leader managed to become the first foreign politician to get an audience with the President-elect.

It was a snub to Theresa May, we were told. He should have refused the meeting. Yeah, right. Like any sane person would say, “No, sorry Mr President-elect, I can’t accept your invitation to the 56th floor of Trump Tower unless you see my Prime Minister first.”

I mean, honestly. Do these people who write this guff understand how politics works at all? If the Government has any sense it will use Farage behind the scenes, because he clearly has an ‘in’ with the Trump team that diplomats in the Washington Embassy can never hope to replicate.

And yes, Theresa May should give a peerage to Nigel Farage. If the signals I am picking up are correct, it wouldn’t take much for him to rejoin the Conservative Party as well… Now that really would set the cat among the Carswells, wouldn’t it?

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As I write this, I’ve just had the sort of evening that I sometimes have when I think it would be so nice to have a nine to five job that I didn’t have to think about outside those hours.

But of course if I did, I know I’d miss what I do now, even on days like this when I could have cheerfully strangled at least three people. As the Germans say: ‘Immer mit der Ruhe…’. [Calm at all times].

55 comments for: Iain Dale: The injustice Harvey Proctor suffered at the hands of the police – and how you can help

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