K.Harvey Proctor was MP for Basildon from 1979 to 1983 and for Billericay from 1983 to 1987.
On 31st January, the Prime Minister criticised Keir Starmer for his alleged inaction in prosecuting Jimmy Savile.
Since then, the Prime Minister has been admonished by Savile’s complainants, the Speaker of the House of Commons, some of his own MPs including the Chancellor and the media. Key aides of the Prime Minister have resigned in response.
What are the facts? Starmer established an inquiry under Alison Levitt, and apologised for the Crown Prosecution Service’s failures in the Savile case. As the Prime Minister apparently intends to do on “Partygate”, Starmer took responsibility for the organisation he led, irrespective of any personal responsibility.
In defending the Prime Minister, Dominic Raab claimed that Sir Keir has questions to answer on his tenure as DPP… Raab is right, though he failed to go into details. Let me present the powerful case against Starmer – the one Starmer is terrified to have even mentioned, let alone be questioned upon.
Boris Johnson should have picked Starmer’s real Achilles’ heel. Instead of Savile, the Prime Minister should have criticised Starmer for his “believe the victim” policy while Director of Public Prosecutions.
Instead of upholding the principles of justice that we observe in this country, Starmer succumbed to the post-Savile hysteria and the corporate guilt many institutions experienced.
Was Starmer concerned about chronically low rape convictions, and the impact that these were having on his career as DPP and his potential political career in the future?
Whatever the explanation may have been, he wrote in a 2013 Guardian article that “false allegations of rape and domestic abuse are few and far between…The system makes judgements about people’s credibility that are unwarranted [and there is a] misplaced belief that fake accusations are rife”.
His campaign to provide better treatment to “victims” of the criminal justice system became political and culminated in his Victims of Crime Bill, 2015 – though the correct term is “complainants” not “victims”. He made speech after speech in support of “victims”, which were picked up by the police establishment, inwardly digested and thus bolstered the general diktat.
Thus encouraged, the police abandoned old-fashioned policing, thought they would become “right-on” and got it exactly wrong. Starmer and Simon Bailey, once the police’s national spokesman on child abuse, thought that false sexual accusers were minimal, less than one per cent.
In his report on Operation Midland, Sir Richard Henriques, a distinguished former High Court Judge, thinks substantially differently: he found 10 per cent. An article by Sir Richard’s article in Daily Mail during 2020 makes this clear. I know who I believe.
In 2013, while he was DPP, Starmer wrote that, “false allegations can ruin reputations and devastate lives… .. such cases will be dealt with robustly and those falsely accused should feel confident that the criminal justice system will prosecute those cases wherever there is sufficient evidence, and it is in the public interest to do so”.
But two of my false accusers from 2015, Witnesses A and B, have lifelong anonymity. A & B have yet to be investigated, let alone prosecuted after seven years. The MPS still refuse to allow proper investigation and accountability – stating in 2016 that “ there was nothing to prove police had been knowingly misled by a complainant”.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) ordered an outside police force – Merseyside Police – to conduct an investigation into my complaint. It found in favour of the Metropolitan Police. I subsequently lodged an appeal against these decisions which is still being considered. No explanation as to why witnesses A and B have lifelong anonymity has ever been given to me by the Metropolitan Police.
Genuine victims of child sexual abuse have my deepest sympathy. I believe that allegations of any nature against an individual should be taken seriously.
However, that should not be to the detriment of professional policing, fairness, and justice. Upon making an allegation, a complainant should be given the time and space and be listened to. It is then the duty of the police to fully investigate and do so expeditiously, without fear or favour. It is not the job of the police to apportion guilt prior to investigating the claims, as we have seen with the Metropolitan Police and its shambolic handling of Operation Midland.
In November 2014, Starmer’s change in policy was endorsed by the then Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Tom Winsor, who stated that “the police should immediately institutionalise the presumption that the victim is to be believed”.
Indeed, it was – by the Metropolitan Police, in announcing to the world at the start of Operation Midland that the allegations made by “Nick” (Carl Beech), of a VIP paedophile ring operating at the heart of Westminster in the 1970s and 1980s were “credible and true”.
“Credible and true” was the euphemism for “believe the victim” used by Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald , the head of Operation Midland, at a press conference at New Scotland Yard on 18th December, 2014.
From this moment on, with the search of my home and office on 4th March 2015, the nation was led to believe I was a serial child-murdering paedophile before any investigation had begun, let alone concluded.
The IPCC and the IOPC in Operation Kentia cleared all Metropolitan police officers of misconduct and did not even interview key personnel. The then Commissioner for the Metropolis, now Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe, gave me a face to face apology in December 2016, offered me compensation – and then resigned before agreeing any. It was left to me to gain mediation three years later for settlement, however incomplete.
The direct impact on my life of Starmer’s perverse policy was that I was, again, public enemy number one. No amount of vindication will prevent the “no smoke without fire” brigade still believing that I am the monster that Carl Beech and the Metropolitan Police painted me to be.
My private life was destroyed. I felt my life had been extinguished. I lost my job, my home, my small but content family unit and my reputation. Even after compensation, the financial cost to me is £500,000. I received death threats. I had to leave the country for a year and, since returning, I have lived in a shed for 18 months and, even when I could afford accommodation, I have had to change homes for safety.
I will never return to being the person I was prior to Operation Midland. It is impossible to overestimate the damaging impact of such torment on an individual. It has scarred me for life and will live with me until the day I die.
As DPP, Sir Keir’s job was to uphold the law. Instead, he overturned the basic principle of innocence until proven guilty. He did not just overturn it; he shattered it and contributed to the inducement of a moral panic.
I know that I am not alone. I am in the company of Carl Beech’s other victims within Operation Midland: Sir Edward Heath, Lord Brittan, Field Marshal Lord Bramall – and other innocent individuals up and down the country who have suffered from this iniquitous change of policy, but lack the platform I have been thrust upon.
However, Starmer refuses to answer questions on this subject, the most catastrophic policy inaugurated during his time as Director of Public Prosecutions. He has not apologised. I believe Starmer’s silence is deafening. He should be held to account. I believe the real supporters and guardians of genuine complainants are those calling for the historic balance between complainants and the accused to be restored.
Starmer’s job as DPP was to uphold the law. Instead he overturned the basic principle of innocence until proven guilty. Starmer has questions to answer and apologies to make. To reiterate and assert what I said in Lord Ashcroft’s book, Red Knight, Sir Keir Starmer is not fit to be Prime Minister. He is not fit to be a Leader of the Opposition; he should not grace the benches of the House of Commons.