Former Home Secretary’s Yorkshire home among those raided in child sex abuse probe

THE Yorkshire home of the late former Home Secretary Leon Brittan has been raided by police investigating historic allegations of child sex abuse.

Leon Brittan. John Stillwell/PA Wire

Detectives searched his property near Leyburn as part of Operation Midland, which is looking at allegations of child sex abuse focusing on Westminster. They also searched a number of other properties last week.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police yesterday confirmed officers from Operation Midland, had on March 4, conducted searches at an address in Westminster, an address in Leyburn, an address in Farnham and an address in Grantham in connection with their inquiries.

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The latter months of Lord Brittan’s life were overshadowed by claims that the Home Office, when he headed the department, did not investigate thoroughly allegations that prominent politicians had sexually abused young people.

He was thrust into the headlines in July last year when it was claimed that in 1984 he was handed a 40-page dossier alleging high-level paedophile activity in Westminster. The dossier has since gone missing.

Last July, Lord Brittan confirmed he was interviewed by police about a “serious allegation”, but insisted that the accusation was “wholly without foundation”. It followed press reports he had been questioned by police in connection with an allegation of rape dating back to 1967.

The complainant involved was over 18 at the time.

Lord Brittan was MP for Cleveland & Whitby from 1974 to 1983 and for Richmond, Yorkshire, from 1983 to 1988. The Conservative peer served as Home Secretary in the 1980s, as well as serving as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, before joining the European Commission.

Operation Midland was launched by the Metropolitan Police in November following allegations that boys were sexually abused by a VIP paedophile ring centred around Westminster more than 30 years ago, amid claims that sex parties involving boys below the age of consent were held at the exclusive Dolphin Square apartment block near the Houses of Parliament.