MPs question Government on Operation Midland
07 October 2019
David Davis MP asked an urgent question on the independent report into Operation Midland to the Minister of State (Home Department), Kit Malthouse.
Operation Midland was a Metropolitan Police investigation into childhood sexual abuse that focused on a number of high-profile individuals. A subsequent inquiry found these allegations to be false, and earlier this year the accuser was found guilty and sentenced to prison. Today, the report into the inquiry by the Independent Office for Police Conduct was released. David Davis MP asked ministers for a statement on the response to this report.
Kit Malthouse MP told Members that it was important to restore public confidence in the police. He also emphasised the importance that the findings of the report released by the IOPC are acted upon.
The Minister said:
"It is now vital that the public receives independent assurance that the Met has learned from the lessons identified in Sir Richard’s report and has made the necessary improvements. This is crucial to restoring public confidence that the police handling and investigation of such sensitive matters is both fair and impartial."
Responding to the Minister of State (Home Department), David Davis MP stressed the reputational damage done to those falsely accused. He also criticised the IOPC's report into the failures.
The MP replied:
"The fundamental principle of our justice system is innocent until proven guilty, a principle undermined over the last decade when the rules of police forces were amended, particularly after the Jimmy Saville scandal. The entirely understandable aims of these changes were to increase the conviction rate in sexual offences, but this has been a complete failure with conviction rates to sex crimes having dropped dramatically in the last five years. And the price has been paid in terms of reputational damage and ruined lives has been enormous. High profile figures investigated under Operation Midland have had their reputations disgracefully and unjustly tarnished. And the IOPC, whose report was published this morning, has failed miserably to identify the Met's failures, identify the culpable people or resolve the issues."
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