UK's Edward Heath would have been quizzed on child sex abuse claims

Heath's Salisbury home Arundells

Heath's Salisbury home Arundells Credit Eddie Mulholland

Wiltshire Police in southern England, which led the two-year investigation into Heath, published a report on its findings Thursday and outlined seven allegations of abuse of children and adults that investigators would have pursued, including the alleged rape of an 11-year-old boy in 1961 in a "paid sexual encounter".

The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, this week defended Sir Edward: 'There is a relatively low threshold for being interviewed under caution, ' he wrote in the Church Times.

The following month, the chief constable of Wiltshire Police, Mike Veale, wrote a public letter to "set the record straight" about the £1.5m investigation, saying it was "complex and multi-stranded" and was "not a fishing trip or witch hunt". The police have a duty to investigate and go where the evidence takes us.

1992 Then father of the House of Commons, Heath allegedly indecently assaulted an adult man after consent was withdrawn, in what had been a paid consensual sexual encounter in a hotel.

The £1.5 million (€1.7 million) probe was triggered in 2015 after Heath was named as a suspect in an investigation into so-called historical child sex abuse.

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The police do not and can not make a conclusion that Sir Edward is guilty or innocent, Mr. Watts explained, but if they had have been able to interview him, then they would decide whether to pass the case on to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). These relate to separate people who did not know each other, each in a different location and time period.

Seven of the 42 claims against him - which included rape and indecent assault of children aged as young as 10 - met the criteria for further investigation, Wiltshire Police said.

A police investigation has revealed the former United Kingdom prime minister Sir Edward Heath would have been questioned over sex abuse claims if he was alive.

Lincoln Seligman, Heath's godson, is reportedly calling for a judicial inquiry into how the police handled the allegations.

Several forces did receive complaints about Heath, however, but Wiltshire was chosen to manage the investigation because Heath lived in the area.

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"In the meantime, a fundamental, time-honoured principle should be respected, namely that a man is innocent until he is proven guilty".

Police say 40 people made disclosures to the investigation covering 1956 to 1992. He was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. "I believe this was the right moral, ethical and professional thing to do". Early on he was just a friend of my parents and I treated him as that. Two others were said to have been removed from the list at a late stage. "It has turned in to a game show and is there to protect the police's reputation", he told the Guardian.

The investigation received intense and sustained criticism while it was being carried out.

The force had been heavily criticised for its role in the investigation into historic sex abuse but the panel tasked with scrutinising investigation decisions said the inquiry had been "fair, sensitive and rigorous with regard to both victim and suspects".

"It is no surprise at all that Wiltshire police should have concluded that they would have interviewed Sir Edward had he been alive". Further evidence is said to exist in the fuller 350-page report that has been sent in confidence to the Home Office and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

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