MI5 chief’s family blast Met for refusing to discuss child abuse probe with them and even claiming the inquiry didn’t exist
Sir Michael Hanley, who died in 2002, allegedly named by ‘Nick’ as abuser
MI5 chief’s family has been ‘passed from pillar to post’ by the Met
Family source even claims Met said Operation Midland didn’t exist
Scotland Yard refused to speak to the family of the former MI5 chief accused of child abuse and even claimed the disastrous Operation Midland inquiry didn’t exist, it was revealed today.
Sir Michael Hanley was named along with other VIPs as a paedophile by the Met’s key witness ‘Nick’, described by police as ‘credible’ and a fantasist by his own family.
Sir Michael, who died in 2001 aged 82, was named last year by former MP Harvey Proctor as being investigated by police as part of Operation Midland, which is now on the brink of collapse.
Since then his two children have demanded answers about what allegations aimed at their spy father, who was survived by his widow, Lady Lorna Hanley.
But they have been met by silence and ‘pushed from pillar to post’ and were even told there is ‘no such thing’ as Operation Midland, which has cost taxpayers £3million so far.
A source told The Times: ‘The Met has really been giving them the runaround. They have been told, ‘We don’t even know of this particular operation’.
‘It has been a fiasco, to be honest. They deserve some information about such damaging allegations. It is very distressing to be kept in the dark.’
The former director-general of MI5, who died in 2001 aged 82, was a war hero known as ‘Jumbo’ because of his size.
He first joined the Army in 1940 and was an officer in the Royal Artillery serving in Europe before he joined the security services in 1948.
In the 1960s he was once wrongly accused of being a Soviet spy. A Polish defector had claimed that there was a well-placed KGB agent inside MI5 and the description was said to fit Sir Michael.
He was cleared in a subsequent investigation and appointed Director-General in 1972, going on to hold the post under three prime ministers before he died 14 years ago.
Suddenly last year Harvey Proctor called a press conference to lift the lid on Operation Midland after he was accused of abusing boys and playing a part in two murders, which he claimed was just a ‘witchhunt’ because he is gay.
He then sensationally reeled off Establishment figures accused of being in a VIP paedophile gang, which included former Prime Minister Ted Heath and former Home Secretary Leon Brittan – as well as Sir Michael.
His adoptive children, Sarah Pittman and Peter Hanley, said they were completely unaware of the allegations against their father until Mr Proctor named him. In a statement they said: ‘Our father was a decent, loving, principled family man.
‘These are unfounded allegations from an anonymous source and as such have no effect on our father’s good name.’
Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who has claimed detectives had asked him about the men during interviews about alleged abuse – and even murder – named other men ‘Nick’ said was at Westminster sex parties in the 1980s
Despite this Sir Michael’s widow and children are yet to be spoken to by detectives, and raises questions about the adequacy of the Met’s investigation.
Britain’s top policeman has repeatedly refused to apologise as he was accused of kicking the row over his discredited investigation of war hero Lord Bramall ‘into the long grass’.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe faced a furious backlash as he unveiled an independent review of his beleaguered historic child sex abuse inquiries, Operation Midland.
Leon Brittan’s widow Diana will today meet the head of Scotland Yard to ask why her husband was ‘hounded in life and death’ by his force.
She will demand to know why detectives, under pressure from Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, prolonged an investigation into a baseless rape claim made against her dying husband by a mentally ill Labour activist.
Due to the Met’s mishandling of the case, Lord Brittan died with the false sex allegation still hanging over his head.
It was not until nine months after his death that the Met grudgingly told his wife he was innocent.