‘At last Met is held to account’: ex-MP praises action over VIP probe officer

Steve Rodhouse ran the Met’s notorious Operation Midland inquiry (PA Archive)
Steve Rodhouse ran the Met’s notorious Operation Midland inquiry (PA Archive)

Campaigners have welcomed the decision to investigate a former senior Scotland Yard officer who led the disastrous VIP child abuse inquiry for gross misconduct.

Ex-deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse who ran the Met’s notorious Operation Midland inquiry, has been accused of breaching professional standards and making dishonest statements during his handling of the case.

He is the first officer to face disciplinary proceedings from police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) as a result of Midland, which saw high profile figures investigated by police over false allegations of child abuse.

The decision that Mr Rodhouse has a case to answer for gross misconduct represents a victory for some of those who were falsely accused and their loved ones who have fought to have someone in the police held accountable for failings. Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP who was one of those falsely accused, said: “At last, a senior police officer of the Metropolitan Police is being held to account for misconduct within Operation Midland.”

Mr Proctor, who lost his home and job after the accusations but later received an apology and settlement from the Met, added: “It is time to hold a full inquiry into Operation Midland.”

Mr Rodhouse retired from the Met in 2018 and is now head of operations and joint deputy head of the National Crime Agency. The NCA is under pressure to suspend him from his £200,000-a-year job. The IOPC found that two people, known as witnesses A and B and accused of making false allegations, were not properly investigated. This was despite the recommendation of retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques, who wrote a scathing report on Midland.

West Midlands Police will now probe them over claims they perverted the course of justice.

Midland was launched in 2014 after fantasist Carl Beech went to police claiming he had been raped by a VIP paedophile ring in the Eighties.

The Met spent 18 months investigating the claims before closing the case without having made a single arrest.

In July 2019, Beech was jailed for 18 years after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice and fraud.