Boris Johnson 'backs Lord Hogan Howe to be head of NCA'

Boris Johnson faces cronyism row ‘as he backs ex-Scotland Yard chief Lord Hogan Howe – a close ally of the PM – to be head of National Crime Agency’ despite him overseeing botched VIP child abuse sex inquiry

  • Lord Hogan-Howe was in charge of Met when officers raided homes of leading Establishment figures as part of the force’s disastrous VIP paedophile ring probe 
  • Mr Hogan-Howe failed to make it to final round of candidates for coveted role  
  • The former head of the Met Police appears to be a leading candidate for the role 

Boris Johnson is facing a cronyism row after he ‘backed the former head of the Metropolitan Police’ who oversaw the bungled probe into a fictitious Westminster paedophile ring to ‘become the next director general of Britain’s version of the FBI’.

Lord Hogan-Howe – a close ally of the PM – applied for the £223,000-a-year role at the National Crime Agency (NCA) but failed to make it into the final round of candidates for the coveted role. 

However, it is believed Downing Street have rejected two highly qualified police chiefs who were interviewed by the Home Secretary Priti Patel, reports The Times.

The bid to make the ex-Metropolitan Police Commissioner head of the NCA comes despite him being in charge when officers raided homes of leading Establishment figures as part of the force’s disastrous VIP paedophile ring probe. 

If successful, Mr Hogan-Howe will succeed Graeme Biggar, the interim director-general of the NCA after Dame Lynne Owens retired from the position on health grounds in September last year.

During his time as head of Scotland Yard, Hogan-Howe was in charge of the force’s VIP abuse inquiry, which ruined the reputations of several public figures including retired Armed Forces chief and D-Day hero Field Marshal Lord Bramall, ex-home secretary Leon Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

They were smeared by fantasist Carl Beech, known as ‘Nick’, whose lies were swallowed whole by the Met.

Boris Johnson is facing a cronyism row after he ‘backed the former head of the Metropolitan Police’ who oversaw the bungled probe into a fictitious Westminster paedophile ring to ‘become the next director general of Britain’s version of the FBI’

Lord Hogan-Howe – a close ally of the PM – applied for the £223,000-a-year role at the National Crime Agency (NCA) but failed to make it into the final round of candidates for the coveted role

Pictured: Mr Johnson when he was London Mayor in 2012 with Lord Hogan-Howe

Bramall’s house near Farnham in Surrey was raided by police in 2015, when his wife was terminally ill and he was subjected to a humiliating 100-minute interview under caution.

Bramall, who served his country in every major conflict until he retired in 1985, was never charged and died aged 95 in 2019, after Beech had been jailed for 18 years for perverting the course of justice and fraud.

Met Police led botched child sex abuse probe based on false allegations of serial liar Carl ‘Nick’ Beech (pictured)

The former police chief, who now sits in the Lords as Baron Hogan-Howe of Sheffield, initially refused to apologise to victims of the investigations into alleged paedophile rings, but did so after a damning independent review uncovered serious failings.

Hogan-Howe, who left the Met in 2016 with an estimated £5million pension pot, was made a life peer in 2017 and has since taken up a number of consultancy posts for various firms.

And now the PM has set his cap on Mr Hogan-Howe leading the NCA – an organisation which focuses on tackling organised crime and national security threats.

The successful candidate will be selected by Home Secretary Priti Patel and they will report to her. 

Mr Hogan-Howe was a surprising backer of Boris Johnson in the Tory leadership campaign last year, despite sitting as a neutral crossbench peer, having worked with the Prime Minister when he was mayor of London. 

Former MP, Mr Proctor said appointing the ex-Scotland Yard chief would be ‘outrageous’, adding: ‘He presided over the worst police operation in this country for decades.’

A Downing Street source told The Times: ‘The PM has no formal role in the appointment process.’

The Home Office added: ”A fair and open recruitment campaign is under way.’

How one man’s false claims ended with disastrous raids on homes of veterans and politicians 

2011: Beech downloads a criminal injuries compensation form later found on his PC

2012: Carl Beech gives his first interview, to Wiltshire Police, in which he claims to have been abused by his step-father and Jimmy Savile. The enquiry was classified ‘undetected’ and taken no further.

October 22, 2014: Carl Beech begins to make his accusations to the Met Police in the first of five interviews between October and April. Over more than 20 hours of recorded police interviews, he makes lurid allegations of child rape and murder against senior Establishment figures including Ted Heath and Lord Brammall.

November 2014: Operation Midland launched with a dramatic appeal for witnesses in which Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald describes Beech’s allegations of years of abuse at the hands of VIPs in Westminster as ‘credible and true’.

March 2015: Twenty officers search the home of D-Day hero and former army chief Lord Bramall and his dying wife.

The homes of Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP, and of the late home secretary Leon Brittan are also searched.

April 2015: D-Day veteran and former Army chief Lord Brammal has his home raided by a large team of police officers, and is interviewed.

June 2015: Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, whom Beech accused of child murder, has his home raided by and is interviewed under caution.

August 2015: Harvey Proctor holds a press conference revealing he has been accused of murder, child abuse and torture and denying all allegations. He accuses the Met of running a ‘gay witchhunt’.

September 2015: Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe admits the Met was wrong to describe claims as ‘credible and true’.

October 2015: Kenny McDonald replaced as head of Operation Midland

January 2016: Lord Bramall is told he will face no further action.

February 2016: Hogan-Howe announces an independent inquiry of Midland by Sir Richard Henriques, a retired high court judge.

March 2016: Harvey Proctor is told he will face no further action. Midland is wound up.

June 16, 2016: Beech is charged with five counts of making indecent images and one charge of voyeurism, which involved rigging up a camera to film a boy using a toilet

October 2016: Hogan-Howe apologises to Lord Bramall.

November 2016: The Henriques review concludes Operation Midland was ‘riddled with errors’, that the judge who approved search warrants was wrongly told Beech had been consistent in his testimony, that police seemed to set aside the presumption of innocence and that the reputations of the accused were traduced.

2016: Northumbria Police conclude Beech’s claims are ‘totally unfounded, hopelessly compromised, and irredeemably contradicted by other testimony’.

November 2, 2016: Police arrive to raid Beech’s home in Gloucester.

March 2017: Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse and Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald are cleared of misconduct by an IOPC investigation into Operation Midland following the Henriques review.

September 2017: The Met pays Lord Bramall and Lady Brittan compensation understood to be around £100,000.

January 23, 2018: Beech gets £60,000 as an early pension from the NHS

February 6, 2018: He travels to Calais preparing to flee to Sweden, where he buys a cabin in the woods and lives under a series of assumed identities, travelling hundreds of miles from city to city to stay on the run

May 2018: Harvey Proctor sues Scotland Yard and Beech for £1million.

October 1, 2018: Beech was tracked down by Swedish and British police and arrested in advance of a 20-hour train journey to Gothenburg booked in the name of ‘Samuel Karlsson’.

2018: A highly critical review of Operation Midland reports police ‘acted like they were searching for bodies’ during raids on homes.

December 2018: restriction on reporting of Carl Beech’s real identity lifted.

January 2019: Beech pleads guilty to possessing child pornography, in a separate trial.

May 2019: Beech goes on trial for perverting the course of justice and fraud

July 2019: Beech found guilty of perverting the course of justice and fraud.

Source: Read Full Article