UK

Sir Edward Heath: Two released after abuse investigation

Sir Edward Heath Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sir Edward Heath was prime minister from 1970 to 1974

Two people arrested following child abuse allegations against former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath have been released, Wiltshire Police has said.

The two unnamed suspects, the only ones to have been arrested, were also told they face no further action.

Operation Conifer has been examining the claims since appealing for alleged victims to come forward in summer 2015.

The former Conservative prime minister died at his home in Salisbury in July 2005, aged 89.

Operation Conifer was set up after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) began to investigate alleged historical corruption.

Information from a retired officer sparked concerns that Wiltshire Police had deliberately caused a criminal prosecution against a suspected brothel keeper to fail in 1994.

But last year the IPCC said it had found no evidence the case was dropped because she had threatened to make allegations against Sir Edward.

In December, Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Mike Veale wrote a public letter to "set the record straight" about the investigation.

Mr Veale said the probe was "complex and multi-stranded" and was "not a fishing trip or witch-hunt".

He stressed he took his responsibilities of operational independence "very seriously" and said he would not be "buckling under pressure not to investigate or to conclude the investigation prematurely".