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Esther Baker: Police investigate woman who said MPs abused her

Esther Baker Image copyright Sky News
Image caption Police are probing whether Esther Baker lied about her account of child sexual abuse

A woman who made claims of organised child sexual abuse involving politicians is under investigation for allegedly lying about her account.

Staffordshire Police confirmed it was probing whether Esther Baker misled detectives who originally investigated her story.

Former MP John Hemming, one of those she accused, described himself as a victim of the allegations.

Ms Baker said "if there was something to find" police would have found it.

The force, which spent more than a year investigating Ms Baker's allegations in 2015 and 2016, said its current inquiry was ongoing.

In a statement, it said: "Following a complaint made to officers, the matter is being investigated and the file is currently with Staffordshire Police's head of crime for review and consideration of next steps."

The complaint was made by Mr Hemming, who said Ms Baker should be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.

Mr Hemming was interviewed under caution by officers in 2015 following Ms Baker's accusation.

In 2017 the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped its case as it failed to meet the required level of evidence.

Image caption Former MP John Hemming has accused Ms Baker of perverting the course of justice

Ms Baker waived her right to anonymity during media interviews and received significant coverage for her claims, with her case mentioned in the House of Commons.

She claimed she was taken with other children to woodland in Cannock Chase, Staffordshire to be raped, and alleged uniformed police officers were sometimes present. A deceased former MP was also accused.

Ms Baker's story was featured by the now defunct website Exaro News.

A separate Exaro interviewee - Carl Beech - was jailed last month for 18 years after being convicted of making false allegations of abuse and murder involving public figures.

Ms Baker said the "next steps" mentioned by police "have apparently not yet got to the stage of even interviewing me about [perverting the course of justice] after four years of [Mr Hemming] alleging it".

She added that over the last four years, officers "have had full access to all of my computers, devices and anything they want - plus 150-ish hours of video interviews".

Ms Baker said: "If there was something to find I'm sure they'd have found it by now."

Mr Hemming, who served as the Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley for a decade, said: "A number of people have been harassing my family and myself based upon these false allegations for a number of years.

"The authorities should take action to stop this. The money spent by the police on the allegations of Esther Baker is money which was not available for dealing with truthful allegations."

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