Ted Heath child abuse claims: Gloucestershire Police receives allegation against former PM

The force said it had referred the matter to Operation Hydrant

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The Independent Online

Gloucestershire Police has said it has received an allegation involving the sexual abuse of a child against the former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

It becomes the sixth police force looking into claims against the former Tory leader, after The Met, Wiltshire, Kent, Jersey and Hampshire services.

In a statement, Gloucestershire Police said it was discussing the allegation it had received with officers from Operation Hydrant, which coordinates multiple historical child sexual abuse investigations across the country.

A spokesperson said: "We can confirm we have received an allegation against Sir Edward Heath.

"The Constabulary has referred the allegation to Operation Hydrant officers and we will be liaising closely with them to decide the appropriate investigating authority." It said no more details could be provided at this time for "operational reasons".

The States of Jersey Police confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Sir Edward had been a suspect for months as part of Operation Whistle, an inquiry into alleged historic sex abuse on the island.

He is also being investigated as part of Operation Midland, an inquiry by Scotland Yard into claims a "VIP paedophile ring" which was operating in the 1970s and 1980s across London and the south east.

Kent Police said it had received an allegation of sexual assault in the 1960s by a victim who named Sir Edward Heath.

A separate probe is being conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into whether Wiltshire Police failed to pursue claims against the politician in the 1990s.

Wiltshire Police, which issued an appeal for potential victims of Sir Edward to come forward, said it had received a number of calls.

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