Harvey Proctor

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A former MP is to receive compensation and costs from the Metropolitan Police of nearly £900,000 over the force’s disastrous investigation into false claims of a VIP paedophile ring.

Harvey Proctor, an ex-Tory politician, had his home raided following claims by fantasist Carl Beech.

Mr Proctor will receive £500,000 in compensation and nearly £400,000 towards legal fees from Scotland Yard.

The Met confirmed a settlement was reached late on Thursday evening.

Operation Midland, which began in 2014, saw dawn raids on the homes of 72-year-old Mr Proctor, D-day veteran Lord Bramall – who died earlier this month, and the late Lord Brittan, following a series of allegations that turned out to be lies.

Beech – then known as “Nick” – falsely claimed that he and other boys were raped and tortured in the 1970s and 1980s by members of a VIP paedophile ring.

He is now serving an 18-year prison sentence for 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.

During Beech’s trial in June, Mr Proctor told of the impact the allegations had on his life. He said media interest following the police raid led to him losing his job and deciding to leave the UK to live in Spain for his own safety.

The payout is believed to be by far the biggest in relation to Operation Midland.

In 2017, the force was reported to have paid Lord Bramall and the family of Lord Brittan £100,000 each.

And Mark Stephens, one of Mr Proctor’s lawyers, said the award is one of the largest-ever made by the police.

Mr Stephens said the case was about a “vindication of Harvey Proctor” as well as repairing the “real losses” he experienced.

The lawyer added: “I think it was fair to want [Mr Proctor] to have this award marked but also to allow him to move on with his life and live the rest of it without the stain on his character which had been so heavily put there by the police.”

‘Credible and true’

The Met was heavily criticised over Operation Midland in an independent review of the case by former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques.

He reprimanded the force for believing Beech for too long, detective superintendent Kenny McDonald for announcing publicly that Beech’s claims were “credible and true”, and officers for applying for search warrants with flawed information and for failing to close the investigation sooner.

Confirmation of the settlement came after Mr Proctor announced he had reported five former Met officers to Northumbria Police in a bid to spark a fresh inquiry into the investigation.

Northumbria referred his complaint back to Scotland Yard, which said it was still assessing it.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog found no evidence of misconduct or criminality by the officers during Operation Midland.

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