UK's Edward Heath would have been quizzed on child sex abuse claims

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Who was Edward Heath

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Who was Edward Heath

Instead the aim of the investigation was to "seek to establish the facts concerning allegations of child abuse made against Sir Edward Heath through an objective and proportionate investigation", as well as identifying whether any living people may have committed offenses, or whether any children or vulnerable adults were today at risk of abuse.

The allegations include one of rape of a male under 16, three of indecent assault on a male under 16, four of indecent assault on a male under 14, and two of indecent assault on a male over 16.

The Wiltshire Police said in a summary closure report into Operation Conifer - launched in 2015 - that they "carried out an impartial and thorough investigation in line with national guidance and advice from the College of Policing".

October 1970: British prime minister Edward Heath chatting with USA president Richard Nixon (1913 - 1994) at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, the official country residence of the British PM.

He never forgave Margaret Thatcher for ousting him as Tory leader in 1975, for years nursing a grudge which became known as the "incredible sulk". Was Sir Edward Heath a paedophile or was he not? At that time, he was serving as MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup. The police have a duty to investigate and go where the evidence takes us.

Sir Edward Heath, who was Conservative Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974, was a member of the congregation of Salisbury Cathedral from 1985 until his death in 2005.

Two of the allegations that would have warranted police interviews, according to Wiltshire detectives, relate to the Channel Islands.

Police stressed that they could not pass judgment on whether Heath, who died in 2005, was guilty or not, nor whether there would have been a likely prospect of successfully prosecuting him.

It said more details could compromise the anonymity of the victims and "inadvertently lead to an inference as to the guilt or otherwise of Sir Edward Heath". He remains the only British Prime Minister to have won a major global sporting trophy whilst in office.

But the decision to investigate had been "the right moral thing, ethical thing and professional thing to do", he said. It was just not of interest to him, ' he added. He was one of the people who was around in our lives.

"When I grew up I formed a closer relationship with him". A separate criminal investigation is ongoing. The publication of that report is expected in the next few weeks. Two others were said to have been removed from the list at a late stage.

" I think this whole flourish today of [Wiltshire police] saying there are seven outstanding matters is about self-justification".

Garnier said that police forces were embarking upon unnecessary inquiries into high profile abuse as they struggle to recover their reputations following the failure to prosecute the former BBC personality Jimmy Savile.

In December chief constable Mike Veale wrote a public letter to "set the record straight". There is, for example, a discrepancy over whether Sir Edward ever drove himself, denied by friends but affirmed in the police report.

Veale denied the investigation into Heath was a "fishing expedition" or "witch hunt" and vowed not to bow to "unacceptable" media pressure.

A spokeswoman for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said it would consider Wiltshire Police's report.

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