The British police watchdog is investigating claims of a cover-up over allegations of child abuse made against former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, BBC News reported.
An IPCC spokesman said: “It is alleged that a criminal prosecution was not pursued when a person threatened to expose that Sir Edward Heath may have been involved in offences concerning children,” a spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.
“In addition to this allegation, the IPCC will examine whether Wiltshire Police subsequently took any steps to investigate these claims.”
A retired detective has alleged that claims were made in the 1990s but not followed up, the broadcaster said.
Heath died at his home in Salisbury in 2005 at the age of 89.
In a statement, Wiltshire Police said: “Sir Edward Heath has been named in relation to offences concerning children.
“He lived in Salisbury for many years and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our inquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.
“Some people may never have spoken out about the abuse they have suffered but we would urge them to please contact us and to not suffer in silence.”
The Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation, which operates a museum at Arundells, his home in Salisbury, welcomed the investigation.
“We wholeheartedly believe [it] will clear Sir Edward’s name and we will co-operate fully with the police in their enquiries,” a spokesman said.
Sir Edward led the 1970-1974 Conservative government and took Britain into what was then the European Economic Community. He lost his leadership of the party to Margaret Thatcher in 1975.
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