In a lengthy and emotional public statement, former British Conservative MP Harvey Proctor has denied his alleged involvement in a VIP pedophile ring that alleged abuse survivors claim was operative during the 1970s and 80s, and responsible for murders as well as brutal rapes.
Speaking on Tuesday in London, Proctor held back tears as he said that he was the victim of a "homosexual witch hunt" and called for the head of the Metropolitan Police — Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe — to resign "for the sin of hypocrisy."
Proctor said he had spoken out because he was "deeply concerned about the administration of justice," that he was "completely innocent," and that the claims had "wrecked" his life.
"I am a homosexual. I am not a murderer, a pedophile or a pederast," he said, while denying that he had ever visited Elm Guest House, one of the locations where abuse is said to have occurred.
Others accused of involvement in the alleged pedophile ring include the late Prime Minister Edward Heath, ex-Home Secretary Leon Brittan, and former heads of British intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6.
"The paranoid police have pursued a homosexual witch hunt on this issue egged on by a motley crew of certain sections of the media and press and a number of Labour members of parliament and a ragbag of internet fantasists," Proctor concluded.
Late in 2014 British police began investigating allegations that senior politicians were involved in the murder of young boys, while operating as part of a pedophile ring that included senior figures in the government, law enforcement, and the military.
Operation Midland was set up in November 2014 to specifically investigate the reported homicides, which initially centered around the testimony of an alleged abuse survivor in his 40s, named only as Nick, who said he witnessed three killings at the hands of the group's members. These claims had followed a string of revelations of historical child abuse that had far-reaching implications for the British government and raised questions over official complicity in crimes dating back decades.
Nick told the BBC and Exaro, an investigative news website, that when he was 11 he was "given" by his father to a group of prominent pedophiles. Among those he claimed had raped him were Sir Peter Hayman, a former deputy director of MI6 who died in 1992, aged 78.
Nick claimed the group were "well organized," and said he was told when and where to wait. A car would pick him up and he'd be driven to "abuse parties" at hotels and private apartments in various parts of London, including the Dolphin Square apartment complex in London's upmarket neighborhood of Pimlico.
The alleged abuse survivor said that on one occasion he was raped over a bathtub while his head was held beneath the water.
He said his abusers were "a group of men, very powerful people and they controlled my life for the next nine years. They created fear that penetrated every part of me."
"I've never experienced pain like it. I hope I never do again, but some of it was deliberate because they set rules that were just impossible to follow so you couldn't help but break the rules on occasions and you were punished for that, which some of them enjoyed. The more pain the better from their point of view."
Nick's allegations also included details of three murders he claims to have witnessed.
One was of a brown-haired boy, who Nick said was strangled by Proctor while Nick was in the same room as him. Nick estimated the child was about 12. "I am not sure how I got out of that. Whether I will ever know why I survived, I am not sure," Nick said.
He also detailed another alleged killing by two men whose names he did not know, which he said took place in front of another Conservative politician, a former cabinet minister.
Nick claimed that, in a third incident, a member of the pedophile group deliberately drove over and killed another boy in southwest London in broad daylight during the summer of 1979. He estimated that this boy was aged 10 or 11, and said he had interpreted this as a warning of what would happen if he ever attempted to speak out.
Further accusations against the alleged pedophile group quickly followed from other sources.
Proctor has been questioned at least twice over the past few months by the Metropolitan Police.
Speaking to VICE News in November, Mark Watts, editor-in-chief of Exaro, said he believed the extensive claims of abuse and the link between it and the government made this "Britain's biggest post-war political scandal."
In response to the latest statement from Proctor on Tuesday, Watts said: "Harvey Proctor's claim that the police are conducting a 'homosexual witch-hunt' is preposterous. As Mr. Proctor outlined, the police are investigating very serious allegations of child sex abuse, child torture, and child murder.
"These allegations come from a witness who is regarded by the police — as well as by Exaro — as credible. The suggestion that police should not be investigating allegations that they assess to be credible is ludicrous.
"The police must be allowed to proceed with their wide-ranging investigation under Operation Midland, and take appropriate further steps such as searches, interviews, arrests and charges, according to the evidence."
Follow Sally Hayden on Twitter: @sallyhayd