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  1. ITV Report

Met chief meets Lord Bramall over VIP abuse probe

Lord Bramall (left) spoke out against the Metropolitan Police investigation after being questioned by officers led by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe (right).

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has expressed his regret over the impact of the investigation into historical claims of sex abuse on Lord Bramall in a private meeting with the former armed forces chief.

Sir Bernard had previously said he would not be "bullied" into apologising to the 92-year-old D-Day veteran, who had publically condemned the Metropolitan Police for its handling of allegations against him.

Scotland Yard issued a statement confirming the pair met on Thursday, along with the Met's Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan, but did not say whether the Met chief had apologised to Lord Bramall.

Whilst the content of that conversation will remain private, the Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe expressed, in person, his regret about the distress felt by Lord Bramall and his family, and the impact of having his innocence publicly called into question after a long career of public service.

– Metropolitan Police

The statement said Lord Bramall had expressed "concerns" about the Met's since-closed Operation Midland at the meeting and these will be included in an independent review into the investigation, which will be published later this year.

Lord Bramall, seen with the Queen in 2006, was among a number of public figures investigated by police as part of Operation Midland. Credit: PA Archive

Operation Midland, the £1.8 million investigation into historical claims of a Westminster VIP paedophile ring, was criticised after closing last month without making an arrest.

A statement issued on behalf of Lord Bramall said the commissioner had expressed "deep regret" towards him at a meeting he described as "useful" and "constructive".

The statement confirmed his interest in contributing to the review into the Operation Midland, and ended by saying Lord Bramall "appreciates the great pressure the Metropolitan Police have been under" in relation to the investigation.

Sir Bernard, who is the country’s most senior police officer, had already expressed regret over the investigation of allegations against Lord Bramall during an appearance at a Home Affairs Select Committee in February.

Lord Bramall had publically condemned the Met's investigation, saying he was was left to prove the allegations against him were not true after being questioned by the inquiry's police.

He learned he would face no further action over the claims earlier this year, almost nine months after he was first interviewed by officers.