The senior officer in charge of Operation Midland insisted the investigation was "handled well" and refused to apologise to ex-MP Harvey Proctor who was told he would face no further action.
Speaking at Scotland Yard, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse stopped short of saying he was confident there was never a VIP paedophile ring, but stated that the evidence had not reached the right threshold for charges.
Our role here has been to investigate some serious allegations of crime. We've conducted a very detailed inquiry and our role really has been to assess whether or not there's enough evidence to ask the CPS to level charges.
My conclusion today is we haven't reached that threshold.
We've had a long investigation, a detailed investigation into some serious allegations of crime. It's absolutely right that we fully investigated it. Our role has been to identify whether there was sufficient evidence to ask the Crown Prosecution Service to charge anybody in this case, and our conclusion today is that isn't the case. The evidence doesn't reach that threshold.
Alleged child abuse victims do not want "any innocent person to be pilloried, let alone convicted", a campaigner has said.
Founder of The National Association for People Abused in Childhood Peter Saunders said police made an "error in referring to somebody's testimony as 'credible and true'" during Operation Midland.
He called for a line to be drawn under Operation Midland so that police can continue to go after child abusers.
From a victim, survivor point of view I hope that there is a line drawn under that and we now allow the police to go after abusers, helping support survivors of these crimes and we don't spend too much time dwelling on something that went wrong.
Nobody, least of all victims or survivors, would want any innocent person to be pilloried let alone convicted. We do have an issue that many survivors are delicate, hurting people.
The initial investigation and initial accusations obviously carried enough credibility and weight that the police felt justified in launching an investigation. Where they made an error was to refer to somebody's testimony as 'credible and true'. That was very, very unfortunate.
The brother of a 15-year-old who went missing in the late 1970s has said he is "bitterly disappointed" Operation Midland has been closed.
Kevil Allen told ITV News in December 2014 he was "convinced" the teenager was among the victims abused by members of an alleged historic Westminster paedophile ring.
I am bitterly disappointed Operation Midland has been discontinued.
The team only spoke to me once back in February when they informed me my brother's case was part of the inquiry and asked for a photograph of him. I have not heard from them since.
I sincerely hope the circumstances of my brothers disappearance continue to be investigated thoroughly but today's developments probably mean our mother who is seriously ill, will now never get the answer to the question of what happened to her son.