- Labour activist claimed in 2012 that Lord Brittan had raped her in 1967
- Case was dismissed due to lack of evidence but re-opened in this summer
- Late Lord Brittan died of cancer but was never told he had been cleared
- Brother Samuel slammed the police in what he called ‘a miserable affair’
Leon Brittan’s brother has demanded an apology from Labour deputy leader Tom Watson for making ‘unfounded’ sex crime allegations about the former Home Secretary.
Sir Samuel Brittan, 83, called on Mr Watson to say sorry directly to his sister-in-law, Lady Brittan, for accusing her late husband of rape and child abuse.
Tory MPs joined demands for an apology, saying Mr Watson had destroyed Lord Brittan’s reputation with ‘unforgiveable’ slurs.
Today, Samuel Brittan, said his brother was ‘treated outrageously’ in what he described as ‘a miserable affair’. He said he was brought up to believe that the police did not make allegations unless they had a ‘cast-iron case’ to being to court, yet they were ‘gossiping with journalists’ about unfounded claims against his brother
The police also came under fire over their handling of Lord Brittan’s case.
His friend, former Chancellor Lord Lamont, claimed officers had suggested the peer take part in an identity parade as part of a rape probe. Lord Lamont said the proposal was ‘beyond satire’.
Days after Lord Brittan died, Mr Watson wrote an article describing how the late peer stood ‘accused of multiple child rape’ and repeated accusations he said came from victims that he was ‘as close to evil as any human being could get’.
Mr Watson was a central figure in Parliament spreading claims of an Establishment paedophile scandal, and played a key role in having a rape case against Lord Brittan reopened after it was closed because of a lack of evidence.
Samuel Brittan claimed the allegations made against his brother (left) were ‘either somebody fishing or mistaken identity’, and said he would be ‘furious’ if he were in Lady Brittan’s (right) position
Leon Brittan’s brother has demanded an apology from Labour deputy leader Tom Watson (pictured) for making ‘unfounded’ sex crime allegations about the former Home Secretary
After he wrote to the country’s most senior prosecutor about the case, the late peer was questioned under caution while terminally ill with cancer last summer. Since the case was dropped, he has said nothing.
Aides have claimed Mr Watson was ‘away’ until next week and ‘unavailable for comment’.
Sir Samuel, a retired former Financial Times executive and columnist, told the Mail: ‘He should apologise to my sister-in law for making unfounded accusations against my brother. And he should apologise in public as well.’
THE DARK RUMOURS HE SPREAD ABOUT BLAMELESS LEON BRITTAN
Crusade: Labour deputy leader Tom Watson
October 24, 2012
Mr Watson called for the Prime Minister to investigate ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10.’
November 3, 2012
On his blog, he wrote: ‘More ordinary people have contacted me… they have named powerful people who abused children with impunity.’
November 5, 2012
Letter to the Prime Minister
‘Since sharing my concerns with you at PMQs, a number of people have come forward to say that they raised their suspicions with the police, but investigations were not carried out. One allegation involves … a former cabinet minister.’
May 20, 2014
Letter to Alison Saunders, the then DPP
‘I have found myself appalled at the conduct of this investigation… everyone is complicit in the failures of the past.’
July 8, 2014
Mr Watson asked the Attorney General for ‘a copy of each item of correspondence between his department and the Home Office and Lord Brittan of Spennithorne in relation to child abuse in 1984 and 1985.
January 24, 2015
He said in the Daily Mirror newspaper: ‘I’ve spoken to a woman who said he raped her in 1967. And I’ve spoken to a man who was a child when he says Brittan raped him. Today, one survivor said to me … that Brittan was “as close to evil as a human being could get”.
‘All the glowing tributes [after Lord Brittan’s death] reminded me of the media coverage immediately after Jimmy Savile’s death.
‘Leon Brittan stands accused of multiple child rape. Many others knew of these allegations and chose to remain silent. I will not.’
March 21, 2015
A blog post said: ‘Sources close to the police have told me that Leon Brittan was named by a child linked to the raid [on Elm Guest House in South-West London in 1982].
‘The sources allege that the police were instructed by senior officials to ensure that no record was made of the child naming Brittan.’
And he condemned police for their ‘outrageous treatment’ of his brother. ‘I was brought up with people saying the English police were wonderful. I’m not sure I could repeat that now.’
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said: ‘After Lord Brittan’s death came the police raid on his two houses, while his widow was still sorting out his belongings, some of which were carted away. As with Cliff Richard…BBC journalists told people that they had been tipped off by the police.
‘Before Lord Brittan died, the police, referring to a rape accusation, suggested he should take part in an identity parade.
Since Lord Brittan was cleared, Scotland Yard’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse has written to his widow apologising for the delay in clearing the former Home Secretary of the false rape claim
The Scotland Yard chief admitted the Met should have provided ‘clarity’ on the case at an earlier stage and apologised for ‘any distress’ that it had caused Lady Brittan
The apology came after a BBC Panorama episode (pictured) on Tuesday which contained evidence raising serious questions about the reliability of allegations against a ‘murderous’ Westminster paedophile gang
‘That seems beyond satire. How could a well-known public person, already named and identified by his accuser, usefully take part in such a charade?’
Pressure mounted on Mr Watson after it emerged that Scotland Yard had apologised to Lord Brittan’s widow for the delay in clearing her husband of a false rape claim.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse admitted the Met should have provided ‘clarity’ over the case earlier and apologised for the ‘distress’ this caused.
The Panorama programme featured the case of a man known as ‘Nick’ who claims Lord Brittan was part of the VIP paedophile gang
The case was reopened only after Mr Watson wrote to the head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Alison Saunders.
Last night Keith Vaz, the chairman of the powerful House of Commons Home Affairs select committee, wrote to the Met demanding answers over the case.
The Mail can also reveal that Home Secretary Theresa May has warned of the need to be ‘careful’ when making such accusations.
Aides said she never comments directly on police investigations but made clear she is determined that victims must be encouraged to come forward.
Nigel Evans, the Tory MP and former deputy Speaker who was acquitted last year of rape and sexual assault charges, said: ‘Tom Watson now needs to apologise to the Brittan family. Some of the things he said were totally unforgiveable.’
Former Tory party vice-chairman Michael Fabricant said: ‘I hope now Tom Watson will recognise he was reckless in some of the accusations he made.’
Last year, Mr Watson pressured police into reopening their investigation into Lord Brittan despite prosecutors concluding there was no evidence to charge him.
Lord Brittan – then terminally ill – was interviewed under caution and had the allegation hanging over his head when he died in January aged 75.