The failure to suspend the gaffe-prone head of Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP abuse inquiry from his £200,000-a-year job prompted widespread fury yesterday.
Despite the revelation that Steve Rodhouse is to face gross misconduct proceedings over Operation Midland, the former Met deputy assistant commissioner remains joint deputy head at the National Crime Agency.
Victims of his bungled inquiry and former police chiefs united to condemn the decision to keep him in position as head of operations at the agency where he is at the forefront of the fight against international organised crime.
Their comments piled pressure on the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman.
The agency is answerable to her and she has regular dealings with NCA director-general Graeme Biggar, Mr Rodhouse’s immediate boss. Insiders told the Mail Mr Rodhouse had been moved to a ‘back office’ role at the NCA.
Victims of Steve Rodhouse’s bungled inquiry and former police chiefs have united to condemn the decision to keep him in position as head of operations at the National Crime Agency
The suspension row erupted after the Mail revealed that Mr Rodhouse is to face gross misconduct proceedings
The suspension row erupted after the Mail revealed that Mr Rodhouse is to face gross misconduct proceedings following a damning investigation by this newspaper last year.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct has ruled that he should face a disciplinary board over allegations he lied in public at the conclusion of Midland.
The dramatic development, following the Mail’s eight-year campaign for justice and accountability, marks yet another low point at the scandal-ridden Met.
Mr Rodhouse is the first officer to face disciplinary proceedings over Midland, widely regarded as the worst Scotland Yard investigation in modern times.
Former detective chief inspector Paul Settle, who blew the whistle on Mr Rodhouse’s disastrous pursuit of innocent VIPs, accused law enforcement chiefs of ‘double standards’. ‘If he was a junior officer charged with gross misconduct, he would be removed from operational duties or suspended immediately,’ said Mr Settle.
Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, who was falsely accused of child murder and sex abuse by serial liar Carl ‘Nick’ Beech, claimed an old boy network in the police establishment might be ‘protecting’ Mr Rodhouse.
‘He should be suspended if not sacked,’ added Mr Proctor, who received a £900,000 payout from the Met over his Midland ordeal.
Former Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse should face a disciplinary board over allegations he lied in public at the conclusion of Operation Midland, the police watchdog has ruled
Carl Beech was jailed for 18 years in 2019 for perverting the course of justice and other offences
In the past, the Met has repeatedly defended the conduct of Mr Rodhouse
The head of Scotland Yard’s catastrophic VIP sex abuse investigation is to face gross misconduct proceedings
A godson of former prime minister Edward Heath, who was falsely accused by paedophile Beech, also demanded Mr Rodhouse’s suspension.
Lincoln Seligman said: ‘After far too long this is the first senior police officer to be held to account for their actions in Operations Midland and Conifer (a linked inquiry by Wiltshire Police into bogus sex claims against Sir Edward).
‘Too many other officers have also walked away from the mess and gone on to highly paid jobs. Maybe their days are numbered.’
The decision to charge Mr Rodhouse with gross misconduct comes six months after he was served with a formal notice alleging he used ‘inaccurate or dishonest’ words at the end of Midland.
The decision to charge Mr Rodhouse with gross misconduct comes six months after he was served with a formal notice alleging he used ‘inaccurate or dishonest’ words (pictured in 2019)
Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, Lord Bramall, and late ex-home secretary Lord Brittan (left to right) who had their homes raided during Operation Midland
Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said, ‘I am deeply sorry for the mistakes that were made’ during the force’s investigations into false claims of sexual abuse in 2019
During his chequered career, he has led shambolic probes into a false rape allegation made by a mentally ill Labour activist against Lord Brittan and true claims of sexual abuse made against Jimmy Savile while he was alive.
Despite this, Mr Rodhouse was promoted in 2018 to be director general (operations) of the NCA under Dame Lynne Owens, his old boss from the Met.
It has also emerged that he ‘exploited a loophole’ to dodge an interview with investigators.
As he was no longer a serving policeman, he could not be forced to attend in person and gave a written statement instead.
An NCA spokesman said: ‘We are aware that the IOPC has decided that there is case to answer for gross misconduct relating to a senior NCA officer, as a result of a complaint linked to the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland.
‘The IOPC is obliged under relevant legislation to enter into a consultation period with concerned parties regarding a disciplinary hearing. We will engage with the IOPC fully on this matter.’
The agency added that ‘the officer will not be suspended at this stage’. However insiders last night said Mr Rodhouse had been moved to a ‘back office’ role.