At least five British police agencies are investigating allegations that Edward Heath, prime minister of the U.K. from 1970-74 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1965-75, was a pedophile who preyed on boys, reports the Guardian. Heath died in 2005, at age 89. The allegations against him apparently surfaced after a brothel-keeper in his former hometown was reported to have had a prosecution against her dropped after threatening to expose Heath as a pedophile.
Police this week asked potential victims and witnesses to Heath's alleged abuse to come forward. Scotland Yard has reportedly been investigating claims against Heath as part of Operation Midland, which was set up to examine claims of systematic child abuse by a Westminster pedophile ring. In another development, the Mirror reported that a man has claimed he was raped at age 12 by Heath, who was unmarried and the subject to lurid speculation about his private life. The probes come amid a broad investigation of claims about establishment figures sexually abusing children and the crimes being covered up.