Disgraced head of Met’s shambolic VIP sex abuse inquiry is blocked from top crime job after vote of no confidence
- Steve Rodhouse has been blocked from taking over Britain’s version of the FBI
- Sources confirmed he won’t be promoted to head of the National Crime Agency
- He was head of the force’s shambolic VIP sex abuse inquiry as a result of the false allegations of serial liar Carl ‘Nick’ Beech
The disgraced head of Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP sex abuse inquiry has been blocked from taking over Britain’s version of the FBI.
Former Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse was a contender to succeed Dame Lynne Owens as head of the National Crime Agency (NCA).
But in a major snub, the Home Secretary has ruled out promoting him to temporary head of the organisation after Dame Lynne’s sudden retirement on health grounds last week.
It is understood at least one victim of Operation Midland wrote to Priti Patel urging her not to make the gaffe-prone police chief interim director general of the NCA pending a permanent appointment.
Disgraced: The disgraced head of Scotland Yard’s shambolic VIP sex abuse inquiry, Steve Rodhouse (pictured), has been blocked from taking over Britain’s version of the FBI
Senior sources confirmed last night that Mr Rodhouse, currently joint deputy head of the NCA and its head of operations, will not be promoted.
He is now facing an uncertain future, with senior Home Office figures describing him as a ‘lame duck’.
One said: ‘It is an indictment of his appointment that he is not seen as a suitable candidate to step up even on a temporary basis. It is a resounding vote of no confidence.’
Dame Lynne was seen as a critical ally and ‘chief protector’ of Mr Rodhouse as he refused widespread calls to resign over his role in the Operation Midland fiasco.
But it remains to be seen whether her successor will be so supportive of the ex-Met senior officer.
In his previous job at Scotland Yard, Mr Rodhouse was ‘gold commander’ of the force’s VIP abuse inquiry, which ruined the reputations of several public figures including retired Armed Forces chief and D-Day hero Field Marshal Lord Bramall, ex-home secretary Leon Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.
Senior sources confirmed last night that Mr Rodhouse, currently joint deputy head of the NCA and its head of operations, will not be promoted to succeed Dame Lynne Owens (pictured) as head of the National Crime Agency
But in a major snub, the Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) has ruled out promoting him to temporary head of the organisation after at least one victim of Operation Midland wrote to her
A judge-led inquiry identified 43 major blunders in Mr Rodhouse’s investigation, and Mr Proctor, who lost his job and home as a result of the false allegations of serial liar Carl ‘Nick’ Beech, was paid £500,000 compensation by Scotland Yard.
Lord Bramall and Lord Brittan’s widow each received £100,000 from the Metropolitan Police in out-of-court settlements.
Mr Rodhouse also led separate 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 still alive.
In his previous job at Scotland Yard, Mr Rodhouse was ‘gold commander’ of the force’s VIP abuse inquiry as a result of the false allegations of serial liar Carl ‘Nick’ Beech (pictured)
Yet despite running these three controversial investigations, Mr Rodhouse was promoted in 2018 to be director general (operations) of the NCA under Dame Lynne, his old boss from the Met and Surrey Police.
He was the only one of her three deputies who has a policing background and would have been expected to step up to lead the NCA on a temporary basis.
But because of his track record, putting him in charge even on an interim basis would have been extremely controversial.
Mr Rodhouse has kept his job despite facing huge pressure to quit over his mishandling of Operation Midland – which continues to fester after a ‘whitewash’ inquiry by the police watchdog cleared him and four other officers of any misconduct.
Earlier this year, six former home secretaries demanded a fresh probe into the VIP abuse inquiry and the watchdogs that cleared detectives of misconduct.
In an interview with the Daily Mail in February, Lord Brittan’s widow attacked the ‘culture of cover-up’ and ‘lack of moral compass’ at the top of Scotland Yard.
According to recent accounts, Mr Rodhouse’s pay package last year was around £265,000.
The NCA said: ‘The decision regarding who becomes the interim DG is a matter for the Home Secretary.’