The detective in charge of the VIP sex abuse investigation stepped down after complaining that he was being deliberately undermined by Tom Watson, the Labour MP, The Telegraph understands.
Scotland Yard knew two years ago that claims about a Westminster child abuse ring were largely unfounded, but investigations were strengthened under political pressure, it has also emerged.
The revelations will put further pressure on Mr Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, over his role in forcing police to question Lord Brittan over allegations of rape. The former home secretary went to his grave with the shadow of a rape allegation hanging over him, despite the fact that police had dismissed the case over lack of evidence.
Det Chief Insp Paul Settle, who was head of the Metropolitan Police’s paedophile unit, quit the VIP child sex abuse scandal last year following a series of interventions by Mr Watson.