The timing of last week’s ‘Panorama’ on child abuse worked well for the Conservatives

The timing of Tuesday night’s Panorama special, The VIP Paedophile Ring: What’s the Truth?, was convenient indeed for the Prime Minister, coming hours ahead of his speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

The hour-long documentary pulled apart the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland inquiry into historic claims of child sex abuse by Establishment figures and appeared to absolve the former Conservative home secretary Leon Brittan, who was questioned by officers before his death this year, as well as casting doubt on evidence against other Tory grandees.

As David Cameron took to his feet with a determination to dispel the lingering image of the “nasty party” – still recovering, as he was, from the sleazy smears of Lord Ashcroft – it was helpful to have the persistent and damaging saga of politicians and paedophilia swept into the trash.

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