Scotland Yard is to close its investigation into a VIP paedophile ring after failing to uncover any evidence to back up revelations of an alleged victim known as 'Nick'. The Met launched Operation Midland in November 2014 to look into claims that child abuse took place in London at Elm Guest House in Barnes and Dolphin Square apartments in Pimlico.

Nine individuals – including former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor, the late Lord Brittan and former Army chief Lord Bramall – were investigated over the claims, which later widened to include a possible murder. But detectives are now close to pulling the plug on the operation, which has reportedly run up costs of £2m, after Nick's allegations proved baseless.

The decision would likely provoke criticism of the Met, whose commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has so far refused to apologise for his officers' treatment of 92-year-old Lord Bramall, who was accused of sexually abusing Nick more than 30 years ago at an army barracks. His son, Nicholas Bramall, last month called for Nick to be prosecuted for "peddling unsubstantiated and uncorroborated information" about his father.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson also faces embarrassment after the MP used parliamentary privilege to make child-abuse allegations. Watson was forced to apologise to Lady Brittan after writing that her husband, the former Home Secretary, was "as close to evil as any human could get" and linking him to abuse claims.

A Met Police spokeswoman told IBTimes UK that Operation Midland continues and "enquiries are ongoing."