05/08/2015 16:38 BST | Updated 05/08/2016 06:12 BST

Abuse Inquiry To Examine Sir Edward Heath Claims 'If Facts Justify It'

The independent inquiry into historic child sex abuse will consider allegations against Sir Edward Heath "should the facts justify it", a spokeswoman has said.

At least five police forces are investigating allegations involving the former Prime Minister.

Today a spokeswoman for The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, led by Justice Lowell Goddard, said the probe was aware of the claims.

She said: "As chair of the Inquiry, Lowell Goddard has earlier made clear, she is leading the strand of the Inquiry that looks at all allegations relating to Westminster and will determine their relevance to the Inquiry.

"The Inquiry is aware of the allegations about former PM Edward Heath and is in close contact with the ongoing policing operation, Operation Hydrant.

"The Inquiry's terms of reference are broad and it is mandated to investigate institutional failures to protect children across a range of institutions, including Westminster.

"Should the facts justify it, the emerging allegations about the former prime minister will form part of the Inquiry's investigations under the leadership of Hon. Lowell Goddard."