Lord Bramall tells of anger over dropped child abuse allegations

Former armed forces chief Lord Bramall has spoken of his anger that his wife died before child sex abuse allegations against him were dropped.

The 92-year-old D-Day veteran, whose home was raided by 22 officers in March last year while he had breakfast with Lady Bramall, said he had now received an apology from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

The investigation, which was dropped in January, was part of the Met's controversial Operation Midland probe into a supposed VIP paedophile ring.

Sir Bernard had previously refused to apologise but the country's most senior police officer visited Field Marshal Lord Bramall on Wednesday, after reportedly receiving a draft report of a review into Operation Midland.

Lord Bramall told the Daily Telegraph: "Sir Bernard has apologised for the search of the house. He said they should never have searched the house.

"The commissioner also apologised for the inordinately and unnecessarily long time they took to the complete the investigation, and the words they used to say they were taking no further action against me."

He said he had felt "great distress" over the claims and labelled the doomed £2.5 million probe "misguided".

In particular, he said he was upset that his wife, who had been suffering from dementia, died in July last year without knowing he would face no action.

Lord Bramall told the paper: "My wife died without me being cleared. It didn't come into their consideration that my wife was dying.

"Sir Bernard told me 'we couldn't take you out of it earlier' because it would look like I had preferential treatment."

The pair previously had a "constructive" meeting in April, where Sir Bernard expressed his "regret", and Lord Bramall has contributed to the independent review led by former High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques.

Operation Midland came under further scrutiny after it emerged the widow of Lord Brittan, the late former home secretary, was also told in March that he would have had no case to answer under the collapsed investigation.

In a statement at the time, Lady Brittan said: "We are pleased that the rest of the world now knows for sure what I, my family and Leon's friends have always known - that he was a dedicated public servant, a devoted family man - and innocent."

A Met spokesman declined to comment.