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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 22:30 GMT 23:30 UK
Police drop Hamilton sex case
Christine and Neil Hamilton
Christine and Neil Hamilton denied the allegations
Police have dropped their investigation into alleged sexual assault by former minister Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine.

The couple were arrested after Nadine Milroy-Sloan, 27, accused them of performing indecent acts on her at a flat in Ilford, Essex.

A statement issued by the Metropolitan police said: "Following a thorough investigation, the MPS has found no evidence to support the allegations against Mr and Mrs Hamilton.

Nadine Milroy-Sloan
Ms Milroy-Sloan waived her right to anonymity
"Officers are satisfied that there is no evidence to link the Hamiltons to this case and they have been released from their bail conditions."

The couple said they were "absolutely delighted and relieved" the investigation had been dropped, but hit out at the police handling of the sex allegations.

Investigations concerning other allegations made by Ms Milroy-Sloan - not connected to the Hamiltons - were continuing, police said.

Legal action

Exactly what the Hamiltons will do next is not yet clear. They have spoken of taking legal action against both the police and Ms Milroy-Sloan.

Mr Hamilton said he would be in court on Wednesday for the first phase of the couple's libel action against Miss Milroy-Sloan.

Neil Hamilton
Neil Hamilton: Media offensive "justified"
Speaking outside his solicitor's office in Harley Street, central London, he said the couple's media offensive over the past fortnight had been justified.

"I think the policy we adopted of being open with everyone has been thoroughly vindicated in the way the police have got on with this inquiry so quickly," he said.

After the announcement Mrs Hamilton told the BBC she was "very delighted", and hoped that her and her husband could get back to a "normal life".

She added she could not comment on the possibility of herself or her husband taking legal action against the Metropolitan force.

But she again complained about the length of time it had taken police to drop the case against them.

"What have they been doing for four months when they could have cleared it up much sooner?" she asked.

She added that the police had brought the "media circus" accompanying the investigation on themselves.

Ms Milroy-Sloan's publicist, Max Clifford, said his client would be meeting police officers investigating her allegations on Wednesday.

"The police have been extremely friendly in talking to Nadine today. Obviously she is cooperating with them," Mr Clifford said.

He added Ms Milroy-Sloan had told him the police were very apologetic and wanted to explain their reasons for dropping the case against the Hamiltons.

The BBC's Stephen Cape
"It was all played out under the media spotlight"
Christine Hamilton
"We did not choose for this to come out in public"
PR consultant Max Clifford
"I stand by everything I've said about the Hamiltons"
See also:

28 Aug 01 | UK
Timeline: Hamilton sex case
13 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Theroux shadows the Hamiltons
13 Aug 01 | UK
Peer seeks rape law change
28 Aug 01 | UK
What now for the Hamiltons?
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