Westminster paedophiles: Harvey Proctor and the ‘shirt lifters will not be prosecuted’
Westminster paedophiles: a look at reporting on allegations that VIPs operated a murderous child abuse ‘ring’ in London’s Westminster.
Today we hail the return of Harvey Proctor, the former Essex MP who in 1987 admitted “spanking sessions” with male prostitites. Proctor was MP for Basildon in Essex from 1979 to 1983 and Billericay from 1983 to 1987. He was popular.
The Press feasted off the story:
So. Harvey Proctor is back on the news cycle.
His name resurfaced in a 2014 story in the Daily Mirror:
Two senior ministers in the Thatcher government exposed by the Sunday Mirror last week for indulging in sex parties with underage rent boys were named in a damning paedophile dossier compiled in the 1980s.
Sir Keith Joseph and Sir Rhodes Boyson were cited in the “VIP” paedophile document drawn up by Labour’s Barbara Castle. Other MPs, senior policemen, head teachers and clergy were also named.
Joseph: died in 1984. Boyson: died in 2012.
And today we can also reveal disgraced former Tory MP Harvey Proctor has been named by witnesses in connection with sex parties and faces being questioned by a Government inquiry.
Special branch officers seized Baroness Castle’s file in 1984.
The Daily Mail looks at the latest news:
The investigation into claims of a VIP paedophile sex ring widened dramatically yesterday after police raided the home of a disgraced Tory MP. Harvey Proctor, 68, had been named on a list of politicians passed to police by campaigning Labour MP John Mann. Scotland Yard officers spent two days searching his grace-and-favour home at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire after a police team arrived on the estate on Wednesday.
The Times: “I’m in a Kafkaesque trap, says ex-MP over child sex claims”
Writes David Brown:
A former Conservative MP has described being trapped in a “Kafkaesque fantasy” after his home was searched by police investigating claims that a Westminster paedophile ring killed children. Harvey Proctor, who left parliament in 1987 after being charged with gross indecency with male prostitutes, denied being part of a “rent-boy ring” or attending sex parties with prominent figures.
A “rent-boy ring”? Is that a pun?
The Scotland Yard investigation centres on claims that politicians and others in the Establishment abused children at the Dolphin Square apartment complex near parliament in the 1970s and 1980s. One witness has claimed that a paedophile ring murdered three children.
But we have seen no evidence to back the claims up. All those column inches and appeals for witnesses but still no evidence. To be linked to vile crimes so publicly. To have your home searched. Those are no easy, small matters. They create a stink. But when the cloud of obvious police action has passed, what’s left is a merely a stain on the target. He’s not been arrested, let along charged.
Mr Proctor, 68, was prosecuted after a newspaper revealed that he had taken part in the spanking of male prostitutes aged between 17 and 21 at his London flat. He was fined £1,450. He now works for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland and lives with his partner in a house within the 16,000 acre grounds of their home, Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire.
Mr Proctor told BBC Radio 4:
“I find myself in a very Kafkaesque fantasy situation. The police have said basically that they are investigating historical sex abuse allegations going back to the 1970s and 1980s. I have never attended sex parties at Dolphin Square or anywhere else. I have not been part of any rent-boy ring with cabinet ministers, other members of parliament or generals or the military… The last thing I would have dreamt of doing was talking to other MPs or ministers or anyone else about my private life. It wasn’t that I was ashamed of being a homosexual, it was that I didn’t think it mattered a damn to the work I did on behalf of my constituents.”
It a story high on impact but low on fact. The ‘rent boy ring’ gave us one sticky-fingered adolsescent snigger and now comes another:
Mr Proctor, who ran a shirt shop after resigning as an MP…
On October 30 1994, the Independent’s Peter Victor profiled the shop:
SENIOR Tory politicians including Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, and Lord Archer have invested more than pounds 100,000 in a loss-making shirt shop owned by the disgraced former Tory MP, Harvey Proctor, perusal of the register of members’ interests reveals to the curious inquirer.
The register discloses the fascinating fact that no fewer than 11 current MPs have shareholdings in a little-known clothes retailer, Cottonrose Ltd…
Lots of former chums chipped in. Besides multimillionaires such as Lord Archer and Mr Heseltine, they included the present Paymaster-General, David Heathcote-Amory; Mark Lennox-Boyd, a former junior Foreign Office minister; and MPs Sir Nicholas Bonsor (Upminster), Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills) and David Evans (Welwyn Hatfield).
Several MPs who, like Mr Proctor, have suffered public reverses to their political careers also coughed up at least pounds 5,000 each. They included Neil Hamilton, forced to resign as Northern Ireland minister last week after allegations that he was rewarded by Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods, for helping in his battle with Tiny Rowland; Tim Yeo, the former Environment minister who was forced to resign after news broke of his adultery with Julia Stent, a Hackney Labour councillor, who bore his child; Michael Brown, who resigned as a Tory whip last May after a tabloid newspaper reported his homosexual affairs with a youth and a Ministry of Defence civil servant; and David Ashby, who suffered unwelcome publicity after admitting sleeping with a man but denying having sexual relations with him.
He was offered a right to reply:
Asked about it yesterday, amid the gold cufflinks and Tino Cosma accessories, the silks and the satins, Mr Proctor’s response was more of the sackcloth variety. ‘I don’t talk to lying newspapers,’ he said. ‘That is my quote. If you don’t leave my shop I shall call the police.’
A TORY minister had his nose broken when he went to the aid of a former MP who was being attacked by two men, a court was told yesterday.
In July last year, Neil Hamilton, a trade minister, and his wife, Christine, were visiting a shirt shop in Richmond, southwest London, owned by Harvey Proctor, who resigned as MP for Billericay in 1987 after being involved in a sex scandal. Isleworth Crown Court, west London, was told that James Coomber and David Parker entered the shop and became abusive, asking Mr Proctor: “Have you any ties for tying up rent boys before you spank them?”
As Mr Proctor tried to usher them out, they began throwing punches. Mr Proctor was punched in the face and had his little finger broken. When Mr Hamilton tried to come to Mr Proctor’s aid he was punched in the face three times and knocked to the ground. He needed surgery for a broken nose.
“I believe the number of victims grows by the day, and the number of alleged perpetrators — through death — diminishes. That is a problem. It’s certainly a problem for me. My problem is that I am still very much alive. I’m sure that some of the allegations are true, but I am also sure that a lot are pure and utter fantasy.”
The Times then adds a key fact:
Mr Proctor emphasised that his four guilty pleas related to homosexual activity with men who he believed to be above the age of consent of 21 that existed at the time, and who were older than the present age of consent of 16.
As he says:
“I pleaded guilty to four charges of gross indecency in 1987. Those offences related entirely to the age of consent to homosexuality. That age has been reduced first to 18 and now to 16. The offences I committed in 1987 are no longer offences and there is legislation on the statute book which would allow me to wipe them clean if I wished to do so.”
Gays were prejudiced against in law. That bigotry has now been righted.
Andrew Pierce reviwes the life of Proctor in his article for the Mail, a story headlined:
Spanking parties and the Enoch fan too right wing for Maggie
…his views on immigration were considered so far beyond the pale that while serving as an MP he was beaten unconscious at a demonstration in Scarborough, had red paint thrown over him when addressing Coventry University, and burning papers were thrust through the letter box of his tiny terrace home in Billericay.
Urging the abolition of the Commission for Racial Equality, he demanded the forcible repatriation of 50,000 ‘coloured’ immigrants a year, proposing a £7,000 payment to encourage them to go… he attempted to halt the growing tide of political correctness by launching a campaign to save the golliwog.
To those readers unaware of the golliwog, here is a poitted history of the children’s toy:
The original Golliwog (spelt Golliwogg) was based on a “Negro minstrel doll” and appeared in a book by Florence Kate Upton in 1895. He is described as “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome”. Nevertheless, he is “lovable” and basically benign.Half a century later, Enid Blyton’s Gollywog books appeared, relating the adventures of three little fellows called Golly, Woggy and Nigger, who liked nothing better than to stride along, in Blyton’s own words, “arm-in-arm, singing merrily their favourite song – which, as you may guess, was Ten Little Nigger Boys”.Then there were her Noddy books, in which they feature once more. In one incident, Noddy is attacked by golliwogs, who steal his car and leave him stranded.The publishers of Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel Ten Little Niggers made the symbolic connection completely unambiguous. The cover showed a lynched golliwog hanging from a tree.
In 2009, Maggie’s daughter Carol Thatcher sat on a BBC sofa and referred to a tennis player as a “golliwog”.
It can take a long time for attitudes to move on.
But however foolish the law, innocence must always be presumed.