The Mirror, 19th July 2014 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…At least two alleged witnesses have also named former Tory MP Proctor, 67, as being at parties in statements for the inquiry…. A source close to the inquiry told the Sunday Mirror: “Proctor’s name has repeatedly been mentioned by at least two alleged victims. He is going to be of key interest.”…Approached for comment last week, Proctor, former MP for Basildon and Billericay, said he was unable to comment because of a gagging agreement he claims to have signed years ago. Full article
Could the ‘gagging agreement’ be linked to Proctor’s late decision to plead guilty in 1987, thus preventing further embarrassing details being made public?
Why were the Conservatives so reluctant to deselect or expel Proctor from the party despite the huge amount of negative publicity he was generating in an election year?
And why, following Proctor’s conviction, did a number of high-profile Tories, including former Deputy PM Michael Heseltine, invest over £100,000 of their own money in Cottonrose Ltd., his loss-making shirt shop business?
The People, 15th June 1986
Daily Express, 17th June 1986
The People, 5th October 1986
The People, 28th October 1986
The People, 2nd November 1986
Sunday Times, 2nd November 1986
It was also at York University that Proctor became friends with Denby, who succeeded him as chairman of the student’s Conservative association. Before Denby became embroiled in police investigations earlier this year he was one of London’s leading shipping lawyers.Denby was hired by Proctor, despite not being a specialist in libel law, to represent him in a libel action against the BBC Panorama programme, Maggie’s Militant Tendency, which linked the MP with extremist organisations. Panorama drew on a leaked, draft report, compiled by the Young Conservatives.
However, Proctor, unlike his fellow MPs Neil Hamilton and Gerald Howarth, withdrew the action without obtaining an apology, costs or damages. He asked for no publicity about the decision.
Proctor has stirred up controversy on education, immigration and race relations. He has said local authorities should suspend grants to students who lacked self-discipline. He has called for non-academic sections of universities to be sold to private enterprise.
After he was first elected as an MP, for Basildon in 1979, his first big move was a motion calling for an immediate end to immigration from the New Commonwealth and Pakistan. Proctor went on to suggest that the Commission for Racial Equality be disbanded and that 50,000 immigrants should be repatriated each year.
He was one of seven Tory MPs who rebelled against legislation allowing parents to exempt children from corporal punishment and was behind a campaign to save the golliwog.
The first public suggestion that Proctor was a homosexual was in 1981 when a friend, Terry Woods, named him in court. Woods said he had lived with Proctor for several years. However, Proctor ‘repudiated’ Woods’ comments ‘as far as they concern me’.
With police inquiring into the latest and most potentially damaging allegations against him, even the widely held belief that he has been a good constituency MP in the mainly white middle-class constituency may not be enough to remove the question mark over his political future.
News of the World, 1st March 1987
News of the World, 19th April 1987
PETER Jonathan Denby, the fugitive London solicitor hunted by police for nearly a year, was arrested yesterday after detectives, acting on a tip-off from the BBC programme Crimewatch, staged a dawn raid on a home in Yorkshire.
Denby, a former aide to Enoch Powell and friend of controversial Tory MP Harvey Proctor, was picked up in the town of Richmond, where he had been living under an alias. The 38-year-old solicitor, the nephew of a former president of the Law Society, has been on the run since last June.
Later, Denby became private secretary to Enoch Powell in the early 1970s and developed a life-long interest in the Loyalist cause.He then went into practice as one of London’s top legal experts in the specialist area of shipping law, but quickly ran into severe financial problems.
His former partners in the firm of Lloyd Denby Neal are suing him for more than pounds 250,000 after dissolving the partnership.
News of the World, 17th May 1987
Daily Mail, 21st May 1987
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.
Brendan Finucane, for the prosecution, said: “Mr Proctor was once a Conservative MP who had rather a coloured life relating to his sexual proclivities and the remarks put to him in this case made it abundantly clear what those were.”
Mr Proctor told the court that he was accustomed to abuse over his homosexuality. “It is all water off a duck’s back,” he said. “We were waiting for them to blow themselves out of abuse and to go away.”
Mr Coomber, 20, denies causing Mr Hamilton grievous or actual bodily harm, and affray threatening violence. Mr Parker, 21, of East Sheen, admitted causing Mr Proctor actual bodily harm on the same occasion and was remanded on bail for reports.
The trial continues today.
This Independent article from Sunday 30th October 1994 is also worth a read:
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.
This turns out to be the company behind a quaint shirt shop nestling in a Georgian alley in Richmond upon Thames, one of London’s most elegant suburbs.
Its name is Proctor’s, and inside, among the bright cotton shirts, silk ties and gaudy waistcoats, is one of the more colourful figures of the Tory party’s recent past, Harvey Proctor, who was forced to resign as MP for Billericay in 1987 after being fined pounds 1,450 for acts of gross indecency; he was involved in homosexual spanking sessions with young male prostitutes.
Mr Proctor turned from politics to hosiery and opened his shop in Brewers Lane, off Richmond Green, in 1988 with a pounds 2,000 grant from the Government’s Enterprise Allowance Scheme, and a little help from his friends: a start-up fund of pounds 75,000 was organised by Tristan Garel-Jones MP, the former Tory deputy chief whip and one of the party’s best-known fixers.
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.
Then there were former MPs who, like Mr Proctor, have lost their seats: they include Sir Neil Thorne, William Benyon and Sir Charles Morrisson. All invested in Cottonrose. All have not done well. For business has not gone smoothly with the company: in the four years to March 1992 it made losses totalling pounds 109,421. Last year Mr Proctor failed to submit accounts for 1993, in breach of the Companies Act.
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.’
Mr Proctor, who invested pounds 20,000 of his own money, opened in a fanfare of publicity. He opened a second shop in Knightsbridge and, for a while, appeared to have a success on his hands. He was elected to the local chamber of commerce. John Major ditched his Marks & Spencer shirts in favour of Mr Proctor’s more elegant wares.
But from the outset the project was a flop. In its first financial year to March 1989 it lost pounds 5,311. Further cash injections were put into the firm by the Tory MPs and other investors in 1990 and 1991. A share issue in 1990 produced an extra pounds 14,000.
In 1991 the investors ploughed in another pounds 10,000. MP Neil Hamilton’s wife, Christine, bought pounds 500-worth of shares. The extra cash injections were to no avail. Losses in 1990, the second trading year, totalled pounds 26,547; in 1991 they climbed to pounds 46,066; and accounts for 1992 showed a loss of pounds 31,497. The position since is not known: Mr Proctor has yet to file accounts for 1993. Under Section 240 of the Companies Act he is obliged to file them within 10 months of the end of the financial year. They should have been lodged at Companies House by last January.
Last night MPs had resigned themselves to losing their investment. Sir Nicholas Bonsor said he feared he would not see his pounds 5,000 again. ‘It was suggested we ought to rally round because he was clearly in great difficulty. We did make an effort at one stage; I had a meeting with other MPs and Harvey Proctor and, I think it was, his brother who was working in it with him. But then it looked as if it wasn’t going to work so I think from that stage we wrote the investment off.’
Mr Heathcote-Amory said: ‘Well, if I got the money back I’d be pleased – I’d rather written it off actually. It (the investment) was a gesture to help him (Mr Proctor). I felt a bit sorry for him. I haven’t seen any accounts for a bit. That is not a complaint, but I’d rather lost interest in the thing. I think I’m braced to lose my equity.’
At least five of the Tory investors are MPs who have also suffered heavy losses on Lloyd’s insurance syndicates.
Mr Heseltine’s personal assistant declined to comment on the losses and Mr Proctor’s failure to lodge accounts, saying only: ‘The President of the Board of Trade would expect this company to be dealt with in the same way as any other. Mr Heseltine is not available at the moment.’
Sunday Express, 30th July 2000