Harvey Proctor

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Keith Harvey Proctor (born 16 January 1947) is a former British Conservative Member of Parliament.[1] A member of the Monday Club, he represented Basildon from 1979 to 1983 and Billericay from 1983 to 1987. Proctor became embroiled in a scandal which forced the end of his Parliamentary career.

Early life and career[edit]

Proctor's father Albert was a master baker. Harvey Proctor himself was born in Pontefract in West Yorkshire, going to the Scarborough High School for Boys and then the University of York where he read History. He had joined the Young Conservatives at the age of 14 in 1961 and was Chairman of York University Conservative Association in 1967–1969. In the summer of 1967, whilst Chairman-elect of the Association, he was invited to produce a number of half-hour political programmes for broadcast on offshore Radio 270, which included interviews with MPs John Biggs-Davison and Patrick Wall.

Having welcomed Enoch Powell's controversial speech of April 1968, Proctor became an active member of the Monday Club. He was the Club's Assistant Director from 1969 to 1971 and a member of its Executive Council from 1983 until he stood down as an MP in 1987.[1] In 1973 he moved to purge members of the National Front from the Monday Club.

In 1972 Proctor, then working as a researcher for anti-Common Market Conservative MPs, was adopted as candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch. He fought the seat at both the February and October general elections of 1974.

In parliament[edit]

It was generally regarded as surprising that Proctor won the selection for Basildon in 1978. The seat was not expected to be easy for the Conservatives to win, but Proctor was elected in the 1979 election after a campaign in which he raised the need for restricting the number of "coloured" immigrants. He returned to this theme, also advocating payment for repatriation, during his first term in Parliament.

As Secretary of the Monday Club Northern Ireland Policy Committee, he backed calls from Ulster Unionist MPs for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to implement her 1979 Conservative General Manifesto commitment to "establish one or more elected regional councils in Northern Ireland with a wide range of powers over local services" in place of the 1982-86 Northern Ireland Assembly, and opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement, which earned him the admiration and support of the then Ulster Unionist Party Leader James Molyneux (now Lord) Molyneaux) and the then Ulster Unionist Chief Whip and MP for East Londonderry, Willie Ross.

Proctor opposed the call to boycott the Moscow Olympics in 1980 on libertarian grounds. He also opposed establishing the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1982, voted for the return of Capital punishment and rebelled on votes over the EEC. Proctor supported the Freedom of Information Act. In the 1983 election Proctor's seat was divided, and he moved with the more Conservative-voting part to the new Billericay seat.

He was Chairman of the Monday Club's Immigration and Repatriation Committee (later renamed, under him, the Immigration and Race Relations Committee). In April 1982 he made a bid for election as the Club's Chairman but was defeated. He contributed an article to the Club's newspaper Right Ahead (October 1985 Conservative Party Conference issue), entitled Blackpool Revisited calling for an examination of the immigration issue.

Resignation and trial[edit]

In June 1986, The People newspaper published claims that Proctor had taken part in spanking and cane beating of male prostitutes, aged between 17 and 21, in his London flat. The age of consent for homosexuals was still 21 in 1986, and the following year Proctor was charged with gross indecency and resigned his candidature. He was succeeded as MP by Teresa Gorman at the general election the following month. At his trial in May 1987, Proctor pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £1,450.[1][2]

Shirtmaker[edit]

Following his resignation, Proctor opened an eponymous shirtmakers, Proctor's, in Richmond, London.[3] The shop was launched with a £75,000 fund organised by Tristan Garel-Jones MP.[3] A second shop was later opened in Knightsbridge. Several Conservative politicians invested in the shop, including Michael Heseltine and Jeffrey Archer, and by 1994 eleven Conservative MPs were shareholders in Cottonrose Ltd, the parent company of Proctor's.[3] Proctor's shirts were also worn by the Prime Minister, John Major.

In 1992 Proctor was a victim of a homophobic attack in his shop. Neil Hamilton MP was present at the time, and defended Proctor, Hamilton suffered a broken nose in the incident. Two men were later imprisoned for the assault.[4][1]

By 1994 the shops were £150,000 in debt, Proctor said that "It has been quite a struggle to survive. It has not been helped by press comment every six months that we are closing down".[4] The shops were forced into liquidation in 2000.[1]

Publications[edit]

  • Immigration, Repatriation, & the C.R.E., by K.Harvey Proctor, MP, John R. Pinniger, MA, with a foreword by Sir Ronald Bell, QC, MP, published by the Monday Club, 1981, (P/B)
  • Immigration - An Untenable Situation by K.Harvey Proctor, MP, and John R. Pinniger, MA, Policy Paper from the Monday Club's Immigration and Repatriation Policy Committee, October 1981
  • Race Relations & Immigration by K.Harvey Proctor, MP, and John R. Pinniger, MA, Policy Paper from the Monday Club's Immigration & Race Relations Committee, October 1982
  • Blackpool Revisited, (calling for an examination of the Immigration issue), in Right Ahead, Monday Club newspaper, October 1985 Conservative Party Conference issue

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "MP on gay sex charges". BBC News Online (London). 16 April 1987. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Proctor is fined £1450 for spanking rent boys". The Glasgow Herald. 21 May 1987. p. 1. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Peter Victor (30 October 1994). "Member's Interests: Top Tories Lose on Proctor's Shop". The Independent. Retrieved 8 October 2013.  (HighBeam subscription required)
  4. ^ a b Fran Abrams (1 March 1997). "Court Threat to Proctor Over Shop Accounts". The Independent. Retrieved 8 October 2013.  (HighBeam subscription required)
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Eric Moonman
Member of Parliament for Basildon
19791983
Succeeded by
David Amess
New constituency Member of Parliament for Billericay
19831987
Succeeded by
Teresa Gorman