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|Member of Parliament
9 June 1983 – 11 June 1987
|Preceded by||New Constituency|
|Succeeded by||Teresa Gorman|
|Member of Parliament
3 May 1979 – 9 June 1983
|Preceded by||Eric Moonman|
|Succeeded by||David Amess|
16 January 1947 |
Keith Harvey Proctor (born 16 January 1947) is a former British Conservative Member of Parliament. 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 involving sex workers which ended his parliamentary career.
Early life and career
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, while 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.
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. 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 who tried to stop Britain entering the Common Market, was adopted as candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch. He fought the seat at both the February and October general elections of 1974.
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 argued in favour of restricting the number of "coloured" immigrants. He returned to this theme, also advocating payment for repatriation, during his first term in Parliament.
Originally 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 Ulster Unionist Party leader James Molyneaux (later Lord Molyneaux) and the 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.
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.
Resignation and trial
In June 1986, The People newspaper published claims that Proctor had taken part in sexual relationships with males aged between 17 and 21, in his London flat. The age of consent for same-sex sexual relationships was still 21 in 1986 (16 for opposite-sex relationships), 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 year. At his trial in May 1987, Proctor pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £1,450. The offences he was convicted of can now be expunged on application.
Following his resignation, Proctor opened an eponymous shirtmakers, Proctor's, in Richmond, London. The shop was launched with a £75,000 fund organised by Tristan Garel-Jones MP. 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 its parent company, Cottonrose Ltd. 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.
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". The shops went into liquidation in 2000.
Operation Midland investigation
On 4 March 2015, Proctor's home, on the Belvoir estate, was searched by the Metropolitan Police as part of their investigation into allegations of historical child sexual abuse and related homicides. The search was part of Operation Midland. Proctor denied any wrongdoing in an interview with the Today programme. He retired from his job with the Duke and Duchess of Rutland on 25 March 2015 "with immediate effect".
Proctor was questioned by the police regarding the allegations in June and again in August 2015. He held a press conference on 25 August 2015 at St Ermin's Hotel, London and gave several media interviews. He described the inquiry as a "homosexual witch hunt", stating "I'm a homosexual. I'm not a murderer or a paedophile. I'm completely innocent of all these allegations."
On 21 March 2016, Proctor was told that he would face no further action. He was the last living person under investigation by Operation Midland, and called for an independent inquiry into it, for the resignations of senior officers involved, and for his accuser to be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice. Proctor wrote an open letter to all MPs published in the Daily Telegraph on 21 March 2016. The Metropolitan Police closed Operation Midland with no charges brought against anyone and no files were passed to the CPS. Proctor held a further Press Conference on 29 March 2016 and was interviewed on many news outlets including BBC, ITV, Sky News and Channel 4 News and BBC Newsnight programmes.
- 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
- Credible and True. The political and Personal Memoir of K. Harvey Proctor, published in hard back by Biteback Publishing on 29 March 2016
- "MP on gay sex charges". BBC News Online (London). 16 April 1987. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- "Proctor is fined £1450 for spanking rent boys". The Glasgow Herald. 21 May 1987. p. 1. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- "Exclusive: Plan ‘failing’ to clear criminal records of gay men". The Independent. 2 March 2014.
- Victor, Peter (30 October 1994). "Member's Interests: Top Tories Lose on Proctor's Shop". The Independent (London). Retrieved 8 October 2013. (HighBeam subscription required)
- Abrams, Fran (1 March 1997). "Court Threat to Proctor Over Shop Accounts". The Independent (London). Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- "Belvoir Castle". belvoircastle.com. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- "Duke Drops His Drawbridge for Harvey Proctor; The Londoner's Diary". London Evening Standard. 1 May 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Ex-Conservative MP Harvey Proctor's home searched by police". BBC News. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- Martin Evans "Harvey Proctor quits job after home is searched by abuse probe cops", Daily Telegraph, 25 March 2015
- "Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor denies child murder claims". Channel 4 News. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Ex-MP Harvey Proctor denies child abuse claims". BBC News. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Operation Midland: Harvey Proctor told he faces no further action". The Daily Telegraph. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Basildon
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Billericay