Police in abuse inquiry continue search of former Tory MP’s home

Claims of paedophile ring that operated at the highest level of British society

Detectives investigating 40-year-old allegations that a paedophile ring operated at the highest echelons of the British establishment have continued the search of a former Conservative MP’s home for a second day.

Harvey Proctor was forced to stand down from his Essex seat 1987 after he was convicted of gross indecency with young men who were over 16, but under 21 – the legal age for homosexual conduct at the time, since reduced.

Police are investigating long-ignored claims that boys were brutally abused at parties in London by influential politicians, businessmen, police and military officers in London and the south of England in the 1970s and 1980s, including charges that three boys were killed.

Clearly angry that he has been linked to the investigation, Mr Proctor told the BBC's Today programme: "I have never attended sex parties at Dolphin Square [in Westminster] or anywhere else. I have not been part of any rent-boy ring with cabinet ministers, other MPs, or generals or the military."


Mr Proctor said the number of alleged victims “grows by the day”, but the number of alleged perpetrators diminishes because of old age: “It is certainly a problem for me. I suppose my problem is that I’m still very much alive.”

Mr Proctor, who has never denied that he is gay, went to work for the Duke of Rutland on his 16,000-acre Leicestershire estate – enjoying the grace-and-favour home which was raided by police on Wednesday.

Describing the incidents that led up to his resignation and conviction in 1987, Mr Proctor said he had never “outed” himself because he was discreet and would never “have dreamed” of talking about his private life to colleagues.

“Of course, they were offences committed. I didn’t know at the time I was committing those offences because the people concerned, who were actually under 21, said to me, they were over 21,” he said.

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy is News Editor of the The Irish Times