Ex-MP denies ‘rent boy’ claims as police search home on Duke’s estate

Police have searched Proctor's home, which is within the 16,000-acre grounds of Belvoir Castle. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Police have searched Proctor's home, which is within the 16,000-acre grounds of Belvoir Castle. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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FORMER Conservative MP Harvey Proctor has denied being part of a “rent-boy ring” or attending sex parties with other prominent figures, after his home was searched by police investigating historic allegations of child sex abuse.

Yorkshire-born Mr Proctor - who left Parliament in 1987 after pleading guilty to acts of gross indecency - said he knew nothing about a VIP paedophile ring alleged to have existed at Westminster during the 1970s and 1980s, or allegations that three boys linked to the abuse were murdered.

Former conservative MP Harvey Proctor

Former conservative MP Harvey Proctor

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that “officers from Operation Midland are carrying out a search of an address in Grantham in connection with their inquiries”.

Operation Midland was launched by the Met last November following allegations that boys were sexually abused by a VIP paedophile ring centred around Westminster more than 30 years ago, amid claims that sex parties involving boys below the age of consent were held at the exclusive Dolphin Square apartment block near the Houses of Parliament.

The operation includes detectives from the child abuse investigation command and the homicide and major crime command.

Mr Proctor, 68, hails from Pontefract in West Yorkshire and went to York University. He works for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland and lives in a house within the 16,000-acre grounds of their home Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire near Grantham.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I find myself in a very Kafka-esque 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.

“I conducted my private life in a discreet manner. It wasn’t I who outed myself, it was the press who did an assortment of things to out me.

“I was a discreet person and regarded in the House of Commons as a very independent MP and a loner. The last thing I would have dreamed 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.”

Mr Proctor said he was keen to be interviewed by police as soon as possible to clear his name.

“The police wish to interview me,” he said. “They talked in terms of that interview taking place in a matter of weeks. I asked for that interview to take place at the earliest opportunity.”

Officers are investigating allegations that three boys linked to the alleged ring were murdered.

Mr Proctor represented Basildon in Essex from 1979 to 1983 and Billericay, also in Essex, from 1983 to 1987. He also sat on the executive of the right-wing pressure group the Monday Club.

In 1986, The People newspaper claimed he had taken part in “spanking” of male prostitutes in his London flat.

Asked if he had been aware during his time in Parliament of the existence of a VIP paedophile ring, Mr Proctor told Today: “Absolutely not, no. If I had known about it at the time, I would have contacted the police.

“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 of the allegations are pure and utter fantasy.

“This investigation is supposedly investigating the alleged murders of three young gentlemen. I know nothing about that either.”

Mr Proctor stressed that his 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 current age of consent of 16.

“I pleaded guilty to four charges of gross indecency in 1987,” he said. “Those offences related entirely to the age of consent for homosexuality. That age has since 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 wish to do so.”