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Wednesday 26 August 2015

Harvey Proctor Protests Too Much

The appearance yesterday at a press conference of his own devising by former Tory MP Harvey Proctor grabbed headlines, and also perhaps garnered some sympathy for a man who has faced suspicion, questioning and indeed uncertainty over allegations that he was part of an organised Westminster paedophile ring back in the day. But there is good reason for the Police and media to remain sceptical.
Proctor’s statement contains this assertion: “Those Labour Members of Parliament who have misused parliamentary privilege and their special position on these matters should apologise. They have behaved disgracefully, especially attacking dead parliamentarians who cannot defend themselves and others and they should make amends. They are welcome to sue me for libel. In particular, Mr Tom Watson, M.P. should state, outside the protection of the House of Commons, the names of ex Ministers and ex M.P.s who he feels are part of the so called alleged Westminster rent boy ring”.

However, as campaigner Ian Pace has pointed out, “In none of these debates have any of the leading campaigning MPs – Tom Watson, Simon Danczuk, John Mann, Sarah Champion from Labour, ex-MPs John Hemming and Tessa Munt from the Liberal Democrats, Zac Goldsmith or Tim Loughton from the Conservatives, or Caroline Lucas from the Greens – said anything to my knowledge which could identify an MP or other prominent figure, nor anything which could not be safely repeated outside of the House of Commons”. And a majority of those are not representing Labour.

Pace concludes that Proctor is maliciously trying to blame Watson. That may raise a few eyebrows, but it must be remembered that Proctor was not the most sympathetic character to grace the Commons: his interests included being chairman of the right-wing Monday Club’s “Immigration and repatriation committee”. Yes, “repatriation”.
Indeed, he co-authored a number of publications on the subject of immigration, including the interestingly titled “Immigration, Repatriation and the CRE” in 1981. Even the BBC concededMr Proctor also sits on the executive of the right-wing Monday Club and has expressed controversial views on immigration”.

Proctor resigned as an MP after the Sunday People ran a story that he had taken part in “spanking” sessions with rent boys at his London flat. This had includeda schoolboy punishment ritual in which the rent boys were required to dress in shorts and be punished for imagined offences such as truancy and fighting in class”.

The argument put forward by his solicitor David Napley at Proctor’s trial back in May 1987 that “If this man had performed equal acts of gross indecency with a female prostitute under the age of 21 he would have committed no offence” may sound convincing at first, but the same might have been said about Peter Morrison, who was regarded at the time of his fall from grace in 1991 as a paedophile - and still is.

Harvey Proctor may well be innocent of all those offences alleged by others. But he has done his cause no favours by trying to dump the blame for his predicament on Tom Watson, and his Parliamentary career as one of the rabid right must not be forgotten.


SimonB said...

And the Tory right were openly racist in the 80s. I was shocked listening to Prof. Geoff Palmer on Radio4 describing how Keith Joseph told him, in a job interview, to go back where he came from and grow bananas (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0640j59). He replied that they don't grow well in Haringey, but it's not a joke that people with such views became senior Tories.

Anonymous said...

Is your position that Proctor is probably innocent but has brought this predicament on himself by being a right-wing Tory who used to spank rent boys?

That is absurd, but I can't see how your post makes sense otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the REAL target here isn't Proctor's "innocence" or guilt.

It's Tom Watson, who was one of the first MPs to openly attack the Murdoch mafia - and even call them that. By association, it means an attack on the rest of the neocon loonies too. People like Dacre and Kavanagh and cockney Sun and Daily Heil jobsworth boot boys wittering about "a pablic wysta manny."

Keith Joseph? He wasn't nicknamed "The mad monk" for nothing. Anybody who thinks the tories will ever change is living in cloud cuckoo land. The present lot are even worse than the 1980s crackpot crowd.

As for Proctor, he has nothing more to lose now. He's probably allowed himself to be set up for this charade. It all smacks of the puerile revenge of a discredited creep. The tories are like that, always have been, always will be.

Anonymous said...

Just because someone has appalling political views does not make them a murderer or paedophile...

Tony Martin

Anonymous said...

this tale belittles Zelo Street and it's usually unbiased reporting in an attempt to salvage the reputation of Tom Watson etc. Harvey Proctor's political views are of absolutely no consequence in regards to the dreadful claims made about him of which he is absolutely innocent.
This isn't a case of "he may well be innocent"- he IS innocent. He has not been charged , tried and convicted.
The harping back to the 80s events is pure tabloid gutter tactics and as it is nearly 30 years ago, there is no reason to keep repeating them.
Nor has he had a political life since so why bring up nonsense about Monday Clubs and so on ? I doubt he is still a member.
And he is correct to point the finger at Watson (the others- Mann, Danczuk are so beneath contempt they do not bear discussing)
Watson is still reasonably respected but he in concert with Exaro has done as much as anyone to ramp up fears that have inspired a witch hunt all in the claim "won't someone think of the children".
Watson has not just given unproved claims to police,he has used the media effectively to create an atmosphere of certainty that there have been "protected high profile pedo rings" but provided nil evidence.
Zelo's disappointing take on the whole Proctor matter and attempt to defend Watson in this case reeks of defending the indefesible.

Tim Fenton said...


I would refer you to Paragraph 3 of the post.

I note that you do not even attempt to refute the comments therein.