UK

Ex-MP Harvey Proctor questioned in child abuse inquiry

Harvey Proctor

A former MP has been questioned by police investigating historical allegations of child abuse and murder.

Harvey Proctor, Conservative MP for Billericay until 1987, was interviewed under caution but was not arrested.

Police are investigating claims that a group of prominent men in public life sexually and physically abused children in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Mr Proctor, who has denied any part in abuse, said the interview on Thursday took place at his request.

He also challenged police to speed up their investigation.

'Dire consequences'

Mr Proctor told the BBC he offered himself for interview when his home was raided in March, and said Scotland Yard had cancelled planned meetings twice.

"I have not been arrested, I am not on police bail, I was free to go at any time during the six hours of the interview," he said.

"My solicitors had warned the police of the dire consequences for the police if they did not go through with this interview."

Mr Proctor was interviewed at a police station in the Grantham area by detectives working on the Metropolitan Police's Operation Midland.

The investigation began after a man in his 40s made a series of allegations last year.

The alleged victim has told the BBC he was abused by senior political, military and "law enforcement" figures, and has also said children were abused at Army facilities in southern England.

It is claimed that three children were murdered at different London locations.

In March, Mr Proctor denied any involvement in child abuse - some of which is alleged to have taken place at the Dolphin Square apartment complex in Pimlico, London.

He said: "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."

Profile

Harvey Proctor was born in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, and served as a Conservative MP from 1979 to 1987, representing the Essex constituencies of Basildon and then Billericay.

In 1987, he was fined after pleading guilty to gross indecency over sexual activity with men under the age of 21 - then the legal age of consent for gay men.

He said he believed the men were above the age of consent. The men were above the current age of consent, which is 16.

The following year he opened two shops selling luxury shirts, with financial support from some former colleagues.

In 2000, Mr Proctor's stores were forced into liquidation after legal action by Customs and Excise over an unpaid VAT bill.

From 2003 until March 2015, he was private secretary to the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle, a 16,000-acre site of farmland and woodland in Leicestershire.

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