Friday, 23 October 2015

Ronnie Kray: A Special Relationship

The newspaper report did not name the pair but they were later identified by a German magazine and the shockwaves spread even wider.

So the Government closed ranks and forced the newspaper to withdraw the story, which it knew to be true.

But now, more than half a century on, the scoop has been vindicated – thanks to the release of declassified MI5 files.

They confirm that Boothby and mobster twin Kray were “hunters” of young men who trawled “homosexual parties” together at a time when homosexuality was still illegal.

The Sunday Mirror story had revealed: “The peer is a household name and Yard detectives are inquiring into allegations that he has ‘a relationship’ with a man who has criminal convictions and is alleged to be involved in a West End protection racket.” ...


We learn; 'The (gay MI5) source said: “Boothby is a kinky fellow and likes to meet odd people, and Ronnie obviously wants to meet people of good social standing, he having the odd background he’s got; and, of course, both are queers.” He added: “Both are hunters (of young men).” 

The information was shared with Scotland Yard, and a note by Roger Hollis, the director-general of MI5, revealed: “The Home Secretary and some of his colleagues felt that this might develop along the lines of the Profumo affair.”

Apart fom the silly note by Hollis, I'm not sure this tells us anything much that's new.

Hollis actually wrote; 'The Home Secretary asked me to see him last night. He said that rumours were building up about the homosexual peer and his connection with a protection racket.

'The Home Secretary and some of his colleagues felt that this might develop along the lines of the Profumo affair.

'The name mentioned in gossip… was Lord Boothby and he was said to have associated with two East End thugs of the name Kray.'

The Mirror could not 'expose a gay affair between a peer and an East End gangster', for there was none.

The Telegraph clarifies...

A report titled Special Branch says: "Boothby and Kray attended several homosexual parties [NB The Telegraph headline somehow turns this into 'sordid sex parties'!] together, at one of which they were photographed together (in a normal social pose). 

"According to Holt there is no improper association between the two, nor is it likely that there would be, as both are 'hunters' of young men." 

Lord Boothby, a popular TV presenter and former MP for East Aberdeenshire, had succesully sued for £40,000 damages after his links with Kray were first outed after a Sunday Mirror front page on July 12 1964 headlined: "PEER AND A GANGSTER. YARD INQUIRY." 

So the source the Mirror was quoting was quoting the source Leslie Holt (pictured right in said photo), Boothby's lover and chauffeur, who sang after they split.

And further via Mail Online (again via the actual redacted MI5 files)...

The report also suggested that the Sunday Mirror was tipped off about the ‘affair’ between Lord Boothby and Ronnie by rivals of the Krays, but they had got the details wrong.

The MI5 report said: ‘Certainly the suggestion that Boothby has been having an affair with the gangster Kray is hardly true.

‘Ronnie, 34 and ugly, he (the source) repeats, is a hunter. Nash or whoever told the story to the ‘Mirror’ seemed to have got the two people with a record mixed up, Leslie and Ronnie.’

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