Sir Michael Hirst
There’s nothing more satisfying to the Scottish psyche than the degradation of the great and the good, particularly when their rise has been accompanied by a large dose of pomposity.
Stewart’s untimely resignation, presented problems but these were soon resolved by the speedy selection of a “safe pair of hands” leading Scottish Tory politico, Sir Michael Hirst, a clean-cut father of three, a partner in a distinguished accounting firm, an elder in the Church of Scotland Chairman of the Scottish Tory Party.
But, within days of his nomination process, stories began to circulate, (reputedly from Tory’s worried his past indiscretions would surface) that Hirst was a closet homosexual, who had betrayed his wife and family by having gay affairs with political colleagues.
Hirst withdrew his nomination, hoping the press and the public would lose interest.(3) Not to be denied the truth of the matter the press continued to investigate and report on the allegations and the day following Hirst’s resignation (4) it was revealed that he’d not only been involved in homosexual activities with a number of men, he’d been most involved with a man connected to the Tories’ biggest payola scandal.
Conspiracy or malice, events proved the events at Eastwood to be a “masterpiece” of a cock-up. Stewart had a nervous breakdown. Hirst not only withdrew his nomination he was forced to resign, in disgrace, from his position as Party Chairman, (5) resulting in losses at the GE which almost wiped the Tory Party, in Scotland from the political map.
(3). Married Sir Michael Hirst was forced to quit as chairman of the Scottish Conservatives as a result of indiscretions (homosexual dalliances).
(4) Hirst’s letter of resignation, read: “I very deeply regret these circumstances which have caused great distress to my family and which may, I fear, cause embarrassment to the Party in the current climate”.
(5) Hirst, life after death: http://scottishlaw.blogspot.com/2011/03/new-chairman-of-law-societys-master.html
Then Scottish Secretary, (President of the Board of Trade (and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, 1995-97), Ian Lang was accused of covering up the “Gay” double life of shamed Party Chairman, Hirst.
The allegations were that he failed to follow up on Hirst’s denial of alleged flings with former researcher, Andrew Barnett and personal assistant, Paul Martin. (6) and (7)
It later transpired that at a Party Conference in Brighton, two years before, Barnett had spoken publicly about his affair with Hirst. A senior Tory said: “This goes all the way to Ian Lang.” Astonishingly, some party workers had known about Hirst’s gay secret for ten years.
It was also revealed that Hirst hadn’t the courage to tell his wife about his secret life or that it was was about to be made public.
Jackson Carlaw tried to play down the stunning events and said that many in the party were “distraught” that the chairman had had to resign. But he claimed this had hardened the resolve of party workers to win their target seats.
(6). The downfall of the Tory’s in Scotland is a consequence of homosexual intrigues within the party created by a “gay mafia” whose tentacles of power stretched from the party’s grass-roots through to the top of the party.
Scots Secretary Michael Forsyth’s agent, Simon Turner – the man running his election campaign –was openly gay. And it was two other ambitious young gays who brought about the downfall of Scots Tory chairman Sir Michael Hirst. They were his former researcher Andrew Barnett and campaign worker Paul Martin.
Barnett, tried to deny any close relationship with Hirst – but a Tory insider said: “The affair was well-known.” The relationship between Hirst and Barnett ended in tears two years ago.
Devastated that the affair was over, Barnett poured his heart out to Tory grandees at the Brighton conference in 1995.
One Tory source said: “Andrew was made a fool. He was very upset. Heis a decent man and I felt sorry for him.” Another Tory close to the debacle at the time said: “Andrew doted on Hirst. But when it was time for him to move on he, understandably, felt spurned.”
Despite the sleaze that engulfed the party, there were some old- fashioned Tories determined to stick to their tradition of family values. It was they who blew the whistle on Hirst because they were sickened by his double standards.
The complaint arrived at the desk of Ian Lang, Scots Secretary at the time. Another party insider said: “The matter was referred to Ian Lang, but Hirst denied the affair.”
Barnett’s affair with Hirst began in the early 1990s. The former chairman of the Tory Association at St. Andrews University, was working as a researcher in Hirst’s office. It was the second time Hirst, the promoter of family values, had been embroiled in a homosexual affair with a young Tory hopeful.
He struck up a relationship with Paul Martin who worked in the campaign team in 1987 when Hirst lost the Bearsden and Strathkelvin seat to Labour’s Sam Galbraith.
Martin was given the elbow when word spread that he had been talking openly about his fling with father-of-three Hirst.
Concern was growing within the constituency association and Hirst was advised that Martin had to go to avert a scandal. Instead of taking action against Hirst, they moved swiftly to ensure that he was protected and Martin was sent packing.
One source close to the situation at the time said: “The Association was alarmed at all this loose talk and Michael was told he had to get rid of Martin. “He did, but gave him a very good reference to help him get a job. Soon after he stood down he got a top post in the CBI.”
Martin, had been a Tory Councillor in Edinburgh at the age of 21. Three years before, while employed by the Ministry of Defence, he was at the centre of allegations that he was part of a gay love triangle with English Tory whip Michael Brown and 20-year-old student Adam Morris. He was quite open about his fling with Hirst and boasted about it at a Tory conference.
One insider said: “Martin is trouble. He is a vindictive old queen.”
It has been revealed that the gay links with the Tory party stretch from grass-roots wannabes to the very top of the tree.
Top Tories have always been uncomfortable with Forsyth’s choice of an open homosexual like Turner for such a high-profile job.
They were also critical of other gay appointments made at the Scottish Tory HQ when Forsyth was party chairman. One source told the Record: “There is always the worry that even a whiff of scandal attached to these people would reflect badly on Forsyth.”
As events unfolded in the Eastwood constituency last week, a small band of high- ranking Tories gathered to make sure Hirst didn’t try to replace Allan Stewart. It was they who tried to get Hirst sidelined two years ago when the Barnett affair broke.
One senior Tory said: “We thought if we didn’t get rid of him he would get rid of us. “No-one listened to us although we tried hard to get him moved to a more junior post. The powers that be are now reaping the inevitable result. “It would not surprise me if someone in our own party shopped Michael to the press because of his own open arrogance.”
(7). Tory Ministers face questions over the secret appointment, to the Civil Service, of a Tory advisor, at the centre of allegations about an illegal homosexual affair.
Paul Martin, formerly a high-profile Conservative Councillor in Edinburgh and twice a candidate at general elections, was appointed to the allegedly politically neutral Civil Service.
Martin, a convicted drink-driver, has been suspended from his position as an official in the Nato and European policy secretariat after being named with the Tory MP Michael Brown, in newspaper allegations about a homosexual relationship with an under-age boy. (The Independent)
The Tory Party-post 1997.
The party was wiped out in Scotland in the 1997 Labour landslide victory which brought 18 years of Conservative rule, to an end. John Major resigned as party leader, saying “When the curtain falls, it is time to leave the stage”.
The appalling results led to a number of years of infighting as different factions jostled for power and in result the Party returned only a single MP from Scotland at the 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015 general elections.
Scots have long memories and would no longer tolerate being ruled by a political party in which power is in the hands of a cabal of sleazy individuals.