Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Saturday, September 25, 1999 Published at 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK


UK Politics

I forgive Clark, says judge

The judge once said Mr Clark should be 'horse-whipped'

A South African judge whose wife and two daughters were seduced by the Conservative MP, Alan Clark, says he has forgiven him.

James Harkness once said Mr Clark should be horse-whipped. But in a letter to The Times he said he was saddened by the MP's death earlier this month.

He added that he and his wife had been praying for him since hearing of his fatal illness.

The judge and his family flew to the UK five years ago, following the publication of Mr Clark's infamous diaries, in an attempt to expose his philandering.

Mrs Harkess and the couple's daughters Josephine and Alison revealed they were the trio referred to in the book as the "coven" of women who Mr Clark said he slept with at his Saltwood Castle home.

They later tried to scupper Mr Clark's political comeback by disrupting his campaign to win the Kensington and Chelsea seat for the Conservatives at the last General Election.

Conversion hope

The maverick MP did admit that he "probably deserved to be horse-whipped" over the affair, but instead of denting his popularity it heightened his reputation as the UK's favourite cad.

In the letter, Mr Harkess said that he and his wife were heartened by Clark's reported conversion to Catholicism shortly before his death, which was later denied by his wife Jane.

"My wife Valerie and I were saddened by the death of Alan Clark for whom we had been praying - particularly since hearing of his illness - and will continue to do so," he wrote.

"We appreciated his desire to be a Catholic, which I understand became a reality on 10 July, shortly before his death.

"Notwithstanding his wife's subsequent denials, I very much hope he did convert."

"If he did indeed find the way, Alan was honest to God and himself," he added. "In any case, we have forgiven him."





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Politics Contents

A-Z of Parliament
Talking Politics
Vote 2001

Relevant Stories

07 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Alan Clark: Politician and diarist

07 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Alan Clark - a unique politician

07 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Alan Clark's life in quotes

07 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Clark: One of a kind

07 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Tory MP Alan Clark dies





Internet Links


Conservative Party


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Livingstone hits back

Catholic monarchy ban 'to continue'

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Straw on trial over jury reform

Blairs' surprise over baby

Conceived by a spin doctor?

Baby cynics question timing

Blair in new attack on Livingstone

Week in Westminster

Chris Smith answers your questions

Reid quits PR job

Children take over the Assembly

Two sword lengths

Industry misses new trains target