Writing in the New Statesman Mr Coleman said:“Ted Heath managed to obtain the highest office of state after he was supposedly advised to cease his cottaging activities in the Fifties when he became a Privy Councillor.” Mr Coleman claimed that it was "common knowledge" among Tories that Sir Edward had been given the warning he was being positively vetted for membership of the Privy Council in 1955. Not only that but gay men had in effect run the Conservative Party in London, whether as officials, councillors or volunteers.
Sir Edward, was Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974. He died in 2005. His biographer, John Campbell, does not believe that there was any evidence that he was gay "except for the faintest unsubstantiated rumour of an incident at the beginning WWII ". His view is that Heath could have been a latent or repressed homosexual or heterosexual, or simply asexual.
Derek Conway , who succeeded Sir Edward as Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, said there had never been any hint of impropriety in the former prime minister's life. "If there was some secret I'm sure it would have come out by now," He said.
I think Derek Conway is probably correct: if there had been any substance to the cottaging story I’m sure it would have come out before now especially since he was a shade less devoted to Thatcher. The 80s would have been the time for the story, if there was one, to emerge - perhaps as part of a whispering campaign to see Heath out of parliament.
If, in the unlikely event, the story is true then being discreet was a no-brainer if he wanted the highest office. He was Chief Whip when Harrow MP and Foreign Office minister Ian Harvey was found cavorting with a Coldstream Guardsman in St James’s Park. Needless to say his ensured that his next career was pursued outside of Parliament...