RJH founder Murray Harkin is squaring up for battle with the IPR in
the ongoing fallout over the Sophie Wessex 'fake sheikh' affair.
Harkin, who sold his RJH stake to Wessex and quit the firm following
tabloid claims about his professional activities, broke his silence this
week in an exclusive interview with PRWeek.
He is furious at the approach the institute took following the sting, in
which he was alleged to have offered to arrange gay sex parties for
The IPR wrote to him asking him to explain his actions. He responded
that due to a legal agreement with Wessex he could not comment on the
episode 'that has ruined my career'.
The body's professional practices committee was meeting on Wednesday to
agree what action to take against the IPR member.
Spokeswoman Ann Mealor said the ten-strong committee under chairman John
Asprey had three choices: it could accept Harkin's response, call him in
for a face-to-face grilling, or kick-start disciplinary procedures to
eject him from membership.
'The IPR asked us to join and used us for publicity,' Harkin said this
week. 'Now they try me in my absence, having been told I can't help them
because of my deal with Sophie.'
Harkin has briefed law firm Sheridan's to sue for libel if defamatory
statements are made about him by the IPR following today's meeting.
He added: 'I have a way to go to rebuild my credibility. I just want to
get on with my life.'