Harkin breaks his silence with IPR attack

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

potential clients.

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.'

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