History Press lands book on Lord Boothby and Ronnie Kray

History Press lands book on Lord Boothby and Ronnie Kray

The History Press has scooped an "enthralling" book by Daniel Smith on how establishment forces reportedly tried to suppress a story about Lord Boothby and Ronnie Kray’s alleged interest in teenage boys.

Commissioning editor Mark Beynon acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to The Peer and The Gangster by Daniel Smith from the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. The book will be published in hardback in August 2020.

The book explores how Parliament, the security service and the Metropolitan Police all allegedly conspired to suppress a Sunday Mirror article in 1964 detailing the relationship between Tory peer Lord Boothby and Kray, amid claims they shared an interest in sexual liaisons with teenage boys and young men.

After the article was published with the names withheld, the paper was successfully sued by the Tory peer for £40,000 in damages, effectively killing off the story. However, declassified MI5 files released in 2015 alleged the pair went to “homosexual parties” together and described them as “hunters of young men”. Smith has now used those files, government papers and interviews to explore what happened.

Beynon described The Peer and The Gangster as "an enthralling and timely read that resonates today”. He added: “In exploring yet another case of the political elite abusing power, Dan Smith has revealed a scandal that makes others seem rather bland by comparison.”