From 1950 to 1959 he was MP for Harrow East. In 1958 he was appointed a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office.
In November 1958, Harvey and a Guardsman from the Coldstream Guards were found in the bushes in St James's Park and arrested; Harvey tried to escape, and attempted to give a false name on arrest. Both were charged with gross indecency and breach of the park regulations; at the trial, the indecency charge was dropped and both were fined £5. Harvey subsequently resigned his ministerial post and his seat in Parliament; he paid the guardsman's fine as well as his own.
Following his resignation, Ian Harvey returned to his previous work in public relations. In 1972 he was appointed a Vice-President of CHE, and from 1980 onwards he was Chairman of the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality. In the 1970s he was involved in editorship of Quorum and Mister International publications .
He wrote about his life in a book, To fall like Lucifer.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/226643.stm "A history of Christmas scandal past", BBC News Online, 22 December 1998
- Alan Doig, "Westminster Babylon: Sex, money and scandal in British politics" (Allison and Busby, 1990), page 57.
- Read all about it! Article on gay publications Gay News issue 141 April 1978 pp 15-20