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.
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.