TALK OF THE TOWN:Tory donor hires ex police chief to clean up flats

TALK OF THE TOWN: Tory donor ‘hires ex Northern Ireland police chief to clean up reputation of Chelsea’s ‘Ten Floors of Whores’ apartment complex

It’s the mansion block that’s been central to the London social scene thanks to its nightclub Barts, a speakeasy favoured by Royal pals of its Old Etonian owner Charlie Gilkes. But Chelsea Cloisters has also been so rife with prostitution over recent years that it infamously earned the nickname ‘Ten Floors of Whores’.

Now I learn the building’s multi-millionaire owner Christopher Moran has quietly recruited Sir Hugh Orde, one of Britain’s most respected former police chiefs, to shake off the unwelcome reputation.

It’s a bold move from the well-known Tory Party donor. By bringing out of retirement a former head of both the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Association of Chief Police Officers, it seems like he’s admitting he needed to pull in big guns to cleanse the reputation of the block, which was first exposed for having links to vice in 2018.

It’s the mansion block that’s been central to the London social scene thanks to its nightclub Barts, a speakeasy favoured by Royal pals of its Old Etonian owner Charlie Gilkes. But Chelsea Cloisters has also been so rife with prostitution over recent years that it infamously earned the nickname ‘Ten Floors of Whores’

Christopher Moran has quietly recruited Sir Hugh Orde, one of Britain’s most respected former police chiefs, to shake off the unwelcome reputation

A source close to the situation has said that while some sex workers have been found to be operating at the 670-apartment building, they cannot simply be removed straight away as they need to be ‘safeguarded’ from working the streets.

The source says: ‘Sir Hugh was brought in to clean up the Cloisters, and was able to identify a number of sex workers who were subsequently removed. Extra security was put in place, including better CCTV coverage, and now the building is managed much more safely and closely.

‘Any sex workers who are identified are removed, but only once safeguarding measures are in place.’

In the 2018 investigation which exposed Chelsea Cloisters, reporters made 40 bookings with prostitutes using 23 apartments – 15 of them rented from Reelread, the company Sir Hugh now works for.

Sir Hugh Orde, pictured, has been recruited to rid the apartment complex of its reputation

A follow-up investigation in 2019 made another 18 bookings in nine apartments in the week that two ringleaders of the sex trade there were jailed.

Moran, who has donated almost £300,000 to the Tories, has always said he takes a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy towards prostitution.

Also on the Reelread board are Moran’s 33-year-old twin sons, Charles – who is said to be dating former Made In Chelsea star Kimberley Garner – and Jamie.

Moran, 73, is estimated to be worth £400 million and has been described as ‘very persuasive’ by his ex-wife, Helen, a former Miss Thames TV. But not persuasive enough to stop her leaving him in 1998, shortly before dating Andrew Maple, a flower-seller.

Moran has described himself as ‘astronomically wealthy’. He lives in Crosby Hall, a 15th Century palace on the banks of the Thames that he renamed Crosby Moran Hall, and is chauffeur-driven in a Rolls-Royce.

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