Friday, 5 September 2008
The Profumo Scandal
Many of the most vulnerable House seats in the congressional elections have seen their existing Member involved in scandal. In the United Kingdom scandals have played a key role in the electoral defeat of governments. John Major's Conservative Party suffered disastrous results after a series of fincial and sexual scandals - but the big scandal of the last century was known after its key player, Profumo. The Guardian has claimed - "The Profumo affair was no passing sensation. It all but brought down the Macmillan government and it almost certainly finished Macmillan himself as prime minister. In October 1963, less than a month after publication of the Denning report, the prime minister resigned citing ill health."
John Profumo was a Midlands MP (Kettering 1940-45; Statford Upon Avon 1950-63) who became the Secretary of State for War. It was his affair with Christine Keeler which was at the heart of the scandal. He lied to the House of Commons about the affair. Worse still Ms Keeler was having simultaneous affairs with the Profumo and the the senior naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy.
Christine Keeler was arrested and charged with perjury on 5th September 1963 (in connection with evidence given at the Old Bailey). Profumo spent the rest of his life working as a volunteer charity worker.