Sex scandal Profumo is dead

JOHN Profumo, who was at the centre of the most notorious political sex scandal of the 20th century which shook Harold Macmillan's government to its foundations, has died after suffering a stroke.

JOHN Profumo, who was at the centre of the most notorious political sex scandal of the 20th century which shook Harold Macmillan's government to its foundations, has died after suffering a stroke. He was 91.

The former Conservative Secretary of State for War was forced to resign from the Cabinet for lying to the House of Commons over his affair with call girl Christine Keeler. Following his humiliation, Profumo dedicated himself to charity work in the East End of London and was awarded the CBE in 1975.

Macmillan's Cabinet was sent into crisis by Keeler's revelations that she had sex with both Profumo and Commander Eugene Ivanov, a Russian intelligence officer and the Soviet assistant naval attache in London. His brief affair with Keeler began after he was introduced to her by osteopath Stephen Ward at Lord Astor's Cliveden country estate in Berkshire in July 1961

In March 1963 Profumo made a statement to MPs denying any "impropriety whatever" in his relationship with Keeler. He was forced to resign on June 4 1963 after admitting that he had misled the House of Commons.


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Ward was prosecuted for living on immoral earnings and committed suicide. Keeler was found guilty on unrelated perjury charges and sentenced to nine months in prison.

Profumo was educated at Harrow and Oxford and married the actress Valerie Hobson. He entered the Commons in 1940 aged 25, becoming the youngest MP in the House.

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