Chapter 24

Ten Major Political Scandals

In This Chapter

arrow Call girls, spies and sex

arrow MPs’ expenses and government at war

arrow Politicians falling foul of the law

arrow Scandals across the pond

In this chapter I look at some of the major scandals to rock the political scene in Britain over the past century, and three from over the pond in America. Some scandals have led to the downfall of presidents and party political leaders, others to imprisonment and disgrace … all have provided fine fare for the press.

A Very British Sex Scandal: John Profumo

The news of an affair between the dashing (married) Conservative minister John Profumo and call girl Christine Keeler exploded over the British political scene like an atom bomb. The two had met at a party hosted by a member of the aristocracy and had embarked on a short affair in 1961. The story had the added spice that Keeler had also been having an affair with a Soviet spy: you just couldn’t make it up! The James Bond style espionage overtones gave the press a field day.

Facing difficult questions, Profumo lied about the affair to the House of Commons ...

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