Improper Associations: The Profumo Affair and the Secret Truth About Stephen Ward

cabinetroom

Thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, the Profumo Affair is once again in the public eye. Now, of course, we have a good idea about how the scandal developed and what it involved. Yet back in 1963, while it was taking place, most people literally didn’t know what to think. Even the Secretary of State for War’s own Cabinet colleagues were in the dark about much of what had gone on, so comprehensively had Profumo lied to them, and so implausible did many aspects of the case seem.

John Profumo, Secretary of State for War in the early 1960s and Christine Keeler's lover.

John Profumo, Secretary of State for War in the early 1960s and Christine Keeler’s lover. Source: Getty.

The initial public inquiry, which was carried out by the Master of the Rolls Lord Denning, was deemed to be essential reading when it was first published in the autumn of 1963. Copies sold in their tens of thousands. And yet it is…

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