Jeremy Thorpe

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John Jeremy Thorpe (born April 29, 1929 in London - † December 4, 2014 ) was a British politician of the Liberal Party .


His father was the British Conservative politician John Henry Thorpe . Thorpe attended Eton College and then Trinity College , Oxford, where he studied law. After completing his studies, he worked as a lawyer.

From 1959 to 1979 Thorpe was a Member of the United Kingdom MP for North Devon . His predecessor was Rep. James Louis Lindsay , and Thorpe was followed by Rep . Antony Speller for North Devon . From January 18, 1967 to May 10, 1976 Thorpe was party leader of the Liberal Party . After Thorpe's resignation as party chairman, he was temporarily followed by Jo Grimond , who had already been chairman of the party before Thorpe.

His first marriage was from 1968 to 1970 with Caroline Allpass; in March 1973 he married Marion Stein. Thorpe had a son (born April 1969).

Allegations of homosexuality

In 1971, Thorpe's former acquaintance Norman Scott went public claiming he and Thorpe had had a sexual relationship. This happened at a time when homosexuality was still a criminal offense in the UK (before 1967 en: Sexual Offences Act 1967 ). Thorpe denied the allegations and was acquitted of them by an internal commission of inquiry within the Liberal Party; Scott stuck to his claims. In October 1976, Scott was threatened with a gun by an acquaintance, and Scott's dog was shot. In the subsequent trial Scott claimed he was just so alive because the gun jammed 've had. During the public trial, Scott repeated his testimony regarding his relationship with Thorpe and released lewd letters allegedly from Thorpe to the press. As a result of the public scandal, Thorpe had to resign from the chairmanship of the Liberal Party. The perpetrator was sentenced to a short prison term. After his release in 1977, he claimed to have been instigated by Thorpe to kill Scott. As a result, Thorpe was charged with attempted murder and incitement to murder in 1979 at Old Bailey . As witnesses for the prosecution, members of the Liberal Party also appeared, who reported, in return for assurances of impunity, how small circles within the Liberal Party had discussed how best to get rid of Scotts. However, the credibility of these witnesses was not without controversy. The presiding judge was charged with bias in favor of the accused. The jury was acquitted after long deliberations.

In May 2016 published Viking Press a True Crime - historical novel of the English author John Preston about the affair entitled A Very English Scandal . Under the same name adapted the Welsh filmmaker Russell T Davies the novel as television trilogy . The BBC officially announced the film project in May 2017 and has been broadcasting A Very English Scandal since May 2018 on the main public broadcaster BBC One . All three parts were directed by Stephen Frear . The main roles are Hugh Grant (as Thorpe) and Ben Whishaw (as Scott).

Next life

After the end of his political career, Thorpe retired into private life; around the mid-1980s he got Parkinson's disease . In 1999 Thorpe published his autobiography In My Own Time . Thorpe died of Parkinson's disease on December 4, 2014 at the age of 85.


  • Peter Bessell: Cover-Up: The Jeremy Thorpe Affair. Simons Books, 1980.
  • Lewis Chester, Magnus Linklater, David May: Jeremy Thorpe: A Secret Life. Fontana, 1979.
  • Roger Courtier and Barrie Penrose: The Pencourt Files. HarperCollins, 1978.
  • Simon Freeman and Barrie Penrose, Rinkagate: The Rise and Fall of Jeremy Thorpe. Bloomsbury, 1996.
  • Matthew Parris : Great Parliamentary Scandals. Robson Books, 1995.
  • Auberon Waugh : The Last Word: An Eye-witness Account of the Thorpe Trial. Michael Joseph, 1980.
  • Julian Glover: The Dictionary of Liberal Biography. Politico's, 1998.
  • Dominic Carman: No Ordinary Man: A Life of George Carman. Hodder & Stoughton, 2002.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Parliament: Bust of Jeremy Thorpe ( Memento of the original dated November 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Thomas Brezinka: Erwin Stein: a musician in Vienna and London , p. 169 ( online )
  3. ^ The Independent: Forgiven: The belated rehabilitation of Jeremy Thorpe
  4. ^ Roger Courtiour, Barrie Penrose: The Pencourt file , Harper & Row San Francisco (1978) ISBN 0-06-013343-0
  5. A Very English Scandal on the official publisher's website . Penguin Books. Archived from the original on June 14, 2017. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved June 25, 2017. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. ^ Marilyn Stasio: New True-Crime Books for Fall . In: The New York Times . October 25, 2016.
  7. ^ David Aaronovitch: Books: A Very English Scandal by John Preston . In: The Times . April 30, 2016.
  8. Chris Mullin : A Very English Scandal review - Jeremy Thorpe's fall continues to fascinate . In: The Guardian . May 9, 2016.
  9. ^ Robert Mitchell: Hugh Grant Returns to British TV for First Time in Nearly 25 Years . In: Variety . May 22, 2017.
  10. Guardian: Jeremy Thorpe: I remember the lot
  11. ^ Paul Lewis: Jeremy Thorpe, MP Accused in Scandal, Dies at 85. In: The New York Times, December 5, 2014 (accessed December 5, 2014).