John Profumo

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John Dennis Profumo, 5th Baron Profumo CBE (* 30th January 1915 in Kensington , London ; † 9. March 2006 in Chelsea , London) was a conservative British politician , who in the 1960s with the eponymous Profumo Affair a Caused a scandal .


John Profumo, son of the lawyer and diplomat Albert Profumo (1879-1940), studied law in Oxford at Brasenose College . He became a member of the Conservative Party of Great Britain and was given a seat in the British House of Commons in 1940 . This made him the youngest MP in Great Britain at the time . After the end of the Second World War he worked briefly as Chief of Staff of the British Army in Japan . After he returned in 1950 to the UK, he held various political posts before 1960. Minister of War (Secretary of State for War ) under Harold Macmillan was appointed.

The following year, he was introduced to 19-year-old dancer Christine Keeler , and, despite being married to actress Valerie Hobson , he began an affair with her. Christine Keeler herself had connections to the Soviet naval attaché in London, whom she later identified as a spy . On March 2, 1963, Labor MP George Wigg gave a speech in Parliament in which he revealed Profumo's entanglements and his acquaintance with Christine Keeler. A few weeks after the speech, Profumo confirmed the acquaintance of Keeler, but denied a misstep. This statement was not received by the press , however, and countless cover stories have speculated about Profumo's relationship with Keeler. On June 5, 1963, John Profumo resigned after admitting untruth to Parliament and the Committee of Inquiry into his relationship with Christine Keeler. In Parliament he had said in the presence of his wife Valerie Hobson: "There was no impropriety whatsoever in my acquaintanceship with Miss Keeler." He went on to say that all of the allegations were fabricated by the opposition and the press and that he would take legal action against them. He also withdrew from the Privy Council , which he had been a member of since 1960.

After retiring from politics, Profumo worked for the nonprofit Toynbee Hall . He was named Commander of the British Empire in 1975 for his services to the poor in the East End of London . Profumo's wife Valerie Hobson stayed with her husband despite the affair and worked with him on the charitable projects. She died in 1998.

Profumo rarely appeared in public appearances, especially in the last years of his life when he was dependent on a wheelchair. His last public appearance took place at the funeral of Sir Edward Heath on November 8, 2005. John Dennis Profumo died on March 9, 2006 of complications from a stroke in a London hospital.

His son is the journalist and author David Profumo (* 1955).


Individual evidence

  1. Nina Merli: "Every man who met her wanted her". In: Tages-Anzeiger of February 22, 2012

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