Top Picture: John Perfumo
Second Picture: Christine Keller
The Scandle that rocked a Government
Brigadier John Dennis Profumo, 5th Baron Profumo CBE was informally known as Jack Profumo His title, 5th Baron, which he did not use, was Italian. Although Profumo held an increasingly responsible series of political posts in the 1950s, he is best known for his involvement in a 1963 scandal involving a prostitute. The scandal, now known as the Profumo Affair, led to Profumo's resignation and withdrawal from politics, and it may have helped to topple the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan.
After his resignation, Profumo began to work as a volunteer cleaning toilets at Toynbee Hall, a charity based in the East End of London, and continued to work there for the rest of his life. Eventually, Profumo volunteered as the charity's chief fundraiser. These charitable activities helped to restore the fallen politician's reputation; he was awarded a CBE in 1975, and in 1995 was invited to Margaret Thatcher's 70th birthday dinner.  Early life and career.
He was born in Kensington, the son of a diplomat and barrister of Italian origin, who died in 1940. He was educated at Harrow School and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he read law. On 1 July 1939, he was commissioned into the Royal Armoured Corps as a Second Lieutenant. He had previously been a member of the Officer Training Corps and a Cadet Sergeant while at Harrow. He served in North Africa with the Northamptonshire Yeomanry as a Captain where he was mentioned in despatches. He landed in Normandy on D-Day and was engaged in the subsequent fierce fighting to secure that region of France. His final rank in the British Army was Brigadier.
Major Profumo was awarded an OBE "in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Italy".
In 1940, while still serving in the army, he was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative MP for Kettering. Profumo was well-connected with a good war record, and was highly regarded in the Conservative party. These qualities helped him to rise through the ranks of the Conservative government of 1951. He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in November 1952, Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation in November 1953, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies in January 1957, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office in November 1958, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in January 1959. In 1954 he married the actress Valerie Hobson. In July 1960 he was appointed a Secretary of State for War, (outside of the cabinet) and a member of the Privy Council.
But it is for the more unsavoury side of his life that he is most remembered. In July 1961, at a party at Cliveden, home of Viscount Astor, he met Christine Keeler, a model with whom he began a sexual relationship. Profumo ended it after only a few weeks but rumours about the affair began to circulate. Since Keeler also had sexual relations with Yevgeni Ivanov, the senior naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy, the Profumo Affair took on a national security dimension.
In December 1962, a shooting incident in London involving two other men who were involved with Keeler led the press to investigate Ms Keeler, and reporters soon learned of her affairs with Profumo and Ivanov. But the British tradition of respecting the private lives of British politicians was maintained until March 1963, when the Labour MP George Wigg, claiming to be motivated by the national security aspects of the case, taking advantage of Parliamentary Privilege, referred in the House of Commons to rumours that Profumo was having an affair with Keeler. Profumo then made a personal statement in which he admitted he knew Keeler but denied there was any "impropriety" in their relationship.
Profumo's statement did not prevent newspapers publishing stories about Keeler. On 5 June 1963, he was forced to admit that he had lied to the House, he resigned from office, from the House and from the Privy Council. Before making his public confession Profumo confessed the affair to his wife, who stood by him. It was never shown that his relationship with Keeler had led to any breach of national security. The scandal rocked the Conservative government, and was generally held to have been among the causes of its defeat by Labour at the 1964 election.
Profumo maintained complete public silence about the matter for the rest of his life, even when the 1989 film Scandal and the publication of Keeler's memoirs revived public interest in the affair.
Shortly after his resignation Profumo began to work as a volunteer cleaning toilets at Toynbee Hall, a charity based in the East End of London, and continued to work there for the rest of his life. All this work was done as a volunteer, since Profumo was able to live on his inherited wealth. His wife, the actress Valerie Hobson, also devoted herself to charity until her death in 1998.
Jack Profumo was awarded a CBE in 1975, which he received at a Buckingham Palace ceremony from the Queen signalling his return to respectability. In 1995, former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher invited him to her 70th birthday dinner, where he sat next to the Queen. He appeared only occasionally in public, particularly in his last years when he used a wheelchair. His last appearance was at the memorial service for Sir Edward Heath on 8 November 2005.
On 7 March 2006, he suffered a severe stroke and died two days later surrounded by his family. He was 91. In the immediate aftermath of his death, most commentators said that he should be remembered as much for his contribution to society after his fall from political grace as for the scandal of 1963 which caused that fall.
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Last month, nine days into a scheduled three-week trial, P.J. Proby was acquitted on benefit fraud in Worcester when the prosecution dropped its case in light of newly-discovered evidence. He had been accused of gaining over £46,700 in benefits between 2002 and 2008, while claiming he had just £5.00 in his bank account.
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On this day 21st April 1960-1965
1/04/1960the number one single was My Old Man's a Dustman - Lonnie Donegan and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Armchair Theatre (ABC) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
21/04/1961the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
21/04/1962the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
21/04/1963the number one single was How Do You Do It? - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
21/04/1965the number one single was Ticket to Ride - The Beatles and the number one album was Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.