• 20:24
  • 16.10.2021
How the Profumo scandal unfolded

How the Profumo scandal unfolded

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Christine Keeler's fling with John Profumo created a political scandal that brought down a government. Here is a timeline of events:
- January 30 1915: John Profumo is born to a privileged background in Kensington, London.
- March 3 1940: Profumo is elected MP for Kettering.
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- February 22 1942: Christine Keeler is born to a modest background in Uxbridge, Middlesex.
- July 1960: Profumo rises through Tory ranks and is appointed Secretary of State for War.
- July 8 1961: Keeler catches Profumo's eye at the outdoor swimming pool of Lord Astor's estate in Buckinghamshire where she is staying in a cottage in the grounds with her friend Dr Stephen Ward. She and Profumo have a brief affair. Keeler is also involved with Commander Eugene Ivanov, a Russian intelligence officer and the Soviet assistant naval attache in London.
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- December 1962: Another of Keeler's lovers, Johnny Edgecombe, fires shots at Stephen Ward's flat in London, after Keeler refuses to talk to him. Rumours begin to circulate about Keeler and Profumo.
- March 22 1963: Profumo delivers a personal statement to MPs denying any ''impropriety whatever'' in his relationship with Christine Keeler. Downing Street describes the matter as closed.
- June 5, 1963: Profumo resigns after admitting he misled the House of Commons about his relationship with Christine Keeler.
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- October 19 1963: Prime Minister Harold Macmillan resigns.
- October 15 1964: Labour defeats the Conservatives in a general election.
- March 9 2006: John Profumo dies in London, having never spoken about the scandal which ended his political career.
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- December 4 2017: Christine Keeler dies at Princess Royal University Hospital, near Farnborough after struggling to escape the notoriety of the 1960s. Her son says she paid a "huge personal price" for her place in British history.
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