Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Page 3 Profile: Christine Keeler, Woman behind Profumo affair

She looks familiar.

You might recognise the now 71-year-old from the photos of her youth. In the 1960s, Christine Keeler helped cause the first full-blown government sex-scandal – something as common these days as night following day. Her eventful younger years are now being dramatised in a new West End musical called Stephen Ward by Andrew Lloyd Webber, beginning this December.

Wait, start from the beginning, who is Stephen Ward?

To cut a long story short, Keeler was a key player in the Profumo affair, which ended in the resignation of the then Secretary of State for War, John Profumo. She met Dr Stephen Ward, an osteopath to the stars, when she worked as a waitress at Murray’s Cabaret Club. The venue was frequented by everyone from the Kray twins to Princess Margaret. Before long, she was living in Ward’s flat. The fling began after Ward introduced the married Secretary for War to Keeler, who was only nineteen at the time, at a do in a stately home.

This is all very glamorous, but why the fuss? 

Although their relationship only lasted a few weeks, Keeler was seeing Eugene Ivanov, a Soviet spy in London, at the same time.  This was bad news in 1961 at the height of the Cold War. After months of whispering among MPs, Profumo was forced in 1963 to answer questions in Parliament to assure the government that his relationships with Keeler hadn’t jeopardised national security. He denied that there was any “impropriety” in his “acquaintance”. That didn’t stick for long and soon Profumo was forced to resign his Cabinet post after he admitted to lying.

It’s like something from the pages of a racy, political thriller.

Indeed, but there are no slick, Hollywood endings here. Ward was arrested for accepting money from Keeler, who was deemed a prostitute under the Sexual Offences Act 1956 that has since been replaced. On the last day of his trial, he was found dead after overdosing on sleeping pills. Keeler was found guilty of perjury and imprisoned for nine months.

Quite a story. What has Keeler been doing since?

She’s spent her time releasing novels all linked in some way to the debacle, as well as her autobiography in 2001. Somehow she managed to find enough material to release another earlier this year. It revealed how she was a spy, with Ward as the ring-master, before she had even met Profumo.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power