John Profumo & Christine Keeler - Lord Denning's Report

The Scandal of Christine Keeler and John Profumo: Lord Denning's Report, 1963 (Moments of History) - Tim Coates

I stumbled across this book when looking for books written by Lord Denning (see my post on The Discipline of Law).

 

This book is the official transcript of the investigation ordered by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan into the Profumo affair - the political and intelligence scandal in the early 1960s that helped topple the Conservative Party government of Prime Minister 

Harold Macmillan. Involving sex, a Russian spy, and the secretary of state for war, the  story could just as well have been copied out of a John LeCarre novel.

 

Whilst the report gives a detailed insight into the facts (or at least the "facts" that were  officially released to the public), there are a number of questions which remain unanswered - or possibly unasked. Especially in light of the recent publicity and the concerns of members of the judiciary that the conviction of Stephen Ward which resulted from the Profumo scandal may have been one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in English legal history.

 

In any case, I cannot help but wonder if the disclosure made in the report was complete, and if it was not what information was left out - and at what stage. 

 

What did strike me about the report was that Denning did not seek to blame the official scapegoat but laid responsibility for the mess that ensued at the door of the disgraced minister John Profumo, who "should have known better".

 

It's an interesting enough read but being a report - it is repetitive and the descriptive detail does drag on quite a bit.