Great Parliamentary Scandals: Four Centuries of Calumny, Smear and Innuendo
In this highly revealing, entertaining and salutary expedition into the moral swamps of British politics, award-winning columnist and broadcaster Matthew Parris presents the low side of high office.
From the Victorian Prime Minister who brought prostitutes into Downing Street to the MP caught red-checked in the House of Commons shower; from two leaders groped by one backbencher to shady share dealings in the newly invented wireless; from the sale of peerages for cash to love-sick House of Commons secretaries; from rent boys to Soviet spies; and from pistols at dawn on Putney Heath to three-in-a-bed romps with serving wenches all is revealed here.
Researching this book, Parris has been able to talk to many of those living politicians and former politicians who appear here, and while this all-too-readable history includes the scandals you would expect - starting with Elizabeth I's Francis Bacon, who went on to become the most corrupt Lord Chancellor ever, and ending with the scandal-rocked 1990s - there are also some surprising and little-known ones: the MPs who (until now) got away.
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FRANCIS BACON 1621
SIR JOHN TREVOR 1694
BENJAMIN DISRAELI 1826
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accused affair allegations asked backbench Bacon became Bessell bill Boothby Bottomley British Brown Cabinet called campaign career Cecil Parkinson Chancellor charged Chief Whip claimed colleagues Colquhoun Committee Commons Conservative constituency court Daily Express Daily Mail Daily Mirror David Mellor Dilke Disraeli divorce Driberg Edward Heath election flat Fleet Street former Gladstone Harold Wilson headlines Home Secretary homosexual honours Horatio Bottomley House Jeremy Thorpe John John Major journalists Keays Keeler Labour MP Lamont later leader letter Liberal Lloyd George London Lord married Maudling Mellor minister's months MP's never newspaper Norman Scott O'Shea Parkinson Parliament parliamentary Parnell police political politician Prime Minister Proctor Profumo prosecution Queensberry refused resignation Rosebery rumours Sara Keays scandal Scott sexual solicitor story Sunday Thatcher Thorpe Thorpe's told took Tory Tory MP trial Vassall vote Ward Westminster wife Wilkes Wilson wrote