The Profumo affair was a British political scandal originating from a brief sexual relationship in 1961, between John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan's Conservative government, and Christine Keeler, a 19-year-old would-be model. In March 1963, Profumo denied any impropriety in a personal statement to the House of Commons, but was forced to admit the truth a few weeks later. He resigned from the government and from Parliament. The repercussions of the affair severely damaged Macmillan's self-confidence, and he resigned as Prime Minister on health grounds in October 1963. The reputation of the Conservative Party was damaged by the scandal, which may have contributed to its defeat by the Labour Party in the 1964 general election.
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- There has been no impropriety between myself and Miss Keeler
- John Profumo, "A very British scandal: The tale of Christine Keeler", Irish Examiner (9 December 2017)
- My life has been cursed by sex I didn't particularly want. Jack Profumo was all over me and there wasn’t much I could do about it. He was a much older man, not someone I wanted to be with, it just happened. Jack had power too and that was part of it for me. Jack Profumo was seriously out of line in his behaviour with me. I was young but he was the one who didn’t know any better. He’d been taught that he could take anything he wanted.
- Christine Keeler, "A very British scandal: The tale of Christine Keeler", Irish Examiner (9 December 2017)
- It is really more than I can stand – the horror, day after day at the court and in the streets. It is not only fear, it is a wish not to let them get me. I would rather get myself. I do hope I have not let people down too much
- Stephen Ward, "Sex, lies and spies: the real history of the Profumo Affair", HistoryExtra