25 September 1963

Lord Denning releases the UK government’s official report on the Profumo affair.

The Profumo affair was a British political scandal that unfolded in the early 1960s. It revolved around the extramarital affair between John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in the Conservative government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and Christine Keeler, a young woman who was also romantically involved with a Soviet naval attaché, Yevgeny Ivanov.

The scandal came to light in March 1963 when Profumo was forced to admit to the affair in the House of Commons, after initially denying any impropriety. This revelation had serious consequences for both Profumo and the government. It raised concerns about national security, as Profumo had been in a position to know sensitive information, and there were fears that Keeler might have passed on confidential information to Ivanov.

In addition to the security concerns, the affair became a major public scandal due to its salacious nature and the involvement of high-ranking government officials. It damaged the reputation of the Conservative government and contributed to the resignation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan later that year.

The Profumo affair is often seen as a symbol of the decline of the British establishment’s moral authority and marked a turning point in British political and cultural history. It remains one of the most famous political scandals in British history.