Stephen Ward as the Establishment’s Whipping Boy

Stephen Ward as the Establishment’s Whipping Boy

Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK: The Case for Overturning his Conviction

by Geoffrey Robertson

Biteback Publishing (NewSouth), $24.99 hb, 207 pp, 9781849546904

Who was Stephen Ward? And why does his fate matter today?

The Profumo affair, with its mixture of sex, politics, aristocracy, and espionage, has become the archetypal scandal. In 1962, Jack Profumo was British Secretary of State for War (ministerial titles were more frank in those days). He had a brief affair with a beautiful young woman, Christine Keeler, who was introduced to him by Dr Stephen Ward, a society osteopath. There it might have ended but for the fact that she was also involved with a Soviet diplomat and spy, Yevgeny Ivanov. Efforts to cover up the affair were in vain, and Profumo resigned after admitting that he had lied to Parliament about the relationship.

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Published in May 2014 no. 361

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