Center of '60s British scandal dies

LONDON, March 10 (UPI) -- Former Conservative Party minister John Profumo, forced from power in one of Britain's best-known Cold War-era political scandals, has died. He was 91.

The former war minister died Friday, two days after he suffered a stroke, the BBC reported.


Profumo spent his later years working with the poor in London's East End. He was named a commander of the British Empire in 1975 for his work.

Profumo resigned from the Cabinet in 1963 after lying about and then admitting an affair with Christine Keeler, a call girl alleged to be a spy with connections to Soviet intelligence officials.

Profumo was introduced to Keeler by London artist Stephen Ward in July 1961. Keeler claimed Ward wanted her to get information about Western weapons in West Germany.

The Profumo scandal is believed to be, at least partly, responsible for the October 1963 resignation of Harold Macmillan as prime minister. The following year, Macmillan's Conservative Party lost the government to Labor.

Profumo's wife, the actress Valerie Hobson, stood by him through the scandal. She died in 1998.

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