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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 December 2006, 19:37 GMT
Ex-minister Lambton dies aged 84
Lord Lambton
Lord Lambton had five children
Former Conservative defence minister Lord Lambton, who resigned in the 1970s after he was photographed in bed with two prostitutes, has died aged 84.

News of Anthony Lambton's death at his Italian home on Saturday appeared in his local paper La Nazione.

His body is reportedly being moved to Siena for cremation after a private service.

With Lord Jellicoe, he was one of two ministers to resign from Ted Heath's government over call girl scandals.

Italy exile

The 1973 expose of Lord Lambton shocked the government. The story broke when pictures of him in bed with the call girls and smoking cannabis were passed to the News of the World.

After a security services investigation, he was denied access to secret material because of fears that he could be blackmailed.

He resigned and moved to Italy where he bought Villa Cetinale, a 400-year-old estate.

Lord Lambton had told an MI5 officer he had thrown himself into a "frenzied" round of vigorous "gardening and debauchery" to get over the fact he had lost a three-year battle over the use of his father's title.

He succeeded to the Earldom of Durham upon his father's death in 1970, but disclaimed it to continue as MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed.

But he continued to insist on being addressed as Lord Lambton.

He said he used call girls because "I think that people sometimes like variety.

"I think it's as simple as that and I think that impulse is probably understood by almost everybody."

He was married to Belinda Blew Jones, who died three years ago, and the couple had five children.


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