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Monday, 30 September, 2002, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Currie: Major turned my heart over
John Major and Edwina Currie at a launch in 1994
Edwina Currie and John Major in 1994
Edwina Currie's diaries have revealed the depth of her feelings for ex-prime minister John Major - as she hit back at his view that their affair was the thing he was "most ashamed" of in his life.

Her comments come as the first extract of her diaries serialised in The Times disclose how Mr Major's touch had turned her "heart over" and how she lost weight so the former prime minister "would have the best".


When we parted he held my hand a long time and squeezed it, even though other people were there

Edwina Currie

Mr Major made the damning remark after it was revealed on Saturday that he and Mrs Currie had been secret lovers while they were both married in the 1980s.

But a defiant Mrs Currie - an ex-Tory minister - told The Times: "He was not very ashamed of it at the time, I can tell you.

"I think I'm slightly indignant about that remark."

Extra-marital affairs

While she was pleased Mr Major had not been so "foolish" as to try to deny the relationship, she added: "It's sad he was unable to say a kind word.

"These are secrets which have been kept for the best part of 15 years. There was a lot of pain involved in keeping those secrets."

In the first extracts from the flamboyant ex-health minister's diaries to be published on 3 October, it is disclosed that the relationship with Mr Major was not her first extra-marital affair.

John and Norma Major
Mrs Currie rested at the home of John and Norma Major
She wrote of the first one being "a right slob", with "kinky preferences" and "a selfishness of such magnitude as I've never met before".

"Then B [her diary codename for Mr Major] came along and he was so attractive, and so quiet in public that it was a challenge to unearth the real person, and to seduce him - easy!

"And it was unexpectedly, spectacularly good, for such a long time."

Magical meeting

In a number of references to her appearance, Mrs Currie describes how she slimmed down for her secret love.

"Once I lost a stone in weight so that B would have the best. (Ray [her now ex-husband] never used to notice. He does now.) But why should I do it for someone else?"

The Times
Currie revealed the affair in The Times
Mrs Currie tells of her passion for Mr Major during a visit to the home he shared with wife Norma.

"To my horror, the magic started to work again and in a very big way," she says.

"When we parted he held my hand a long time and squeezed it, even though other people were there."

'Schoolgirl escapade'

Later, she goes on: "I was called to the phone at one stage and he took me to the phone in his bedroom (pretty, flowery).

"I sat on the bed while he sat on the stool near the mirror - what did he think I was going to do while his wife was in the kitchen?

"He offered me hospitality for the night, but I said no; when he pressed me I whispered, I couldn't take it, couldn't cope."

She says the relationship sounds like a "schoolgirl escapade or a Mills & Boon book".

"But this man is very special and I think he finds himself equally surprised and pleased that I'm his, as I do that he cares for me.

"It's not just sex, it's a very high regard too."

Leadership ambitions

Mrs Currie writes that she did not expect to "love this man - and I do, very much indeed".

She adds: "All weekend I've been feeling his hand on mine and it turns my heart over.

"I weep for what I don't have, with the increasing certainty that I want it very much and somehow will have it again."

Mrs Currie also discloses how she had briefly considered a "crack at the leadership" of the Conservatives as a possible successor to Margaret Thatcher as prime minister.

She writes: "Major is tough and brainy and nice underneath, but there is a definite lack of charisma: I reckon I could run him close in a straight fight after a few more years of government."

Legal challenge?

Earlier that year she had told Mr Major to end their affair. She never did stand for the leadership.

Over the weekend it emerged that Mr Major could face a legal challenge from two magazines he successfully took action against in 1993 for alleging he had been unfaithful to his wife.

Lawyers for both Scallywag and the New Statesman are looking into whether they are due compensation for the money they lost defending themselves against Mr Major.

He had claimed their articles falsely accusing him of committing infidelity with a Downing Street caterer could have ruined his reputation.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Carole Walker
"Edwina Currie could have inflicted greater damage if she had spilled the beans earlier"
The Guardian's Simon Hoggart
"The magical ingredients in these liaisons are politics and power"
Former press secretary to John Major, Sheila Gunn
"I think she's demeaning herself"

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