BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 4 October, 2002, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Currie spares Tory blushes
Edwina Currie with diary
Currie: 'Doing the decent thing?'
Edwina Currie has said she will not be attending the Conservatives' conference because she does not want to cause "any more embarrassment".

Her assurances may have little impact on the party, which is still reeling from the shock disclosure that she had a four-year affair with former prime minister John Major.


I'm not going anywhere near the conference this year

Edwina Currie
While Mr Major also has no plans to join the Tory faithful down in Bournemouth, he could face a legal battle with the New Statesman.

The magazine has said it will sue John Major for costs resulting from a 1993 court case, following revelations of his affair with Mrs Currie.

The political weekly lost a libel action against Mr Major nine years ago over false claims he had had an affair with a Downing Street caterer.

'Nine day wonder'

Mrs Currie's recently published diaries astonished Westminster with details about her love for Mr Major, his blue underpants, how they discussed God in the bath and suggestions that the couple enjoyed a three-hour sex session.

But despite the revelations, she seemed keen on Thursday to spare the party's blushes further.

John Major
Major remains tight-lipped
She told The Times she would not be attending the conference because she did "not want to cause the party any more embarrassment than necessary".

She also predicted the scandal over her liaison with the former prime minister was a "nine-day wonder" which would soon blow over.

"I'm not going anywhere near the conference this year. I didn't go last year," she told BBC Radio 2's Headline-makers programme.

"It's a big jamboree and it's a lot of fun and hard work for the people who go to these conferences but no, I am pleased to stay I shall be home in Surrey."

'Downright lies'

While Mrs Currie has done the media circuit with interviews defending her decision to release details about the affair between 1984 and 1988, Mr Major has remained tight-lipped.

Mrs Currie stressed that only "very selective extracts" of her diaries had been seen so far.

She said the book was more concerned with the politics of the day than with affairs.

She also claimed Mr Major's autobiography was "a complete pack of downright lies".

Making history

"He promoted this whole Back to Basics thing which I thought was cruel and wrong - wrong in principle even if he had been absolutely pristine himself, and he let that image continue," she said.

Mrs Currie claimed her motivation to have the book published was to set history straight, not for revenge or money.

People mentioned in the diaries had "moved on" and her disclosures were unlikely to damage the Conservatives.

Mrs Currie insisted: "This will all blow over. This is nine-day wonder territory.

"Once people have got their heads round what happened and how they need to revise their view of the eighties and nineties then I have absolute confidence that it will all blow over and I certainly hope it does."


Key stories

Interviews

FEATURES

INTERACTIVE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT

Key stories

Background

Analysis

BBC RADIO 5 LIVE

TALKING POINT
See also:

04 Oct 02 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes