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1963: Ward charged over 'immoral earnings'

A key figure in the Profumo affair has been charged with living on immoral earnings.

Dr Stephen Ward, a London osteopath and friend of Christine Keeler, was arrested in Watford and taken to Marylebone Lane police station.

The arrest comes three days after the resignation of the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo.

He admitted he had lied to parliament after MPs accused him of having a relationship with Miss Keeler, a 21-year-old call girl.

MPs also allege that Miss Keeler had relations with a Russian naval attache and that the affair posed a risk to national security.

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan described the resignation as a "great tragedy".

'Extremely cheerful'

Dr Ward has not been allowed bail but his literary agent, Pelham Pound, said he was "confident" he would be freed after his court appearance scheduled for Monday 13 June.

Mr Pound visited Dr Ward at the police station and described him as "extremely cheerful". He had earlier collected some of Dr Ward's belongings from his Bryanston Mews home in Marylebone.

Last night detectives searched his former flat at Wimpole Mews and took away some items in a brown paper parcel.

Dr Ward has been charged with living on the "earnings of prostitution" at 17 Wimpole Mews since 1 January 1961.

The son of the late Canon Arthur Evelyn Ward, Canon of Rochester Cathedral, Dr Ward has treated such illustrious names as Sir Winston Churchill, Paul Getty, Douglas Fairbanks and Elizabeth Taylor.

He is also an artist and has had members of the Royal Family and politicians sit for him.

In Context
The Profumo affair was the biggest political sleaze story of the decade and threatened to topple the Conservative government under Harold Macmillan.

It also scandalised the nation, especially after sordid details of Dr Stephen Ward's lifestyle and his relationship with Christine Keeler and her friend Mandy Rice-Davies came out at his trial.

Keeler, who lived with Ward at his Wimpole Mews flat, said he had introduced her to Lord Astor at his Cliveden stately home where she first met John Profumo.

On the last day of the trial on 31 July 1963, Ward took an overdose of sleeping tablets. He was found guilty while in a coma and died three days later.

Less than two months after his death, an official report produced by Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, concluded Profumo's affair with Keeler had not endangered national security.

Shortly after this, the prime minister resigned, his ill health exacerbated by the scandal. He was replaced with Earl Home, who renounced his peerage to become Sir Alec Douglas-Home in order to take up office.


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