Revealed: How M15 ‘fitted-up’ society osteopath Stephen Ward over fears he was a ‘smoking gun’ who could expose Profumo as a liar during 1963 scandal
- Dr Stephen Ward was at centre of Profumo affair which tarnished government
- Osteopath introduced Profumo to Christine Keeler at Clivedon House in 1961
- During his trial at the Old Bailey Dr Ward took a fatal dose of sleeping tablets
- Tom Mangold saw Dr Ward on night he took his fatal overdose during the trial
MI5 chiefs abandoned society osteopath Stephen Ward and let him take the blame for the Profumo affair, a friend of the well-connected doctor has claimed.
Dr Ward was at the centre of the scandal involving teenage model Christine Keeler and John Profumo, the war minister in Harold Macmillan’s government between 1960 and 1963.
The London osteopath introduced Profumo to 19-year-old Keeler at Clivedon House in 1961.
After their relationship ended, Profumo resigned from government and parliament after admitting his impropriety, which tarnished the reputation of the Conservative Party.
Tom Mangold next to a sketch of Christine Keeler at Clivedon House. Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me, will air on BBC Two at 10pm tonight, after the final episode of The Trial of Christine Keeler drama
A documentary, Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me, will air on BBC Two at 10pm tonight, after the final episode of The Trial of Christine Keeler drama.
The programme is presented by journalist Tom Mangold who saw Ward on the night he took his fatal overdose during the osteopath’s trial for living off immoral earnings.
It examines claims that parts of an official inquiry into the affair were kept secret and highlights evidence that the establishment fitted him up over fears he would expose Profumo as a liar.
Society osteopath Dr Stephen Ward leaving a hearing at Marylebone Magistrates Court in London,
The documentary looks at how Ernest Marples, Macmillan’s postmaster general and minister of transport, regularly had sex with prostitutes.
However Macmillan left this information out of official papers because the prime minister ‘couldn’t have withstood another cabinet minister going down the drain’, according to human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC speaking to The Observer.
It raises questions that the British state prevented the truth of what happened surfacing.
The screening also looks at how MI5 failed to disclose it had been working with Dr Ward and many believe the trial was to silence him.
Robertson, who was the author of Stephen Ward was Innocent, OK, described this failure as ‘unconscionable’.
In March 1963 Profumo declared in the House of Commons that there was ‘no impropriety whatsoever in my acquaintanceship with Miss Keeler.’
Mandy Rice-Davies (left) who rose to fame for her part in the ‘Profumo Affair’ sits in a car with Christine Keeler (right) after the hearing at the Old Bailey in 1963
However the documentary suggests that MI5 knew this would be a lie and Ward’s handler, who went by the name of Woods, knew from day one about Clivedon, according to Mangold.
Mangold revealed how Ward agreed to cooperate with the security service to ‘honey trap’ Russia naval attache and spy Yevgeny Ivanov.
Ivanov slept with Keeler and Ward had a genuine friendship with the Russian spy with the two men attempting to organise a summit between Nikita Khrushchev and John F Kennedy.
Yet the government viewed Ward as a threat and feared he would expose Profumo.
The documentary reveals a secret meeting on March 27 1963 between the home secretary, Henry Brooke, Met chief constable, Sir Joseph Simpson, and security service head, Roger Hollis.
Despite minutes from the meeting disappearing, Mangold believes the home secretary, Henry Brooke, used it to highlight how the Met needed to ‘get’ Ward.
This led to the police tapping Ward’s phone and having officers stationed outside of his practice.
In May, Ward rang Macmillan’s office to demand a meeting, prompting the prime minister’s private secretary to brief the PM.
Robertson crucially believes the time of the memo is crucial because it fits between Profumo’s lie in March and his confession in June.
‘A period in which they knew that Ward was the smoking gun and they wanted to silence him,’ Robertson said.
He added how Ward deserves a royal pardon after the memo confirmed political involvement.
Secrecy laws have prevented official papers about the affair from being made public until 2046 which include parts of the Denning report into cabinet morals.
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