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Lambton Affair

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It was the biggest scandal in the British politics since the Profumo scandal a decade before and like Profumo scandal, it nearly toppled a government. Antony Lambton joined Edward Heath’s government under a cloud of controversy — months before the Conservative victory in 1970, his father had died, making Lambton the 6th Earl of Durham.Although he disclaimed the title, he fought fiercely to retain the courtesy title of Viscount Lambton, and hence the appellation ‘Lord Lambton’.

In 1973, a police raid on a Soho pornography shop turned up a notebook full of coded names and addresses. The only uncoded name was ‘Jellicoe’, presumed to be that of the Leader of the Lords, Earl Jellicoe. (In fact, it was an error. Jellicoe referred to a rendezvous hotel, but the police questioned Lord Jellicoe instead, who coincidentally happened to be guilty and confessed.) The owners, Colin and Norma Levy catered to kings, princes, civil servants, cabinet ministers and millionaires. When police arrested Colin Levy, he revealed Lord Lambton had been his wife’s lover.

With the help of the News of the World, Levy installed a camera in his wife’s flat, and a microphone in a teddy bear. Lambton and Norma were recorded talking about drugs, and captured them cavorting naked with another prostitute called Kim. The News of the World decided not to pursue the story and Levy sold it to The People, which handed the material to the police. The pictures caused a furore in Downing Street, in White Hall and in Westminster. Lambton who had previously written critically about the Profumo affair promptly resigned his office and his parliamentary seat which he had represented since 1951.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

May 21, 2010 at 4:51 am

Posted in Politics

Tagged with ,

5 Responses

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  1. I remember this being the first big sex scandal I read about as a child and being quite shocked a camera was in the teddy bear – sadly it seems par for the course Government + sex scandal s like a job requirement

    Vicki Day

    May 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

  2. […] cameras, wiretappings, bribery, etc. In 1973, it outrageously installed its own cameras to expose Lord Lambton’s affair when the pictures it obtained were not good enough. Vicars, politicians, […]

  3. […] craftily leaving out any mention of Conservative sex scandals. Like the Profumo Affair, or the Lord Lambton prostitute scandal, or that time John Major was majoring Edwina […]

  4. I was walking up Sloane Street with a rather strange fellow when we reached Pont street when a familiarly TALL road sweeper was at work near to the taxi-driver resting place & this fellow approached the road sweeper & spoke to him. He had told me that this road sweeper was Lord Lambton who was involved with the scandal of self flagellation with a prostitute. OF COURSE I was skeptical until this road sweeper in a loud extremely UPPER CLASS RECEIVED PRONUNCIATION shouted “Go away!” & then there was NO doubt that it HAD to be true, THIS WAS LORD LAMBTON without a doubt since I never heard ANY other road sweeper with such an CULTIVATED pronunciation. If LAMBTON WAS TALL then I think of no other explanation.

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