Whitehall fears sex scandal (23.06.84)

Morning Star, 23rd June 1984


1 comment
  1. Troyhand said:

    Sydney Morning Herald – 22 June 1984
    Sex scandal hits Downing Street

    LONDON, Thursday: The threat of another sex scandal shaking the British Government has spurred the Prime Minister’s office to issue a firm denial of any ministrerial impropriety.

    Downing Street this morning told AAP that writs for libel would be issued against any newspaper or broadcasting body that identified the minister around whom rumours have been circulating for some time.

    Government officers described the stories as “assassination by gossip.”

    The Communist Morning Star today reported “a child sex scandal involving a Government minister” might be about to break.

    A Guardian columnist disclosed that another newspaper was investigating “a sensational Whitehall sex scandal”, but gave no details.

    The Observer also teased with the mention of “scandal, or rumours of scandal” when offering a number of reasons for a lift in political temperatures.

    The Times political correspondent today said rumours involving a Cabinet minister had been circulating since last November and had been revived with an investigation by The Mail on Sunday.

    The correspondent, Anthony Bevis, says the Commons tearoom – the hub of Westminster gossip – has been told the story will going to “break” this weekend.

    According to The Daily Telegraph, the minister concerned has denied the rumours and said he would take legal action if identified in connection with them.

    “Because the minister mentioned is of Cabinet rank, it can be taken that the security services have investigated the rumours,” reported James Wightman, political correspondent of the telegraph.

    “It can also be taken that the minister has seen the Prime Minister about the matter. Mrs Thatcher has clearly given him an expression of her unqualified confidence.”

    The Conservative Party Government was shaken soon after its landslide re-election last year when it was learned that the party chairman, Mr Cecil Parkinson, and his secretary, Miss Sara Keays, were expecting a child.

    Mr Parkinson, a personal friend of Mrs Thatcher, resigned from the Cabinet and is now undergoing a “rehabilitation period” on the back bench.

    The sex scandals rumours come at a time when Mrs Thatcher’s Government is under fire over the increasingly violent miners’ strike, which has been running for 102 days. The Queen has made known her concern.

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