List of political scandals in the United Kingdom

List of political scandals in the United Kingdom

List of political scandals in the United Kingdom is an incomplete list of political scandals in the United Kingdom that have resulted from verified or alleged events.


* Marconi scandal of insider trading by Rufus Isaacs and others (1912)
*Shell Crisis of 1915, which led to the fall of Herbert Henry Asquith's government during the Great War.


*Lloyd George and the honours scandal. Honours sold for large campaign contributions (1922)
* Zinoviev Letter (1924)


* Jimmy Thomas budget leak (1936)


* Hugh Dalton budget leak (1947)
* John Belcher corruptly influenced - led to Lynskey Tribunal


* Crichel Down and the resignation of Thomas Dugdale (1954)
* Suez Crisis (1956)


* Soviet agent John Vassall working for Minister Tam Galbraith (1962)
* Profumo Affair (1963)


* Corrupt Architect John Poulson and links to Reginald Maudling, T. Dan Smith and others (1972-4)
* Earl Jellicoe and Lord Lambton sex scandal (1973)
* John Stonehouse's faked suicide (1974)
* Harold Wilson's Prime Minister's Resignation Honours (known satirically as the "Lavender List") gives honours to a number of wealthy businessmen whose principles were considered antipathetic to those held by the Labour party (May 1976)
* Peter Jay's appointment as British Ambassador to the U.S. by his father in law, the then Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan. At the time Jay was a journalist with little diplomatic experience.(1976)
* Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe's affair with Norman Scott and shooting of Scott's dog (1976) and later acquittal on charges of conspiracy to murder (1979)


* Joseph Kagan, Baron Kagan, earlier ennobled by the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilsons notorious Lavender List (1976), was convicted of fraud (1980)
* Cecil Parkinson affair with secretary Sara Keays resulting in their child, Flora Keays (1983)
* Al Yamamah contract alleged to have been obtained by bribery (1985)
* Westland affair (1986)
* Jeffrey Archer and the prostitute allegations (1986), and his subsequent conviction for perjury (2001)
* Edwina Currie resigns as a junior Health minister for claiming that millions of British eggs were infected with salmonella (1988)
* "Homes for votes" gerrymandering scandal (1987-1989)
* BSE (1989)


* Nicholas Ridley compares the EU to the Third Reich in an interview in "The Spectator" magazine (1990)
* Arms-to-Iraq and the closely connected Iraqi Supergun affair (1990)
* David Mellor resignation after press disclosure of his affair with Antonia de Sancha and gratis holiday from a daughter of a PLO official (1992)
* Squidgygate, the covert leaking of a bugged phone call between the Princess of Wales and James Hewitt, although the phrase originally referred to the exposure of the Princess's extramarital affair (1992)
* Michael Mates gift of watch to Asil Nadir (1993)
* Monklandsgate dominated the Monklands East by-election. It mainly consisted of allegations of sectarian spending discrepancies between Protestant Airdrie and Catholic Coatbridge, fuelled by the fact that all 17 of the ruling Labour group were Roman Catholics. (1994)
* "Back to Basics", a government policy slogan portrayed by opponents and the press as a morality campaign to compare it with a contemporaneous succession of sex scandals in John Major's government which led to the resignation of Tim Yeo and the Earl of Caithness, among others (1994)
* Cash-for-questions affair involving Neil Hamilton, Tim Smith and Mohamed Al-Fayed (1994)
* Jonathan Aitken and the hotel bill allegations, and subsequent conviction for perjury after his failed libel action against "The Guardian", resulting in Aitken being only the third person to have to resign from the Privy Council in the 20th Century. (1995)
* Bernie Ecclestone was involved in a political scandal when it transpired he had given the Labour Party a million pound donation - which raised eyebrows when the incoming Labour government changed its policy to allow Formula One to continue being sponsored by tobacco manufacturers. The Labour Party returned the donation when the scandal came to light. (1997)
* Double resignation rocks government. Peter Mandelson, Trade and Industry Secretary, resigns after failing to disclose £373,000 loan from Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson. (1998)
* Ron Davies resigns from the cabinet after being robbed by a man he met at Clapham Common and then lying about it (1998)


* Officegate (2001). Henry McLeish, Labour First Minister of Scotland, failed to refund the House of Commons for income he had received from the sub-let of his constituency office in Glenrothes while still a Westminster MP.
* Keith Vaz, Peter Mandelson and the Hinduja brothers. Mandelson forced to resign again due to misleading statements. (2001)
* Jo Moore, within an hour of the 9/11 attacks, Moore sent an email to the press office of her department suggesting: "It's now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury. Councillors' expenses?" Although prior to the catastrophic collapse of the towers, the phrase "a good day to bury bad news" (not actually used by Moore) has since been used to refer to other instances of attempting to hide one item of news behind a more publicised issue.
* In 2002, Edwina Currie revealed that she had had an affair, beginning in 1984, with John Major before he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This was criticised more harshly than may otherwise have been the case as Major had frequently pushed his "Back To Basics" agenda, which was taken by the media as a form of moral absolutism.
* The Burrell affair - allegations about the behavior of the British Royal Family and their servants with possible constitutional implications. (2002)
* Ron Davies stands down from Welsh assembly after he goes "badger-watching". (2003)
* The 'suicide' of Dr David Kelly and the "Hutton Inquiry". On 17 July 2003, Kelly, an employee of the Ministry of Defence, apparently committed suicide after being misquoted by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan as saying that Tony Blair's Labour government had knowingly "sexed up" the "September Dossier", a report into Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. The government was cleared of wrongdoing, while the BBC was strongly criticised by the subsequent inquiry, leading to the resignation of the BBC's chairman and director-general.
*Taxigate (2005). David McLetchie, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party is forced to resign after claiming taxi expenses for personal journeys, journeys related solely with his second job as a solicitor, and on Conservative Party business, for example travel to Conservative conferences. Conservative backbench MSP Brian Monteith has the whip withdrawn for briefing against his leader to the "Scotland on Sunday" newspaper.
*Liberal Democrats Home Affairs spokesman Mark Oaten resigns after it is revealed by the "News of the World" that he paid rentboys to perform sexual activities on him.
*Tessa Jowell financial allegations (2006). Tessa Jowell, Labour cabinet minister, embroiled in a scandal about a property remortgage allegedly arranged to enable her husband to realise £350,000 from an off-shore hedge fund, money he allegedly received as a gift following testimony he had provided for Silvio Berlusconi in the 1990s. Popularised by the press as "Jowellgate"
*Cash for Honours (2006). Following revelations about Dr Chai Patel and others who were recommended for peerages after lending the Labour party money, the Treasurer of the party, Jack Dromey said he had not been involved and did not know the party had secretly borrowed millions of pounds in 2005. He called on the Electoral Commission to investigate the issue of political parties taking out loans from non-commercial sources.
*Donorgate (2007) David Abrahams, a North-East lawyer, gives over £630,000 to the Labour Party via proxies, breaking electoral law. The General Secretary of Labour Party, Peter Watts resigns as it is revealed that he knew about the arrangement.

ee also

*List of British political defections
*Political Sleaze (UK Politics)

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