Back to Basics (campaign)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Back to Basics attempted to relaunch the government of John Major (pictured)

Back to Basics was a political campaign announced by British Prime Minister John Major at the Conservative Party conference of 1993 in Blackpool.

Though it was intended as a nostalgic appeal to traditional values such as "neighbourliness, decency, courtesy", the campaign was widely interpreted in the media as a campaign for socially conservative causes such as the traditional family. It became the subject of ridicule when a succession of Conservative politicians were caught up in scandals.

Context[edit]

The previous year of Major's premiership had been beset by infighting within the Conservative party on the issue of Europe, including rebellions in several Parliamentary votes on the Maastricht Treaty. He was also dealing with the fallout from the Black Wednesday economic debacle of September 1992.[1]

John Major's speech[edit]

Major's speech, delivered on 8 October 1993, began by noting the disagreements over Europe:

Disunity leads to opposition. Not just opposition in Westminster, but in the European Parliament and in town halls and county halls up and down this country ... [a]nd if agreement is impossible, and sometimes on great issues it is difficult, if not impossible, then I believe I have the right, as leader of this party, to hear of that disagreement in private and not on television, in interviews, outside the House of Commons.[2]

Major then changed the subject to "a world that sometimes seems to be changing too fast for comfort". He attacked many of the changes in Britain since the Second World War, singling out developments in housing, education, and criminal justice. He then continued:

The old values – neighbourliness, decency, courtesy – they're still alive, they're still the best of Britain. They haven't changed, and yet somehow people feel embarrassed by them. Madam President, we shouldn't be. It is time to return to those old core values, time to get back to basics, to self-discipline and respect for the law, to consideration for others, to accepting a responsibility for yourself and your family and not shuffling off on other people and the state.[2]

He mentioned the phrase once again near the conclusion of his speech:

The message from this conference is clear and simple, we must go back to basics. We want our children to be taught the best, our public services to give the best, our British industry to be the best and the Conservative Party will lead the country back to those basic rights across the board. Sound money, free trade, traditional teaching, respect for the family and respect for the law. And above all, we will lead a new campaign to defeat the cancer that is crime.

Media reaction[edit]

During 1993, Britain was going through what has been characterised as a moral panic on the issue of single mothers.[3] Government ministers regularly made speeches on the issue, such as John Redwood's condemnation of "young women [who] have babies with no apparent intention of even trying marriage or a stable relationship with the father of the child" from July 1993, and Peter Lilley's characterisation of single mothers as "benefit-driven" and "undeserving" from the same year. The murder of James Bulger earlier in 1993, by two young boys from single-parent families, served to intensify the media frenzy.[3]

Apart from some generic platitudes about families and self-reliance, Major's speech said nothing specific about sexual behaviour or single motherhood. On 6 January 1994, Major explicitly stated that the campaign was not "a crusade about personal morality".[4] Despite this, the "Back to Basics" campaign was widely interpreted by the media as including a "family values" component.[5][6]

According to Debbie Epstein and Richard Johnson:

It is true that there was little in his original speech about sexuality ... What proved critical, however, was the adoption of a moral traditionalist tone, including the usual references to 'the family' and 'responsibility', and the labelling of the Conservative Party as the party of morality. The party was now vulnerable to every personal moral disclosure, around financial and political corruption, but also, given the press's own agenda, around sexuality. For editors and journalists, the high-profile espousal of morality offered additional justification for the papers' risky stories, and a further defence against threats to introduce privacy legislation against press intrusion. It was indubitably 'in the public interest' not to hush up misdemeanours within the Back To Basics party, however private.[7]

Writing in his diary shortly after and in reference to the Michael Brown story (Brown being a government whip who resigned in 1994 in the wake of newspaper revelations that he had taken a trip to Barbados with a 20-year-old man), Piers Morgan, who exposed many of the sexual scandals as editor of the News of the World, opined:

Major brought all these exposés on himself, with that ludicrous 'Back to Basics' speech at the last Tory conference ... It strikes me that probably every Tory MP is up to some sexual shenanigans, but we can hardly get them all fired or there will be nobody left to run the country. Still, needs must. Brown's shenanigans will shift a few papers, get followed everywhere and ensure the NoW [News of the World] leads the news agenda again. We're on a roll and it feels fantastic.[8]

Scandals[edit]

The following scandals were linked to the "Back To Basics" campaign in the media:

1991[edit]

  • In April 1991 Chancellor Norman Lamont was embarrassed when it was revealed a 'sex-therapist' lived in his rented-out London flat, and that his credit cards were frequently in arrears.[9][10][11]

1992[edit]

  • On 24 September 1992, David Mellor resigned as National Heritage Secretary. Mellor had been the subject of intense press attention regarding his extra-marital affair with actress Antonia de Sancha.[12][13] The Sun, relying on material supplied by publicist Max Clifford, made a number of lurid claims about their lovemaking - eg. that Mellor had sucked her toes and had worn a Chelsea football shirt - that de Sancha later admitted in a newspaper interview were entirely untrue.[14] Mellor remained in office for two months after the story broke, but was forced to resign when it was revealed that he had accepted a free holiday from the daughter of the PLO's finance director.[15][16] Although Mellor's resignation antedated John Major's "Back to Basics" speech by more than a year, the media were quick to link the new campaign to the scandal.[17] There was some speculation that the press were taking revenge over Mellor's support for the creation of a Press Complaints Commission, to rein in what he saw as excessive press snooping in people's private lives.[18][19]
  • In 1992 MP Alan Amos received a police caution for indecency after being found cruising for gay sex on Hampstead Heath.[20][21][22]

1993[edit]

  • In February 1993 Major himself sued a publication which falsely alleged he had conducted an affair with Downing Street caterer Clare Latimer.[23][24][25][26]
  • In May 1993 Michael Mates, a junior minister in the Northern Ireland office, resigned over his links to Asil Nadir, a UK-based Northern Cypriot businessman who later fled the country after an indictment by the Serious Fraud Office.[27][25][28]
  • Between September and November 1993, newspapers revealed that junior transport minister Steven Norris had separated from his wife and was conducting simultaneous affairs with three different women (who were not all aware of each other's existence). A further two long-term mistresses from his past were also exposed in the media. This prompted the headline, "YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, MINISTER!!!" Norris remained in office, with John Major reportedly believing that he "was entitled to act as he likes in his private life". The revelations continued during the conference at which Major made his "Back to Basics" speech.[29][30][31]
  • In December 1993 it was revealed that Tim Yeo, Minister for the Environment and Countryside, had fathered an illegitimate child, despite having publicly talked of the need to "reduce broken families and the number of single parents"; he later resigned in January 1994.[1][32][33][34]

1994[edit]

  • On 8 January 1994, millionaire MP Alan Duncan resigned as Parliamentary Private Secretary after it was revealed that he had acquired a house in Westminster (which had been designated as a council house) adjoining his own 18th century townhouse, at a reduced price, by exploiting a government programme to increase home ownership for the underprivileged. The house had been occupied for decades by an elderly next-door neighbour, and Duncan gave him the money to purchase the house at a huge discount under the "Right to Buy" scheme, on condition that Duncan would take over the house on the neighbour's death.[1][17][35][36]
  • On 9 January 1994, The Earl of Caithness resigned from his post as Minister for Aviation and Shipping one day after his wife committed suicide. According to his wife's father, the tragedy had been precipitated by the Earl's involvement in an extra-marital affair.[1][17][36][37]
  • On 10 January 1994, married Conservative MP David Ashby admitted that he had shared a hotel bed with a "close" male friend on a rugby tour, but denied claims by his wife that he had left her for a man, or that he was having a homosexual relationship.[7][17][38][36][39]
  • On 16 January 1994, Conservative MP Gary Waller confirmed newspaper reports that he had fathered a child with the secretary of another MP.[40][41][42][26]
  • On 7 February 1994, Conservative MP Stephen Milligan was found dead on his kitchen table as a result of auto-erotic asphyxiation, wearing only a pair of women's stockings and suspenders, with his head covered and an orange segment in his mouth.[43][44][45][46] According to the diary of his long-time friend, the Conservative MP Gyles Brandreth, Milligan had just been offered promotion to a ministerial job earlier that day, and Brandreth speculated that Milligan had gone home "to celebrate".[47][48]
  • On 13 February 1994, Hartley Booth resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary. The married father of three and Methodist lay preacher claimed that his 22-year-old female researcher had "seduced [him] into kissing and cuddling".[1][7][49][50][51]
  • On 8 May 1994, Michael Brown resigned as a junior government whip after the News of the World revealed that he had taken a holiday in Barbados in the company of a 20-year-old man. At that time, the age of consent for same-sex male relationships was still 21 (it was due to be reduced to 18 later in 1994).[1] Brown subsequently acknowledged his sexuality, becoming the second openly gay MP.[7][52] In his diaries, Conservative MP Gyles Brandreth wrote of this revelation:

    You've got to pity the poor PM [Prime Minister] too. As [Brandreth's wife] Michèle says, 'That's Back To Basics gone to buggery'.[53]

  • On 10 July 1994, Parliamentary Private Secretaries David Tredinnick and Graham Riddick resigned after being caught by The Sunday Times taking cash in exchange for asking Parliamentary questions.[54][55][56]
  • On 20 October 1994, Tim Smith resigned as Northern Ireland minister after being accused by The Guardian of accepting cash for asking Parliamentary questions on behalf of Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed.[56][57] Smith admitted the allegations.
  • On 25 October 1994, Neil Hamilton resigned as minister for regulation and corporate affairs over the cash-for-questions affair.[58] Unlike Smith, Hamilton denied taking money and gifts from Al-Fayed and vowed to sue his accusers in court.[56]
  • On 10 November 1994 the Pergau Dam case was decided. Back in the Thatcher years Britain had provided aid money to Malaysia to build the Pergau Dam allegedly as part of a quid pro quo for favourable business deals. The court found that Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd had not been legally entitled to supply the funds, as the economic viability of the project had not been proven.[59][60][61][62]

1995[edit]

  • On 8 February 1995, Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Allan Stewart resigned from the Scottish Office after waving a pickaxe at an anti-motorway protester.[1][63][64] Later, in 1997, he also resigned his position of MP after allegations of an affair.[65][66]
  • On 6 March 1995, Robert Hughes resigned as Minister responsible for the Citizen's Charter over an affair with a constituency worker who had come to him for help from an abusive relationship. Hughes confessed the affair and resigned when he believed that the liaison was about to be exposed in a Sunday newspaper.[7][67]
  • On 9 April 1995, Richard Spring resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary after a News of the World sting allegedly caught him in a "three in a bed sex romp" with a male acquaintance and the acquaintance's girlfriend.[7][56][68][69] The fact that Spring was single at the time raised accusations that the paper was conducting an unwarranted intrusion into his private life.[51]
  • On 10 April 1995, Jonathan Aitken resigned as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, in order to sue The Guardian and the ITV investigative journalism series World in Action, after they alleged that Saudi businessmen had paid for his stay at the Paris Ritz hotel, that he had enjoyed inappropriate commercial relations with two British-Lebanese arms dealers while minister for defence procurement, and that he had also procured prostitutes for a Saudi prince and his entourage while they stayed at a British health farm.[70][71] Aitken denied all accusations and promised to wield "the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play" in libel proceedings which he brought against The Guardian and the producers of World in Action (Granada Television). At an early stage in the trial, it became apparent that he had lied under oath, and he was subsequently convicted of perjury (after the Major government had fallen from power) and sentenced to a term of imprisonment.[72][73][74]

1996[edit]

  • In 1996 a long-running investigation into the 'Homes for votes scandal' found that the Conservative-controlled Westminster City Council had conducted an unofficial policy of removing homeless people from the borough and replacing them with likely Conservative voters.[75][76][77]
  • On 2 June 1996, Rod Richards resigned as a Welsh Office minister after his extra-marital affair was disclosed in the News of the World.[78] Richards had been a staunch advocate of the "Back To Basics" campaign in his strongly religious Welsh constituency.[56] Upon hearing of the revelations, John Major demanded that Richards resign immediately; this so-called "one bonk and you're out" policy was a notable contrast with his earlier leniency towards Norris, Yeo and David Mellor.[7][79]
  • In late 1996 MP and Paymaster General David Willetts was disciplined by the parliamentary ombudsman over his intervention in a parliamentary enquiry in 1996.[80]

1997[edit]

  • On 5 January 1997, the News of the World revealed that Conservative MP Jerry Hayes had been engaged in an extra-marital relationship with a young man. The affair began in 1991, when the man was 18 (the age of consent for same-sex male relationships at that time was 21).[7][81][82][83][52]
  • In March 1997 Michael Hirst, Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, resigned in the wake of revelations that he had had several previous homosexual affairs with other, younger Scottish Tories.[84][85][86][87]
  • In 1997 the MP Piers Merchant was revealed to be having an affair with a Soho nightclub hostess, and was forced to resign after it emerged he had conducted another affair with a parliamentary researcher.[88][64][89]

Later revelations[edit]

John Major lost the 1997 general election, subsequently resigning as Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader. Several years later, it was revealed that he had conducted a four-year-long extra-marital affair with fellow Conservative MP Edwina Currie in the 1980s. The liaison occurred when both were backbenchers, and had ended well before Major became Prime Minister. Currie disclosed the romance in her diaries, published in 2002, adding that she considered the "Back to Basics" campaign to have been "absolute humbug".[90]

In 2017, Major said the slogan was an example of how sound bites can mislead the public, saying "[I]t was taken up to pervert a thoroughly worthwhile social policy and persuaded people it was about something quite different."[91]

In popular culture[edit]

The phrase has since become used by UK political commentators to describe any failed attempt by a political party leader to relaunch themselves following a scandal or controversy. The phrase was satirised in the Viz strip Baxter Basics.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Major Scandal Sheet". BBC News. BBC. 27 October 1998. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Mr Major's Speech to 1993 Conservative Party Conference - 8 October 1993". Sir John Major KG CH. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b Chambers, Deborah (2001). Representing the Family. London: SAGE. pp. 147. ISBN 1412931622.
  4. ^ MacLeod, Alexander (10 January 1994). "Family Values Issue Creates Stir Among British Politicians". Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  5. ^ Page, Robert (2007). Revisiting The Welfare State. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill International. p. 97. ISBN 978-0335213177. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  6. ^ Stevenson, Richard W. (14 January 1994). "British Scandals Jeopardizing Party's 'Back to Basics' Effort". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Epstein, Debbie; Johnson, Richard (1998). Schooling Sexualities. Buckhingham: Open University Press. pp. 75–77. ISBN 0335230997. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  8. ^ Morgan, Piers (2005). The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade. London: Ebury Press. p. 38. ISBN 9780091908492. Archived from the original on 26 July 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  9. ^ John Major (1999). John Major: The Autobiography. Phoenix Books. p. 678.
  10. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. p. 346.
  11. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. pp. 28, 208–9.
  12. ^ John Major (1999). John Major: The Autobiography. Phoenix Books. p. 551.
  13. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. pp. 300, 323–24.
  14. ^ Euan Ferguson (2 November 2002). "Antonia de Sancha on moving forwards and emotional hangovers". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  15. ^ Stephen Ward "Mellor family guests of PLO man's daughter" Archived 3 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine, The Independent, 15 September 1992
  16. ^ "1992: Mellor resigns over sex scandal". BBC News. 24 September 1992. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d Tuohy, William (15 January 1994). "Sex Scandals Contradict Tory Moralizing: Prime Minister John Major can't seem to plug all the leaks in his 'back to basics' policy". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  18. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. pp. 86–7.
  19. ^ "Sir David Calcutt". The Times. 17 August 2004. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  20. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 207.
  21. ^ "THAT NIGHT ON THE HEATH » 18 Jan 1997 » the Spectator Archive". Archived from the original on 20 May 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  22. ^ "BBC News | UK POLITICS | Clutching at straws". Archived from the original on 6 March 2003. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  23. ^ Major, John Roy (2000). John Major: The Autobiography. HarperCollins. pp. 553–554. ISBN 978-0-00-653074-9.
  24. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. pp. 355–7.
  25. ^ a b Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. pp. 382–3.
  26. ^ a b Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 209.
  27. ^ John Major (1999). John Major: The Autobiography. Phoenix Books. p. 565.
  28. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 250.
  29. ^ "Steve Norris: Tory who ran as a liberal". BBC News. 5 May 2000. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  30. ^ Newman, Judith (8 November 1993). "Ministering to the Needs of a Nation". People Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  31. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 206.
  32. ^ Cohen, Nick; Routledge, Paul (9 January 1994). "The revenge of the Moral Majority: The Yeo Affair: Traditional values saved John Major's career at last year's party conference. Now he is paying the price". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  33. ^ Wynn Davies, Patricia (5 January 1994). "The Yeo Resignation: Minister falls foul of 'back to basics' policy: Swift demise after constituency association released statement". The Independent. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  34. ^ "Conservative Party minister admits to love child". UPI. 26 December 1993. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  35. ^ Watt, Holly (10 May 2009). "Alan Duncan claimed thousands for gardening: MPs' expenses". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 27 May 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  36. ^ a b c Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. p. 433.
  37. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 213.
  38. ^ Williams, Rhys (10 January 1994). "Tories in Turmoil: MP denies homosexual affair: David Ashby: Wife blames marital problems on long hours in Parliament". The Independent. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  39. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 211.
  40. ^ Brown, Colin (7 February 1994). "Two months of sex and sleaze". The Independent. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  41. ^ Katz, Ian (1 March 1994). "Pecadillo Circus". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  42. ^ "TORIES IN TURMOIL / The Press: Waller attacks 'harassment' after". Independent.co.uk. 17 January 1994. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  43. ^ John Major (1999). John Major: The Autobiography. Phoenix Books. pp. 556–7.
  44. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. pp. 438–9.
  45. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY | 8 | 1994: Police probe MP's suspicious death". BBC News. 8 February 1952. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  46. ^ Darnton, John (9 February 1994). "Rising Tory Politician Found Dead Mysteriously". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  47. ^ Gyles Brandreth, Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries, 1992–97 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999), ISBN 0-297-64311-8
  48. ^ "MP 'was worried over tarnished television image': Coroner records misadventure verdict on Milligan". The Independent. 23 March 1994. Archived from the original on 8 December 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  49. ^ Schmidt, William E. (13 February 1994). "New Scandal Rocks Tory Party, With M.P. Admitting Infatuation". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  50. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. p. 439.
  51. ^ a b Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 210.
  52. ^ a b Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 215.
  53. ^ Brandreth, Gyles (2014). Breaking the Code: Westminster Diaries. London: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 978-1849548182. Archived from the original on 8 July 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2016., entry of Sunday 8 May 1994
  54. ^ MacIntyre, Donald (21 April 1995). "Cash-for-questions MPs suspended by Commons". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  55. ^ Foley, Michael (2000). The British Presidency. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 156. ISBN 0719050154. Archived from the original on 19 July 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  56. ^ a b c d e "Key Resignations & Dismissals in the 1992–1997 Parliament". BBC. 1997. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  57. ^ Cooper, Glenda (22 October 1994). "The Cash-for-Questions Affair: Tim Smith finds forgiveness – UK, News". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  58. ^ "Profile: Neil Hamilton". BBC News. 10 August 2001. Archived from the original on 17 December 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  59. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. pp. 435–6, 480.
  60. ^ The Pergau Dam ‘Arms for Aid’ Scandal Archived 9 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine, sites.tufts.edu
  61. ^ The Pergau dam affair: will an aid for arms scandal ever happen again? Archived 2 August 2020 at the Wayback Machine, 12 Dec 2012, Claire Provost, The Guardian
  62. ^ Garnett, Mark (2017). "16. Foreign and Defence Policy". In Hickson, Kevin; Williams, Ben (eds.). John Major - An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major. Biteback Publishing. p. 282. ISBN 978-1-785-90271-0.
  63. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. p. 532.
  64. ^ a b Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 275.
  65. ^ "Tory MP fined pounds 200 for waving pickaxe - News - The Independent". The Independent. 12 September 1995. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  66. ^ "Film tribute to the 'Pollok birdman'". BBC Online. 18 April 2008. Archived from the original on 22 April 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  67. ^ "Minister admits affair and quits. Major pre-empts scandal by accepting resignation". The Sunday Herald. 5 March 1995. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  68. ^ Cohen, Nick; Williams, Richard (15 April 1995). "Three-in-a-bed session MP was victim of 'set-up'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  69. ^ "Tory MP, The Tycoon and the Sunday School Teacher", News of the World, 9 April 1995
  70. ^ White, Michael (11 April 1995). "Aitken sues over Saudi claims". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  71. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 244.
  72. ^ Pallister, David (5 March 1999). "Aitken, the fixer and the secret multi-million pound arms deals | Politics". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  73. ^ Alwyn W Turner (2013). A Classless Society:Britain in the 1990s. Aurum Press Ltd. p. 351.
  74. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. pp. 480, 500–02.
  75. ^ Matthew Weaver (7 August 2006). "Dame Shirley Porter back in Westminster". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  76. ^ "Dame Shirley agrees £12.3m deal". BBC News. 24 April 2004. Archived from the original on 29 May 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  77. ^ "Dumping the poor: Nick Cohen unravels the homes-for-votes scandal engulfing Dame Shirley Porter and reveals that her successors on Westminster council are still . . . – UK – N..." The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  78. ^ "Minister's bondage romp with divorcee", News of the World, 2 June 1996
  79. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. p. 660.
  80. ^ "Programmes | Question Time | This week's panel". BBC News. 16 November 2005. Archived from the original on 1 December 2005. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  81. ^ Popham, Peter (7 January 1997). "Back to basics of vaudeville". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  82. ^ "A history of Christmas scandal past". BBC News. 23 December 1999. Archived from the original on 28 January 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  83. ^ "Tory MP 2-Timed Wife with Under-Age Gay Lover", News of the World, 5 January 1997
  84. ^ Teeman, Tim (15 October 2000). "My date with Michael Portillo". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  85. ^ "Fallen from grace". www.scotsman.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  86. ^ "NewsWrap for the week ending April 5th, 1997 (As broadcast on THIS WAY OUT Program #471, distributed 04-07-97)". www.qrd.org. Archived from the original on 2 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  87. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. p. 716.
  88. ^ Barton, Laura (1 July 2002). "Interview: Piers Merchant | Media". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 9 September 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  89. ^ Anthony Seldon (1997). Major: A Political Life. Harper Collins. p. 715.
  90. ^ Hoge, Warren (30 September 2002). "News of Liaison Recasts Bland Image of Britain's Major". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  91. ^ "Westminster Abbey Institute – The One People Oration 2017: The Responsibilities of Democracy". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 March 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2018.

Further reading[edit]