The Peer and the Gangster: A Very British Cover-up (Hardback)
  • The Peer and the Gangster: A Very British Cover-up (Hardback)

The Peer and the Gangster: A Very British Cover-up (Hardback)

Hardback Published: 03/07/2020
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Waterstones Says

Peer and Gangster tells the incredible story of one of the largest-scale political cover-ups in British history. Exposing for the first time 1964’s biggest hidden scandal, Smith shows how the custodians of the Establishment joined forces in sweeping under the carpet an alleged homosexual affair between Lord Boothby, a well-known member of the House of Lords, and London’s most notorious mobster Ronnie Kray.

Longlisted for the ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction 2021.

How Lord Boothby and Ronnie Kray almost brought down the Establishment... and how the Establishment saved itself.

In July 1964, the Sunday Mirror ran a front-page story headlined: PEER AND A GANGSTER: YARD ENQUIRY. While withholding the names of the principal subjects, the newspaper reported that the Metropolitan Police had ordered an investigation into an alleged homosexual relationship between 'a household name' from the House of Lords and a leading London underworld figure. Bob Boothby was the Conservative lord in question, and Ronnie Kray the gangster. The story threatened a scandal more explosive than that of the previous year's Profumo affair, which had brought an end to Macmillan's premiership.

So began one of the most extraordinary cover-ups in British history - a rapid rear-guard action involving eminent figures from the political firmament (including the then Prime Minister and Home Secretary), the Security Service, the Metropolitan Police, the legal profession and the media. Within a couple of weeks the story had been killed off.

Now, for the first time, the full saga of the cover-up - and its far-reaching consequences - can be revealed.

Publisher: The History Press Ltd
ISBN: 9780750993296
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm

In detailing the cover-up and its repercussions, Smith has drawn on many new and original sources. He usefully places it in the context of the Vassall and Profumo affairs, which had already catastrophically undermined public confidence in the establishment and made everyone involved determined to avoid another political scandal. His book is both lively and engrossing, and provides the clearest and most comprehensive account yet of this extraordinary saga. -- Peter Parker
A revelatory and often hilarious tale of sex, class and manipulation. -- Alexander Larman * The Observer *
Daniel Smith tells the story of Boothby, the Krays and Goodman in a rollicking tone that carries conviction and reads well. -- Richard Davenport-Hines * The Times *
Daniel Smith explores the conspiracy of silence surrounding Sir Robert Boothby. ... A sensational item or allegation on every page. -- Roger Lewis * The Daily Mail *

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