He gave his name to the most notorious British political scandal of the twentieth century. He slept with a prostitute and resigned as war minister after lying to Parliament. Yet John Profumo, who died today, will be remembered as a good and honourable man.
For over 40 years after his downfall, Profumo devoted his life to helping the poor in London's East End through the Toynbee Hall charity. In his darkest hour in 1963, he turned up at the charity, offering to help with the washing up. He continued to help and inspire the charity's fundraising efforts throughout the following four decades. Toynbee Hall today posted a heartfelt tribute to its president - see www.toynbeehall.org.uk/news.htm.
Tomorrow's headlines will inevitably focus on 1963. But 1940 should also figure prominently. Profumo was one of the rebel Tory MPs who forced Neville Chamberlain to resign after the Norway debacle, leading to Churchill's premiership. It was a brave act by the 25 year old MP, who had only just been elected. History might have been very different had Profumo and his fellow rebels not put country before party.