FORMER Tory minister John Profumo had a long-running relationship with a nazi spy who may have tried to blackmail him, declassified papers reveal today.
Mr Profumo, who was forced to quit after a notorious 1960s sex scandal involving 19-year-old model Christine Keeler known as the Profumo Affair, met fashion model Gisela Winegard at Oxford in the early 1930s.
According to MI5 files, Ms Winegard worked for German intelligence in Paris during the second world war under the cover of a “commercial information bureau.” They also claim she had an affair with a high-ranking German officer.
The papers include allegations by her US husband Edward Winegard in 1950 that the couple separated in September that year due to her “endearing letters from John Dennis Profumo” written on House of Commons notepaper.
At the height of the Profumo Affair in 1963, MI6 sent a letter and files to MI5 about Ms Winegard’s wartime and postwar exploits and refers to her “association” with Mr Profumo.
The 1963 letter goes on to discuss a rejected 1951 application by Ms Winegard, now reunited with her husband, for a British visa.
The visa application, for a six-week “pleasure visit,” listed “Jack Profumo, MP for South Cattering (sic)” as a reference, the files show.
At the time of the application, authorities believed her visit may be connected to “blackmail activities” the Winegards had recently been involved in.
However the papers did not say who the intended target of blackmail might be.
Mr Profumo himself told MI5 about Ms Winegard, the archives reveal.
A memo reveals that in 1941 he admitted meeting her in 1936 “and got to know her well.”
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