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Profumo ended it after only a few weeks but rumours about the affair began to circulate.
Since Keeler had also had sexual relations with Yevgeni Ivanov, the senior naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy, the matter took on a national security dimension.
The family barony had been conferred by the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1843.
Shortly afterwards he voted against the Chamberlain government in the debate following the British defeat at Narvik in Norway.
He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in November 1952, Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation in November 1953, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies in January 1957, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office in November 1958, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in January 1959.
In November 1947 Acting Colonel Profumo was awarded the Bronze Star Medal by the United States "in recognition of distinguished services in the cause of the Allies".
He succeeded his father in the family's Italian peerage on 27 March 1940, thus becoming the 5th Baron Profumo.
At the 1945 election Profumo was defeated at Kettering by a Labour candidate, Dick Mitchison.
Later in 1945 he was chief of staff to the British Mission to Japan.
In the eyes of most commentators, Profumo's charity work redeemed his reputation.