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.