The Peer and the Gangster:: A Very British Cover-Up
Dan Smith

The Peer and the Gangster:: A Very British Cover-Up

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 Commissioner of 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. Lord Boothby was the Conservative lord in question, and Ronnie Kray the gangster.

     The report threatened a scandal more explosive than that of the previous year’s Profumo affair. But within a couple of weeks the story had been killed off. Boothby and the Krays carried on with business as usual. Now, for the first time the full saga of the cover-up—and its far-reaching consequences—can be revealed. Drawing upon recently released MI5 files, government papers, extensive interviews, and a wide array of contemporary reports and secondary sources, Daniel Smith pieces together how eminent figures from the political firmament, the Security Service, the Metropolitan Police, the legal profession and the media saw to it that the Sunday Mirror’s story was crushed almost as soon as it appeared.

Book Details:

  • Author: Dan Smith
  • Published Year: 2020
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: The History Press
Dan Smith

Dan Smith

Daniel Smith was born in London in 1976 and studied English and History at Cardiff University. He began a career in publishing shortly after graduating, which included a stint working in Kolkata, India. He has been a contributor to The Statesman’s Yearbook, a geo-political guide to the world published annually since 1854, for twenty years. He wrote his first book, The Sherlock Holmes Companion: An Elementary Guide, in 2009 and has subsequently written over 30 non-fiction titles, for both adults and children. He is the author of the best-selling How to Think Like… biographical ...
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Book Reviews

  • "lively and engrossing, and provides the clearest and most comprehensive account yet of this extraordinary saga."
  • "In this book, there is a sensational item or allegation on every page. When the Krays were in prison, they ran a bodyguard business on the outside; one of their clients was Frank Sinatra. Boothby was the real father of Macmillan’s daughter Sarah, who committed suicide in 1970, her life blighted by alcoholism. Boothby’s lover at Oxford was Michael Llewelyn Davies, the inspiration for JM Barrie’s Peter Pan."
    Daily Mail
  • "The story of the gangster Ronnie Kray’s entanglement with the flamboyant politician Lord Boothby, and the subsequent establishment cover-up, is a revelatory and often hilarious tale of sex, class and manipulation, offering an insight into the darker side of 60s permissiveness. Daniel Smith’s well-researched new account of it offers many fascinating details, using new archive material. It brings alive a time when it seemed as if law and order would be overwhelmed by the amoral and unscrupulous forces of organised crime, aided and abetted by the most influential figures in England. "
  • "Told in riveting detail……a wealth of original material…all the requirements of high-class popular history."
    The Critic