Pride and Perjury

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9780002740753: Pride and Perjury

In his own words for the first time, disgraced former Tory Cabinet MP Jonathan Aitken recounts his side of the story behind the most notorious sleaze, corruption and perjury scandal to rock Britain since the Profumo affair.

In 1994 Jonathan Aitken was hotly tipped to succeed John Major as the next leader of the Conservative Party, but within a year, the only Cabinet Minister without ‘a single enemy’ was buried beneath accusations of pimping, arms dealing and corruption.

The headlines screamed:
AITKEN TRIED TO ARRANGE GIRLS FOR SAUDI FRIENDS
NEW LIGHT ON WHO PAID FOR WHAT AT THE RITZ

In Pride and Perjury he tells for the first time how he became the most vilified politician in Britain. Revealed in fascinating detail are:
• His dealings with Cabinet colleagues
• His relationship with the Suadi Royal Family
• The full account of his stay at the Ritz
• The dramatic events behid his failed libel action
• His subsequent trial for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Jonathan Aitken’s fall from grace was the greatest personal catastrophe for a public figure since the trials of Oscar Wilde. He faced a living hell of despair including bankruptcy, divorce and a prison sentence.

This is the moving story of a fallen politician’s penitence. It is also an inspiring message of hope and redemption. Jonathan Aitken found new purpose for the future after a surprise and remarkable encounter – with God.

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Review:

The road from ex-minister to ex-con may have only taken five years, but for Jonathan Aitken it was a Damascene experience. The high-flying, debonair Tory Member of Parliament, tipped for glory in a rapidly disintegrating party, lied under oath during a libel case against The Guardian newspaper over accusations of corruption, pimping and arms dealing with Saudi princes, and most ignobly, got his daughter Victoria to sign a false witness statement. His very public demise and humiliation should be enough to arouse sympathy from the hardest heart, but what led a man of his privilege and ability into such an unedifying moral mess is harder to fathom. His writing is determinedly articulate and fluid, despite a guarded tone that renders the political memoirs solid but unspectacular, beyond sharp words for Michael Heseltine and entertaining vignettes of Margaret Thatcher's extraordinary rampaging ego. He relates at length his experiences of the Middle East, his political successes and family affairs (including the discovery of a daughter he had never known about), but understandably the majority of the book is given over to the legal and factual wrangling that preceded his prison stretch, in which he maintains an uneasy stance of belligerence and hand-wringing. The binding agent throughout is his redemptive religious zealousness, which seems sincere, but on occasion cloyingly sticks in the throat with its insistence. Aitken the man, like Aitken the politician, seems perpetually in need of an audience and approval, be it from family and colleagues when rehearsing speeches, or from Him Upstairs. For the moment he has retreated into himself, and while this intriguingly uneven account may not close that particular chapter, it prepares the way for the next in what has become an unenviably eventful life. -- David Vincent

From the Back Cover:

In 1994 Jonathan Aitken was hotly tipped to succeed John Major as the next leader of the Conservative Party, but within a year, the only Cabinet Minister without 'a single enemy' was buried beneath accusations of pimping, arms dealing and corruption. 'Aitken tried to arrange girls for Saudi friends', 'New Light on Who Paid For What at The Ritz', screamed the headlines.

In 'Pride and Perjury' he tells for the first time how he became the most vilified politician in Britain. Revealed fascinating details of his dealings with Cabinet colleagues; his relationship with the Saudi Royal Family; the full account of his stay at the Ritz; the dramatic events behind his failed libel action and his subsequent trial for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Jonathan Aitken's fall from grace was the greatest personal catastrophe for a public figure since the trials of Oscar Wilde. He faced a living hell of despair including bankruptcy, divorce and a prison sentence.

This is the moving story of a fallen politician's penitence. It is also an inspiring message of hope and redemption. Jonathan Aitken found new purpose for the future after a surprise and remarkable encounter – with God.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Aitken, Jonathan
Published by Harpercollins Pub Ltd (2000)
ISBN 10: 0002740753 ISBN 13: 9780002740753
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Jonathan Aitken
Published by Harpercollins Pub Ltd (2000)
ISBN 10: 0002740753 ISBN 13: 9780002740753
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