Fifty years ago on Wednesday, British secretary of state for war, John Profumo, stood up in the Commons and denied he had conducted an affair with Christine Keeler.

He was lying.

For an elected official this would be bad enough were it not Keeler was alleged to be the mistress of Soviet spy, Yevgeny "Eugene" Ivanov, and the Cold War was at its peak.

In the scandal that unfolded it emerged the two had been introduced at a house party hosted by Dr Stephen Ward.

Also present was Ivanov who was also sleeping with Keeler.

The scandal rocked the British government and had far-reaching consequences for all involved.

See what became of the main protagonists in the gallery below.

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  • John Profumo

    After resigning Profumo volunteered for the charity Toynbee Hall, first cleaning toilets before moving on to become their chief fundraiser. The selfless work helped to restore his reputation and he was awarded a CBE in 1975. In 1995 he was given the honour of sitting next to the Queen at Magaret Thatcher's birthday party. He died in 2006, aged 91, after suffering a massive stroke.

  • Christine Keeler

    As well as writing five novels all influenced to some degree by the Profumo Affair, Keeler published her definitive biography, 'The Truth At Last: My Story', in 2001.

  • Yevgeny "Eugene" Ivanov

    The Soviet naval attaché lost his wife over the scandal and was also given little recognition by the Kremlin for his efforts. Ivanov filled these gaps with alcohol becoming an increasingly heavy drinker. In 1993 he met Keeler for dinner in Moscow, a meeting which led to him writing her a letter apologising for his behaviour in trying to elicit information from her. Ivanov died in 1994, aged 68.

  • Dr Stephen Ward

    After the scandal Ward was charged with living off the "immoral earnings" of Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, a friend of hers who often visited Keeler's house. Before the last day of the trial he overdosed on sleeping tablets. The trial went ahead anyway and he was found guilty. Ward died three days later aged 50.

  • Harold MacMillan

    MacMillan's government was irrecoverably tainted by the Profumo Affair and he was forced to resign that year, claiming ill health. He was succeeded by Alec Douglas-Home. He had taken up a role as Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1960, something he carried on until 1986. The autobiography of the former PM was published over seven years in six volumes. Macmillan continued to have a role in politics advising Thatcher over the Falklands. He died in 1986, aged 92. His last words were: "I think I will go to sleep now."

  • Mandy Rice-Davies

    Rice-Davies did rather well out of the scandal. She revelled in the notoriety it brought and courted the press. In the 1989 film about the Profumo Affair called Scandal, Rice-Davies was played by Bridget Fonda. She is still alive, aged 68.