Birth of Jeremy Thorpe, Leader of the Liberal Party 1967-76

The son and grandson of Conservative MPs, Thorpe was elected Liberal MP for North Devon at the 1959 general election. He succeeded Jo Grimond as Leader of the Liberal Party when the latter resigned in 1967 and brought a dynamic style to the leadership. Thorpe was a strong supporter of human rights and played a prominent role in the Anti-Apartheid Movement. He was also a leading supporter of Britain joining the Common Market. In the early 1970s rumours of a homosexual affair with Norman Scott, a model, surfaced. The subsequent scandal, including allegations of a threat to kill Scott, forced Thorpe to resign as leader in May 1976. In 1979, after losing his seat, Thorpe was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and retired from active public life. In 1999 he published his memoirs In my Own Time. Jeremy Thorpe died in December 2014.