Jeremy Thorpe resigns as Liberal leader

Thorpe’s career had been damaged by claims that he had had a love affair with Norman Scott, an acquaintance, in the early 1960s. At that time homosexuality was illegal. Thorpe was charged with conspiracy to murder Scott, though he was acquitted in 1979 but not before losing his seat in the general election of that year. Following the hung parliament in the February 1974 election Thorpe declined entering a coalition with the Conservatives, led by Edward Heath, as he felt Heath would not be able to deliver progress on electoral reform and failing to do so would split the Liberal Party, which had approached 30% in the polls in the lead up to the election.