A Biography of John Stonehurst
John Stonehurst achieved great heights in the 1970s, becoming one of the country’s most prominent MPs. A member of the Privy Council and holding numerous high government posts such as Minister of State for Technology, Postmaster General and Secretary of State for Transport, he had a diverse career that encompassed many interests.
He was accused of espionage and interrogated by MI5 – then disappeared. His dramatic fall from grace is chronicled in two books written by members of his own family.
Early Life and Education
John Stonehurst was born into a political family – his mother Rosina was once mayor and councillor in Southampton, while his father John was an activist for trade union rights. Joining the Labour Party at an early age, Stonehouse quickly rose through the ranks until becoming minister in its own right.
Stonehouse was an astute political operator with great ambition, and seemed set to lead Britain into the Cold War. Unfortunately, within a few years he had become a national disgrace after failing to fake his own death and being jailed for fraud.
MI5 historian Christopher Andrew has described Stonehouse as a spy for the Soviet Union while holding ministerial office. However, Stonehouse’s daughter Julia vigorously denies this charge and has created a website in her father’s defense.
Stonehouse enjoyed an illustrious political career, rising through the ranks to become a junior minister for technology, postmaster general and then minister of state for communications. A man of good looks with an expansive head, high IQ and the capacity to captivate audiences with ease were just some of his many attributes.
He was raised in the north of England with an affinity for third-world countries and the power of collaboration. He advocated for ethnic minorities’ rights in Uganda, before being expelled from Rhodesia due to his opposition to its white minority government.
He served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II and went on to become MP for Wednesbury, Staffordshire, after winning a 1957 by-election.
Achievements and Honors
John Stonehurst spent much of his career as a lawyer engaged in pro bono activities and law-related social issues that affected the elderly. Additionally, he dedicated considerable time to teaching and lecturing.
His achievements are truly remarkable, and he has received numerous honors. A member of the American Bar Association, he is renowned for his remarkable work in legal advocacy.
He is also a Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons, having served as MP for Wednesbury in Staffordshire from 1949 until 1974. A supporter of Labour Party, his tenure in Parliament saw him serve his constituency with distinction.
Stonehouse had aspirations to become prime minister and achieved this by becoming postmaster general, minister of aviation, and privy counsellor.
He had a reputation for being a philanderer. He had an affair with his secretary Sheila Buckley, 21 years his junior.
His affairs were exposed in an Old Bailey trial. He was found guilty of fraud, theft and conspiracy to defraud.
A bizarre tale of a British MP who faked his own death is being brought to life in three-part drama on ITV. Starring Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes, the series delves into family rifts as well as an intriguing political rise and fall.
John Stonehurst has an estimated net worth of $200 million. This wealth was earned through his work as an investment adviser and politician, earning him two daughters: Jane and Julia. A member of the Labour Party and Minister State for Technology under Tony Benn, Stonehurst remains controversial due to his relationship with Sheila Buckley – his mistress who caused much trouble in 1974.