Where is spy John Stonehouse now?

JOHN STONEHOUSE was a rising star in the Labour government in the 1960s, but his career fell apart amid allegations of spying and he fell into financial ruin.

He then famously faked his own death in bizarre circumstances. But who was he and where is he now?

Who was John Stonehouse and what was he accused of?

Born in 1925, John Stonehouse was a former Cabinet minister and novelist, perhaps best known for having "died" twice.

Stonehouse had been a Cabinet minister in Harold Wilson's first Labour Government.

He held the roles of minister of aviation, was the final postmaster general and advised the Queen as a privy counsellor.

But he came under suspicion of spying for Czechoslovakia (which separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993).


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He was never convicted of spying.

Though the suspicions over his double-life weren't made public, they nonetheless ended his political ambitions.

With his career stalling, he got into financial trouble and was having affair with his mistress Sheila Buckley, a parliamentary secretary.

Seeking to escape the turmoil at home, the 49-year-old Stonehouse hatched a plan to start afresh.

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He famously faked his own death on 20 November, 1974, leaving a pile of clothes on a Miami beach.

He then travelled to Australia under a false identity to escape his financial issues and begin a new life with Buckley.

But just a month later, on 24 December, he was found by Australian police and detained as an illegal immigrant.

Though he sought asylum in Mauritius and Sweden to avoid a trial in Britain, he was eventually returned to London.

He was convicted of fraud and received a seven-year sentence – after a trial in which Stonehouse represented himself – but he was released early for good behaviour.

He tried to make living from writing following his conviction, and writing memoirs and thriller novels.

What connected John Stonehouse to Lord Lucan?

When Stonehouse was discovered in Australia, it was thought that he might be the missing British peer Lord Lucan.

Lucan had gone missing just 12 days before Stonehouse, after being named as a prime suspect in the murder of his children's nanny, Sandra Rivett.

There have been many alleged "sightings" of the disgraced peer though none have ever been verified and his body has never been found.

Lucan was known to have had a large scar on his thigh, so the authorities were able to identify that Stonehouse wasn't him.

Where is John Stonehouse now?

John Stonehouse died of a heart attack aged 62 on 14 April, 1988, in Southampton.

His wife Sheila said he collapsed at their home, and ambulance attendants weren't able to revive him.

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He had had three heart attacks during his time in prison and had undergone open heart surgery.

Upcoming ITV drama Stonehouse, starring Succession star Matthew Macfadyen will tell the story of the disgraced MP.

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