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John Profumo’s great nephew kills himself after arrest fighting ISIS in Syria


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Jamie Janson (above) took his life 18 months after his arrest for fighting ISIS in Syria 

The great-nephew of shamed 1960s secretary of state for war John Profumo has killed himself 18 months after returning from fighting ISIS in Syria.

Former aid worker Jamie Janson took his own life, his father told MailOnline.

Mr Janson, 44, had travelled to Syria to fight against ISIS and was arrested on suspicion of terror offences when he returned to the UK in March 2018.

He was released under investigation but was never charged with any offence and is understood to have been living in London at the time of his death.

His father Martin Janson, 72, told MailOnline: ‘My son Jamie took his own life at the age of 44.

‘As a family we are all devastated and do not want to talk about the circumstances. It is tragic and something we are all trying to deal with.

‘There will be a funeral at the family home in the north of Scotland next week.’

Former aid worker Mr Janson's funeral will be at his family's ancestral home Dunrobin Castle in northern Scotland (pictured) later this month, it is believed

Former aid worker Mr Janson’s funeral will be at his family’s ancestral home Dunrobin Castle in northern Scotland (pictured) later this month, it is believed

Mr Janson, 44, had travelled to Syria to fight against ISIS and was arrested on suspicion of terror offences when he returned to the UK in March 2018

Mr Janson, 44, had travelled to Syria to fight against ISIS and was arrested on suspicion of terror offences when he returned to the UK in March 2018

Mr Janson, an aid worker, had joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) in their struggle against ISIS in 2017. At least eight Britons have been killed after volunteering to fight with the YPG.

He fought with the unit in the former ISIS stronghold of Dier az-Zour before battling Turkish forces who launched an attack on the Kurdish held city of Afrin in northern Syria.

He made a video that was widely circulated saying: ‘We international volunteers are standing with our friends in Afrin against the forces of tyranny and aggression.’

He joined the Kurdish People's Protection Unit in their struggle against ISIS in 2017

He joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit in their struggle against ISIS in 2017

When news that his youngest son was in Syria emerged, his father said he was ‘very proud’.

After he returned to the UK in March last year he was arrested at Folkestone on suspicion of terror offences and held overnight in a cell.

His family said he never faced any criminal charges but in an interview for BBC London in April Jansen said he was still waiting to hear if he would be prosecuted.

He is understood to have joined the YPG after doing voluntary work in the former Isis stronghold of Mosul in Iraq.

He has previously helped refugees in Dunkirk, Calais, the Greek island of Chios and Serbia, as well as the Occupied Palestinian Territories and protesting with environmental groups against the oil industry.

Macer Gifford, a former British volunteer with Syrian Kurdish forces said Jansen had continued to support the Kurdish struggle on his return to the UK.

Mr Janson was the eldest of four sons and comes from an aristocractic family.

He was the grandson of the Countess of Sutherland and great nephew of former cabinet minister John Profumo.

Mr Janson’s father Martin was the nephew of scandal-hit Profumo’s sister.

Martin’s mother Mary was Profumo’s sister. 

While Conservative secretary of state for war in 1961, Profumo had a brief relationship with 19-year-old model and dancer Christine Keeler that scandalised British politics and became known as ‘the Profumo affair’.

Her previous relationship with a Russian military intelligence officer led to security fears at the height of the Cold War between the west and Russia.

After initially denying the affair, he resigned from government and parliament and spent the rest of his life working for a charitable organisation and died in 2006.

Mr Janson was the great nephew of former Secretary of State for War John Perfumo (above)

Profumo was forced to quit in disgrace over his relationship with model Christine Keeler (above) in 1961

Mr Janson was the great nephew of former Secretary of State for War John Perfumo who was forced to quit in shame over his relationship with model Christine Keeler in 1961 

Keeler died two years ago aged 75.

The funeral for Janson will take place at Dunrobin Castle in northern Scotland, the ancestral home of the Janson family.

His uncle – the twin brother of his father – is Lord Strathnaver and heir to the the 189-room castle in the Scottish Highlands.

The magnificent castle, which is built in the style of a French chateau, is usually open to the public.

A notice on the castle’s web page says it will be closed next Friday, the date of Janson’s funeral.

TIMELINE: The Profumo affair

The Profumo affair had it all – sex, lies and espionage. It broke at the height of the Cold War, when spying was rife and the threat of war was imminent with the outbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Here we look back at how the scandal unfolded:

April 1960: At the height of the Cold War, Christine Keeler, having left her home in Wraysbury, Berks, heads for London and begins working at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho. It is there that she meets Dr Stephen Ward, a London osteopath. Within weeks she had moved into his Bayswater flat. She soon meets Mandy Rice-Davies at Murray’s and the pair become party companions.

July 1961: Ward introduces 19-year-old Keeler to Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, while at a party thrown by Lord and Lady Astor at their stately home in Cliveden at Taplow, Bucks. Keeler and Profumo embark on an affair lasting only a few weeks. At the same time, she becomes involved in an affair with Commander Eugene Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché at the Russian Embassy in London.

March 1963: After months of speculation among MPs, Profumo is forced to face the Commons, where he says: ‘There was no impropriety whatever in my acquaintance with Miss Keeler and I have made the statement because of what was said yesterday in the House by three honourable members whose remarks were protected by privilege.’

June 1963: Ward is arrested in Watford and taken to Marylebone Police Station where he is charged with living off immoral earnings. His trial soon begins at the Old Bailey.

June 5, 1963: Profumo resigns his Cabinet post after admitting lying to the House of Commons about the nature of his relationship with Keeler.

August 1963: On the last day of his trial, Ward is found dead at his London home having taken an overdose of sleeping pills.

December 1963: Keeler is found guilty of perjury in a related trial and imprisoned for nine months.

1989: The Profumo affair is made into a film called Scandal, starring John Hurt, Ian McKellen and Joanne Whalley. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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