Jonathan Aitken

Conservative Member of Parliament, former British government Cabinet minister (born 1942)

Jonathan William Patrick Aitken (born 30 August 1942) is a former Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom from 1974 to 1997, and is a former British government Cabinet minister. He was convicted of perjury in 1999 and received an 18-month prison sentence, of which he served seven months. He is currently president of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Aitken was also a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.


  • If you asked her (Margaret Thatcher) about Sinai, she would probably think it was the plural for sinus.
    • As quoted in James Prior A Balance of Power (1986), p. 107.
  • If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it.
    • Criticising press reports that he had violated the ministerial code of conduct; he later started a libel trial, which ended in his conviction for perjury.
    • Statement (10 April 1995); as quoted in The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations, 3rd ed., (2007), p. 6.
  • As far as the physical miseries go, I am sure I will cope. I lived at Eton in the 1950s and I know all about life in uncomfortable quarters.
    • On how he might cope with prison, as quoted in Daily Express (19 January 1999).
  • It's a fairly unique position; to have been in charge of prison funding and then to have been an inmate. I wish I'd been more generous.
    • As quoted in The Times (3 June 2000).

Quotes about Aitken

  • He lied and lied and lied.
    • Of his conviction for perjury; in "He lied and lied and lied" by Luke Harding and David Palmister, in The Guardian (21 June 1997).
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