Media: UK bodyguard investigated in alleged affair

LONDON – A police bodyguard faces an investigation over allegations he had an affair with the wife of a top politician he was protecting, British media reported Friday.

Major news outlets said that an officer assigned by Scotland Yard to protect former Home Office Secretary Alan Johnson had an affair with the Labour politician’s wife, Laura.

Johnson abruptly announced his resignation from front line politics on Thursday, saying only he was stepping down from his role as the party’s spokesman on economic affairs due to unspecified “personal issues” related to his family.

Some media outlets named the officer, while others reported that he had later been assigned to protect current Home Office Secretary Theresa May.

Scotland Yard declined to comment on the specifics of the claim, saying only that “certain matters” regarding an unidentified officer had been referred to the force’s professional standards body. The force refused to elaborate.

Representatives for Johnson and the Home Office also declined comment.

Johnson, 60, is a longtime union activist who rose to the top of the Labour Party’s leadership. Elected to Parliament in 1997, Johnson was given a series of ministerial appointments before being promoted to Home Office secretary in June 2009.

Following Labour’s loss in the 2010 general election, Johnson became its spokesman on economic affairs – one of the most important positions in the party.

Ed Balls, who is taking Johnson’s job, said Friday that the news of his colleague’s resignation was “a real blow to the Labour Party.”

“I just hope he will have the privacy to get things sorted out without the full media glare because that is the right way to do things,” said Balls, who was previously the party’s education secretary

Associated press

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