The modern template for the scandalous MP was Horatio Bottomley. Born in London’s East End in 1860, Bottomley became a rich playboy with a string of mistresses after setting up companies and selling them at inflated prices to other companies he had set up.

When they went bust, he pocketed the money from his investors. Eventually becoming an MP, he also began a patriotic paper, John Bull. In 1912 he was partially outed and had to resign from Parliament, but World War One saw him rise again as a propagandist and entering Parliament once more, but after returning to his business practices, in 1922 he was sentenced to seven years for fraud. Released, he became a concert hall entertainer and died in poverty in 1933.

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