The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy to murder. Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he's desperate to hide. His ex-lover Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw) is putting Thorpe's brilliant political career at risk so Thorpe schemes and deceives until he realizes there’s only one way to silence Scott for good.
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What is known as the Thorpe affair, centered on the at the time clandestine homosexual affair between Liberal MP and later Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe and stable boy Norman Scott, that affair when sodomy was still illegal in Britain, is the main feature of the story presented. The story culminates in 1979 with Jeremy put on trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder, the attempt on Norman's life all in an effort to rid him from Jeremy's life in his aspiration to become British Prime Minister at whatever cost, part of that cost being to remain in the closet despite having men on the side throughout his adult life. The imbalance between Jeremy and Norman both during their relationship and in their adversarial battle after the end of that relationship is also shown, older, ambitious Jeremy, from a proper English background, part of the establishment, and younger Norman, from the disadvantaged class, he who also suffered from clinical psychological issues, having nothing to lose in not being afraid to be loud and queer regardless of what the general public thought of him. Much of that struggle was Norman's simple want for a replacement National Insurance card to be able to work and receive benefits, his original card which he "lost" in a measure to protect Jeremy from potentially being outed.