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Eric Lubbock, 4th Baron Avebury: Wikis

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Eric Lubbock
4th Baron Avebury

Lord Avebury on the terrace of the Palace of Westminster
Born 'Eric Reginald Lubbock
29 September 1928 (1928-09-29) (age 81)
Nationality United Kingdom British
Education Upper Canada College
Harrow School
Balliol College, Oxford
Occupation Politician
Title 4th Baron Avebury
Predecessor 3rd Baron Avebury
Political party Liberal
Liberal Democrat
Religious beliefs Buddhist
Spouse(s) Kina-Maria
(née O'Kelly de Gallagh)
Lindsay (née Stewart)
Children 4

Eric Reginald Lubbock, 4th Baron Avebury, PC (born 29 September 1928) is an English politician. A Liberal Member of Parliament from 1962 to 1970, he succeeded as Baron Avebury in 1971. In 1999, when the House of Lords was reformed, he was elected as a Liberal Democrat representative peer.

Contents

Background

A descendant of William Lubbock (1701–54), he is the son of the Honourable Maurice Fox Pitt Lubbock (the sixth son of John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury) and the Honourable Mary Katherine Adelaide Stanley, daughter of Arthur Lyulph Stanley, 5th Baron Sheffield and Stanley of Alderley. His cousin John Lubbock, 3rd Baron Avebury died without a male heir in 1971, and Lubbock succeeded him.

Education

He was educated at Upper Canada College, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Harrow School and he read Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford.

Career

He served as a Lieutenant in the Welsh Guards and joined Rolls-Royce in 1951. He was employed as a production manager (1951-1956) and as a production engineer (1956-1960).

Having joined the Liberal Party in 1960 and become a councillor the following year, Lubbock won a sensational by-election victory at Orpington on 15 March 1962, with a majority of 7,855. This was a swing of nearly 22% from the Conservatives and brought the number of Liberal MPs to seven.

Many commentators speculated that the Liberals would make a substantial breakthrough at the following general election and this by-election was taken as the start of a Liberal revival. However, the party was hampered by organisational difficulties and progress was slow, with a loss of votes and seats under Harold Wilson’s Labour government.

As the MP for Orpington, he was appointed Chief Whip by Jo Grimond in 1963, a post he held until 1970.

When the party leader Jo Grimond resigned in 1967 Eric Lubbock was one of the three Liberal MPs who stood for the position. Jeremy Thorpe, however, won with six votes to Emlyn Hooson’s and Lubbock’s three apiece.

In the Commons he was on the Speaker’s Commission on Electoral Law in 1964-1966, and proposed STV in multi-member constituencies, only to be voted down by 18-1. He also proposed reducing the voting age to 18, on which two Labour Members supported him.

In 1970, Orpington reverted to its Tory origins. On losing the seat Lubbock said

"In 1962 the wise, far-seeing people of Orpington elected me as their Member; in 1970 the fools threw me out".

Lubbock is a grandson of John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury and the following year upon the death of his cousin he succeeded to the peerage, becoming Lord Avebury. He sat on the Royal Commission on Standards of Conduct in Public Life and in 1976 founded the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, which he chaired for the next 21 years.

He is currently a member of the Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Team, speaking frequently on conflict resolution and human rights. He was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Balliol College in 2004.

Lord Avebury is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association. He frequently raises matters related to British nationality law in Parliament. He has been a strong supporter of the citizenship rights of the solely British ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, and has fought for their rights.

He is also President of the Peru Support Group, and advocates on human rights issues in Peru.

In 2009, Lord Avebury was awarded (with Dr Evan Harris MP) the National Secular Society's Secularist of the Year Award in recognition of his role in the abolition of the common law offense of Blasphemous Libel.

Private life

He has married twice:

  1. Kina-Maria O'Kelly de Gallagh (2 September 1953 – 1983)
    1. The Hon. Lyulph Ambrose Jonathan Lubbock (born 15 June 1954); married Susan MacDonald 14 May 1977, with issue.
    2. The Hon. Maurice Patrick Guy Lubbock (born 5 November 1955); married Diana Tobin 1982 with issue.
    3. The Hon. Victoria Sarah Maria Lubbock (born 27 April 1959); married Alan Binnie 1983 with issue.
  2. Lindsay Stewart (1985– )
    1. The Hon. John William Stewart Lubbock (born 8 August 1985)

Today Lord Avebury lives in Camberwell, London. His Liberal Democrat party profile notes that he cycles to the House of Lords from Camberwell in 17 minutes. He is a Buddhist.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Donald Sumner
Member of Parliament for Orpington
19621970
Succeeded by
Ivor Stanbrook
Party political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Holt
Liberal Chief Whip
1963–1970
Succeeded by
David Steel
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Lubbock
Baron Avebury
1971–present
Incumbent
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