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Peter Brooke CH, PC


In office
24 February 1977 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Christopher Tugendhat
Succeeded by Mark Field

Born 3 March 1934 (1934-03-03) (age 75)
Nationality Birtish
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford, Harvard Business School

Peter Leonard Brooke, Baron Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, CH, PC (born 3 March 1934), is a British politician, a former Conservative Cabinet member, and former Member of Parliament for the Cities of London and Westminster.

He is the son of Henry Brooke, Baron Brooke of Cumnor, a former Home Secretary, and Barbara Brooke, Baroness Brooke of Ystradfellte. He was educated at Marlborough College and Balliol College, Oxford (where he was President of the Oxford Union), before going on to the Harvard Business School in the United States. After leaving university he worked as a headhunter and was Chairman of Spencer Stuart.

He was elected as Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster in 1977. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1988. He was made Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1987, and then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in 1989. He remained in this position until the reshuffle after the 1992 UK general election. He caused controversy when he appeared on The Late Late Show the same day of an IRA bombing and, unknowingly, sang the song Oh My Darling, Clementine.

After the 1992 general election, he left the Cabinet and stood unsuccessfully for the position of Speaker of the House of Commons. (The House instead elected the Labour MP Betty Boothroyd to the role, with several Conservative MPs voting against Brooke on the grounds that he had too recently been in the Cabinet and was thus not sufficiently close to the backbenches.) Brooke then remained on the backbenches for a short time before being brought back into the Cabinet later in the year as Secretary of State for National Heritage, a role he held until until 1994. During his time as National Heritage Secretary he oversaw the re-building of Windsor Castle when it burned down to the dismay of the Queen, which later provoked both her and the Prince of Wales to pay tax following the controversy and anger surrounding the financing for the re-building of the Castle from the general public.

Brooke stepped down as an MP at the 2001 general election and was made a life peer as Baron Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, of Sutton Mandeville in the County of Wiltshire in October 2001. He is Chairman of the Association of Conservative Peers. He was appointed Companion of Honour, as his father had been, in 1992.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Tugendhat
Member of Parliament for City of London and Westminster South
19771997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Cities of London and Westminster
19972001
Succeeded by
Mark Field
Party political offices
Preceded by
Norman Tebbit
Chairman of the Conservative Party
1987–1989
Succeeded by
Kenneth Baker
Political offices
Preceded by
Kenneth Clarke
Paymaster-General
1987–1989
Succeeded by
The Earl of Caithness
Preceded by
Tom King
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1989–1992
Succeeded by
Sir Patrick Mayhew
Preceded by
David Mellor
Secretary of State for National Heritage
1992–1994
Succeeded by
Stephen Dorrell
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