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Peter Lilley: Wikis


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The Right Honourable
 Peter Lilley 

In office
11 June 1997 – 2 June 1998
Leader William Hague
Preceded by Gordon Brown
Succeeded by Francis Maude

In office
8 April 1992 – 2 May 1997
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by Tony Newton
Succeeded by Harriet Harman

In office
14 July 1990 – 11 April 1992
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, John Major
Preceded by Nicholas Ridley
Succeeded by Michael Heseltine

In office
24 July 1989 – 28 November 1990
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Norman Lamont
Succeeded by Francis Maude

In office
11 June 1987 – 24 July 1989
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Ian Stewart
Succeeded by Richard Ryder

Member of Parliament
for Hitchin and Harpenden
Assumed office 
1 May 1997
Preceded by new constituency
Majority 11,393 (24.0%)

Member of Parliament
for St Albans
In office
9 June 1983 – 1 May 1997
Preceded by Victor Goodhew
Succeeded by Kerry Pollard

Born 23 August 1943 (1943-08-23) (age 66)
North London
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Clare College, Cambridge

Peter Bruce Lilley (born 23 August 1943) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament MP since 1983. He currently represents the constituency of Hitchin and Harpenden and, prior to boundary changes, represented St Albans which was its predecessor seat. He was a Cabinet minister in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, serving as Trade and Industry Secretary from July 1990 to April 1992, and as Social Security Secretary from April 1992 to May 1997.


Early life

Lilley, whose father was a personnel officer for the BBC, was born at Hayes in Kent. He was educated at Dulwich College and Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied Economics and Physics. His Cambridge contemporaries included Kenneth Clarke, Michael Howard and Norman Lamont. Before entering Parliament, he was an energy analyst at the City of London stockbroker, W. Greenwell & Co.

Member of Parliament

Having been selected and elected for St. Albans, a safe Conservative seat, he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Nigel Lawson, then as Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Financial Secretary to the Treasury before joining the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to replace Nicholas Ridley in mid-1990 after the latter was forced to resign over an anti-German remark. After the 1992 General Election he became Secretary of State for Social Security.

He contested the 1997 Conservative Party leadership election, placing fourth in a field of five. In opposition he held the post of Shadow Chancellor from 1997 to 1998 and was Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party from 1998 to 1999.

In 2001 Lilley provoked some controversy in his party and Britain more widely by calling for cannabis to be legalised in a Social Market Foundation pamphlet.[1]

Lilley produced a report for the Bow Group centre-right think tank in 2005 that was highly critical of Government plans to introduce national identity cards.[2]

When David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservatives in December 2005, Lilley was appointed Chairman of the Globalisation and Global Poverty policy group, part of Cameron's extensive 18-month policy review.


Peter Lilley has twice given singing performances at Conservative Party conferences. In 1992 as Secretary of State at the DSS, he sang a riff on "I have a little list", from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, condemning those who unfairly claimed benefits. In September 2007 former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett named this speech, on BBC2's The Daily Politics, as one of his all-time favourite Conference moments.

In 1998, he changed the words of "Land of Hope and Glory", singing "Land of Chattering Classes", in condemnation of the purported abandonment of British values and history by Tony Blair's New Labour.


He is married to Gail, an artist.


External links

Offices held

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Victor Goodhew
Member of Parliament for St Albans
Succeeded by
Kerry Pollard
New constituency Member of Parliament for Hitchin and Harpenden
Political offices
Preceded by
Ian Stewart
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Richard Ryder
Preceded by
Norman Lamont
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Francis Maude
Preceded by
Nicholas Ridley
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
Succeeded by
Michael Heseltine
Preceded by
Tony Newton
Secretary of State for Social Security
Succeeded by
Harriet Harman

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