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Peter Robert Henry Mond, 4th Baron Melchett (born 24 February 1948), heir to Sir Alfred Mond's ICI fortune, son of the British Steel Corporation Chairman Sir Julian Mond and Sonia Melchett (now Sinclair), was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he read Law. He went on to take an MA in Criminology at Keele University, and later researched cannabis addiction at the London School of Economics.

He was a whip in James Callaghan's Labour Party government in the late seventies, then under-secretary for the Environment before becoming minister of state for Northern Ireland.

Announcing himself sick of the 'lying game' of Westminster politics, Melchett withdrew, working first for the Ramblers' Association in 1984, before being appointed Executive Director of Greenpeace UK in 1989.

Himself the owner of an 890 acre (360 hectares) farm, Lord Melchett was arrested in 1999 when he was present at an environmental protest against a genetically modified crop trial, at which crops were destroyed by campaigners. Melchett spent a night in Norwich Prison before being released on bail. The case came to court in 2000 when Melchett, and his 27 co-defendants, were unanimously acquitted of Criminal Damage. In the same year, he retired as Greenpeace's Executive Director, but remained on the organisation's board.

Melchett severed his ties with Greenpeace in 2002 when he took up a part-time consultancy with industry PR company Burson-Marsteller. Burson-Marsteller had formerly been PR consultants for Monsanto Company, and it was alleged at the time that Lord Melchett had stood down from Greenpeace's Board following accusation that his employment with Burson-Marsteller compromised his integrity. He has been Policy Director at the Soil Association since 2002.

Melchett is a patron of Prisoners Abroad a registered charity which supports British citizens who are imprisoned overseas.He was also voted back into the House of Lords.

House of Lords Reform

The historic Lords compromise worked out between Tony Blair, Lord Cranborne and the Crossbenchers in 1999 resulted in each party in the Upper House being able to decide which hereditary peers were to retain their positions. Under the formula devised, 91 peers are retained as part of a first stage of reform ahead of their eventual abolition. Each party selects representatives according to its strength in the Lords, giving the Conservatives 42 members, Labour two, Liberal Democrats three and Crossbenchers 28.

At 50, Peter Melchett was one of the youngest peers and a favourite in Labour's hereditary peer selection process. He was a bright young minister in James Callaghan's government, the executive director of Greenpeace UK and was Chairman of the working party on pop festivals 1975-76.

External links

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Julian Mond
Baron Melchett
Succeeded by
Current Incumbent


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