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Richard Andrew Ryder, Baron Ryder of Wensum, OBE, PC (born 4 February 1949), is a British Conservative Party politician. A former Member of Parliament (MP) and government minister, he was made a Life Peer in 1997 and is now a member of the House of Lords. He is a nephew of the late Sue Ryder, the Baroness Ryder of Warsaw, and is a director of Ipswich Town F.C.. He was educated at Radley College.

At the 1983 general election, Ryder was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mid Norfolk constituency. From 1990 to 1995 he was the government's Chief Whip. This period includes the Conservative backbench rebellion over the Maastricht treaty. The maverick MPs, known as the Maastricht Rebels, were under intense pressure from the government whips but still brought the administration of John Major close to collapse.

Ryder retired from the House of Commons at the 1997 general election, and was made a life peer as Baron Ryder of Wensum, of Wensum in the County of Norfolk.

He became Vice-Chairman of the BBC on 1 January 2002 for a four-year term.

Ryder was appointed Acting Chairman of the BBC following the resignation of Gavyn Davies on 28 January 2004. Davies resigned following the criticism of the BBC in the Hutton Report, which was set up to investigate "the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly." One of Ryder's first acts as Chairman was to give a televised statement, during which he offered an unreserved apology for the mistakes made during the Dr. Kelly affair. This apology was criticised by many, including departing Director General, Greg Dyke, as overdone. In the same statement Ryder announced that the process to select a new Chairman had begun and that he would not be putting his name forward. Michael Grade was appointed on 2 April 2004 and took up his post on May 17; Ryder resumed the post of Vice-Chairman.

Ryder resigned early on 1 August 2004, after which the position was assumed by Anthony Salz.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Constituency re-established Member of Parliament for Mid Norfolk
Succeeded by
Keith Simpson
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Lilley
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
John Maples
Preceded by
The Earl of Caithness
Succeeded by
The Lord Belstead
Preceded by
Timothy Renton
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
1990 - 1995
Succeeded by
Alastair Goodlad
Chief Whip
1990 - 1995
Media offices
Preceded by
Gavyn Davies
Vice Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors
2002 – 2004
Succeeded by
Anthony Salz
Preceded by
Gavyn Davies
Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors
(pro tempore)
Succeeded by
Michael Grade


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