Alistair Cooke, Baron Lexden
|Alistair Cooke, Baron Lexden
|Born||Alistair Basil Cooke
20 April 1945
|Years active||1973 - present|
Lord Lexden has been official historian of the Conservative Party since 2009; Consultant and Editor in Chief, Conservative Research Department since 2004 and official historian and archivist of the Carlton Club since 2007.
Early Life and Academic Career
Cooke was born on 20 April 1945, second son of Dr Basil Cooke and Nancy Irene Cooke (née Neal). He was educated at the independent Framlingham College, Suffolk. He went on to study at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, from which he graduated Master of Arts (MA) in 1970. He was a Lecturer and Tutor in Modern History at The Queen's University of Belfast from 1971–77 and was awarded a PhD from that institution in 1979.
Cooke worked as a desk officer within the Conservative Research Department from 1977-83. During this period he served as political advisor to Airey Neave, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, 1977–79. He joined the Conservative Political Centre in 1983 as Assistant Director, becoming Deputy Director two years later and Director between 1988-97. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1988 New Year Honours. He was a founder, in 1997, and member since 2005 of the Conservative Party Archive Trust. He was Chairman of Trustees of the pressure group Friends of the Union between 1995–2003 and has been Senior Trustee of the T. E. Utley Memorial Fund since 2000.
House of Lords
Cooke was made a life peer as Baron Lexden, of Lexden in the County of Essex and of Strangford in the County of Down, on 23 December 2010 on the recommendation of Prime Minister David Cameron. He sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative.
With the Conservative return to opposition in 1997, Cooke worked as General Secretary of the Independent Schools Council from 1997–2004. He has also been a Governor of The John Lyon School Harrow from 1999–2005 and Patron of the Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition since 2001. He is a frequent contributor The Times Letters and Obituary pages.
- Lord Carlingford’s Journal (1971) (joint editor)
- The Governing Passion; Cabinet Government and Party Politics in Britain 1885–86 (1974) (joint author)
- The Ashbourne Papers 1869–1913 (1974) (editor)
- The Conservative Party’s Campaign Guides (7 vols, 1987–2005) (editor)
- The Conservative Party: Seven Historical Studies, (1997) (editor)
- The Conservative Research Department 1929–2004 (2004) (editor)
- The Carlton Club 1832–2007 (2007) (joint author)
- Tory Heroine: Dorothy Brant and the Rise of Conservative Women (2008)
- A Party of Change: a Brief History of the Conservatives (2008)
- Between the Thin Blue Lines (2008)(contributor)
- Tory Policy-Making: the Conservative Research Department 1929–2009 (2009) (joint author)
- A Gift from the Churchills: The Primrose League 1883–2004 (2010)
As well as pamphlets on Northern Ireland and constitutional issues and articles in historical journals and educational publications.
- Who's Who 2011