Andrew Phillips, Baron Phillips of Sudbury
|Andrew Phillips, Baron Phillips of Sudbury|
|Born||15 March 1939|
|Occupation||British solicitor and politician|
|Political party||Liberal Democrats|
Education and Law Practice
He attended Culford School, Uppingham School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read Economics and Law, then became a solicitor. In 1970 he founded commercial law firm Bates Wells and Braithwaite and he remains a consultant to this day.
From 1976, he appeared on BBC Radio 2’s Jimmy Young Show as the “legal eagle,” giving legal advice to the show’s listeners. He continued in this role until the show ended upon Sir Jimmy’s retirement in 2002. Phillips has also appeared on other television and radio programmes such as Any Questions? and Newsnight. He received the OBE in 1996.
He was originally a member of the Labour Party, standing for parliament in Harwich in 1970, but he defected to the Liberals in the early 1970s, and later stood as a Liberal candidate in Saffron Walden in both a 1977 by-election and the 1979 general election, and later stood as a Liberal in Gainsborough and Horncastle in 1983.
House of Lords
In 1998, Phillips was made a life peer as Baron Phillips of Sudbury, of Sudbury in the County of Suffolk. He sat in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat, and spoke on issues concerning civil liberties. He led the Liberal Democrats’ opposition in the Lords to the government’s identity card and counter-terrorism legislation.
In July 2006, to the surprise of many people, Lord Phillips of Sudbury announced his intention to resign from the House of Lords at the age of 67 (the average age of members being 68). He criticised the “cascades” of legislation that the Labour government had introduced:
- “It is seriously counter-productive. No society can absorb a net increase of statute law of eight or nine thousand pages a year.”
He said he would pursue other interests, and would no longer be just a “weekend husband” to his wife.
He had wanted to vacate his seat in the House of Lords, revert to being known as Mr Phillips, and allow “new blood” from his party to take his seat. However, although hereditary peers may disclaim their titles under the Peerage Act 1963, life peers are unable to renounce their titles, and continue to hold them for life. Therefore, Phillips took leave of absence from the House, meaning he was unable to attend or vote, but could return at a month’s notice. There was not automatically a seat for a new Liberal Democrat peer in the House.
In 2009, Phillips's leave of absence ended, and he has since begun to attend and speak in the House of Lords again.
Andrew Phillips married Penelope Ann Bennett in 1968. They have a son and two daughters. He lists among his recreational interests theatre, local history (especially of Suffolk), arts, architecture (especially parish churches), golf, walking and reading.
Statements on Israel and Jews
In February 2011, Phillips, part of at a panel discussion on the Palestine Papers held at the University of London, gave the following statement on Jews:
"The world we are now moving into has been turned upside down. The Jews aren't lacking in intelligence, they may be deeply prejudiced, many of them, but they are going to be saying the same sort of thing as you on the panel are saying [about the Middle East after the Arab uprisings]."
Several months earlier, in November 2010, Phillips told a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting that: “Europe cannot think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust and America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby”
Phillips has called for economic and cultural boycotts of Israel.
- Jews? Many are just prejudiced by Jessica Elgot, the Jewish Chronicle Online, February 24, 2011.
- Lord Phillips: "America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish Lobby" by Jonathan Hoffman, the Jewish Chronicle Online, November 3, 2010.
- Andrew Phillips: No relief for the Palestinians while Israel enjoys impunity by Andrew Phillips, The Independent, February 1, 2010.
- Leigh Rayment’s Peerage Page
- Lib Dem peer loses bid to hand seat to ‘new blood’, The Guardian, 11 July 2006
- Just call me mister, says Lib-Dem peer, Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2006
- Lord Phillips of Sudbury recent appearances from TheyWorkForYou.com
The Lord Nolan
|Chancellor of the University of Essex