Anthony Berry

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For the American actor of the same name, see Anthony Berry (actor).
The Honourable
Sir Anthony Berry
MP
Member of Parliament
for Enfield, Southgate
Southgate (1964-1983)
In office
15 October 1964 – 12 October 1984
Preceded by Sir Beverley Baxter
Succeeded by Michael Portillo
Personal details
Born (1925-02-12)12 February 1925
Eton, Berkshire, England
Died 12 October 1984(1984-10-12) (aged 59)
Brighton, Sussex, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Mary Burke Roche (1954-1966)
Sarah Clifford-Turner (1966-1984)
Relations Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley, newspaper magnate (father)
Children 6
Occupation Conservative MP

Sir Anthony George Berry (12 February 1925 – 12 October 1984) was a British politician, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate, and a Whip in Margaret Thatcher's government. He was killed in the Brighton hotel bombing.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Eton, Berkshire, Berry was the sixth and youngest son of the newspaper magnate the 1st Viscount Kemsley, and his wife Mary (née Holmes).

He married firstly, at Westminster in 1954, the Hon Mary Cynthia Roche (born 1934), a daughter of 4th Baron Fermoy. Mary's sister, Frances, married John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and so Anthony Berry was an uncle of Diana, Princess of Wales and great-uncle of The Duke of Cambridge (second in line to the throne).

Sir Anthony and his wife Mary had four children: Alexandra Mary (born 1955), Antonia Ruth and Joanna Cynthia (twins, born 1957), and Edward Anthony Morys (born 1960). They divorced in 1966.

He then married Sarah Clifford-Turner at Chelsea in 1966 and had two more children: George (born 1967), and Sasha Jane (born 1969).

Career[edit]

In 1962 he was appointed High Sheriff of Glamorgan.[1]

He was elected as Conservative MP for Southgate (later Enfield Southgate) at the 1964 general election, and served in Margaret Thatcher's government after the Conservatives won the general election in 1979. He served as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household between 1979 and 1981, Comptroller of the Household from 1981 to 1983 and was appointed Treasurer of the Household in 1983. He was knighted in December 1983.[2] At the time of his death he was Deputy Chief Whip in Thatcher's government.[3]

Death[edit]

On 12 October 1984, Berry was killed in the Brighton hotel bombing, when a bomb was planted in the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Conservative Party's conference. He was 59.[4] His wife Lady Berry was injured in the blast, but survived.[3]

His death in office triggered a by-election in Enfield Southgate, which was won by Michael Portillo.

In September 1986, Patrick Magee who carried out the bombing, received eight life sentences, but was released from prison in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday agreement.[5][6]

Since Magee's release, Berry's daughter, Jo Berry (a mother of three living in North West England) has received attention for her series of controversial meetings with the Brighton bomber, as part of her quest to come to terms with the bombing and, in her own words, "to bring something positive out of it". Some of their discussions were filmed for an Everyman programme, shown on BBC2 on Thursday 13 December 2001. She has received some criticism from other families of IRA victims for these meetings.[4][7]

A ceremony was held in Berry's Enfield Southgate constituency on 12 October 2009, the 25th anniversary of the bombing, at which his widow (now Lady Donoughue, wife of Lord Donoughue) and her daughter Sasha unveiled a plaque in his honour at the newly renamed Sir Anthony Berry House in Chaseville Parade, Winchmore Hill.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42623. p. 2145. 16 March 1962. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 49575. p. 16802. 20 December 1983. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Crown, Hannah (12 October 2009). "Brighton bombing: 25th anniversary of Sir Anthony Berry's death remembered". Thisislocallondon. Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Brighton bomb: Filming forgiveness", BBC News, 13 December 2001
  5. ^ "Patrick Magee: The IRA Brighton bomber", BBC News, Tue 22 June 1999
  6. ^ "Outrage as Brighton bomber freed", BBC News, Tue 22 June 1999
  7. ^ "Looking the Brighton bomber in the eye", BBC News, 13 December 2001
Political offices
Preceded by
Donald Coleman
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
1979–1981
Succeeded by
Carol Mather
Preceded by
Spencer Le Marchant
Comptroller of the Household
1981–1983
Succeeded by
Carol Mather
Preceded by
John Stradling Thomas
Treasurer of the Household
1983
Succeeded by
John Cope
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Beverley Baxter
Member of Parliament for Southgate
19641983
Succeeded by
(constituency renamed)
Preceded by
(new constituency name)
Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate
19831984
Succeeded by
Michael Portillo