Christopher Tugendhat, Baron Tugendhat

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Christopher Samuel Tugendhat, Baron Tugendhat (born 23 February 1937) is a British politician belonging to the Conservative Party, businessman, company director and chairman, journalist and author.

Family background[edit]

His family lineage includes Jewish Austrian (paternal) and Anglo-Irish (maternal) extraction; he was raised as a Roman Catholic. Tugendhat's father, Dr Georg Tugendhat was born in Vienna, but came to United Kingdom after World War I to pursue his doctorate at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he married Christopher's mother, Maire (Littledale). Georg Tugendhat traced his paternal forebears to the Polish town of Bielsko, Silesia which until 1918 had been called Bielitz, when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He found the graves of 25 Tugendhats in the Jewish cemetery which had closed in 1939. He helped to fund its restoration.[citation needed]


Christopher Tugendhat attended Ampleforth College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He became a journalist for the Financial Times from 1960 through to 1970. From 1970 to 1976 he sat as the Conservative MP for London and Westminster, before being appointed as a member of the European Commission from 1977 to 1981 and then vice-president until 1985. He was appointed to the commission by the Labour government over Margaret Thatcher's nominee John Davies, but she reappointed him in 1981.

On 3 December 1980, when driving away from his home in Brussels, two bullets were fired at him from a car, narrowly missing; Tugendhat called the attack "closer than I would have liked."[1] The Provisional IRA belatedly claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt.[2]

Following his role at the commission he became chairman of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) from 1986 to 1995, and of the Civil Aviation Authority from 1986 to 1991 when he was succeeded by Christopher Chataway. He later went on to become the chairman of Abbey National and Blue Circle and later chairman of the European Advisory Board of Lehman Brothers. He was also a director of Rio Tinto and Eurotunnel, among others.


He was knighted in 1991 and was created a life peer as Baron Tugendhat, of Widdington in the County of Essex in 1993, and is the chancellor of the University of Bath. He announced his intention to stand down on the 31st of July 2013, when he will be replaced by His Royal Highness Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.[3] He was chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the UK's first academic health science centre, until December 2011.

He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bath (Doctor of Laws) in 1998.[4]


He married Julia Lissant Dobson; they have two sons, James (born 1971) and Angus (born 1974). His younger brother, Michael, is a British High Court Judge.


  • Oil: The Biggest Business (1968)
  • Multinationals (1971) London. Eyre and Spottiswoode
  • Making Sense of Europe (1986) London. Viking
  • Options for British Foreign Policy in the 1990s (Chatham House Papers) by Christopher Tugendhat and William Wallace (Nov 1988)
  • Roy Jenkins, a Retrospective (2004); contributor, wrote Chapter 12.


  1. ^ Michael Hornsby (3 December 1980). "Tugendhat Escape in Brussells [sic?] shooting". The Times. p. 1. 
  2. ^ Christopher Andrew (2009). The Defence of the Realm. Penguin. p. 696. ISBN 978-0-14-102330-4. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Smith
Member of Parliament for Cities of London and Westminster
1970Feb 1974
Succeeded by
constituency abolished
Preceded by
new constituency
Member of Parliament for City of London and Westminster South
Feb 19741977
Succeeded by
Peter Brooke
Political offices
Preceded by
Wilhelm Haferkamp
European Commissioner for Budget and Financial Control and Financial Institutions
Succeeded by
Henning Christophersen
Preceded by
François-Xavier Ortoli
Vice-President of the European Commission
Succeeded by
Frans Andriessen
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Denys Henderson
Chancellor of the University of Bath
Succeeded by