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]


Lord (Christopher) Tugendhat is a Conservative Member of the House of Lords, where he sits on the Select Committee on Economic Affairs. He is also Chancellor of the University of Bath and a Member of the Imperial College Council.

He was Chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the UK's first academic health science centre, until December 2011 and is a Former Vice President of the European Commission (1981-85), as well as a Former Chairman of Abbey National, Blue Circle Industries, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Tugendhat attended Ampleforth College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He became a Features and Leader Writer for the Financial Times from 1960 through to 1970. From 1970 until 1976, Tugendhat was Conservative MP for the London and Westminster

He was 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.

Additional work[edit]

Tugendhat is a member of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) Advisory Board, an independent financial think tank which serves as a neutral, non-lobbying platform for exchanges among official institutions and private sector counter-parties worldwide.


He was awarded a knighthood in the 1990 Birthday Honours,[3] having the honour conferred by The Queen on 11 December 1990,[4] and on 15 October 1993 was created a life peer as Baron Tugendhat, of Widdington in the County of Essex,[5] and since 1998 the chancellor of the University of Bath. He announced his intention to stand down on the 31st of July 2013 and was later replaced by His Royal Highness Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.[6] 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.[7]


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. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52173. p. 2. 16 June 1990.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52543. p. 8207. 28 May 1991.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 53462. p. 16835. 20 October 1993.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "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
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex