||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
|The Right Honourable
|Secretary of State for National Heritage|
11 April 1992 – 22 September 1992
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Office Created|
|Succeeded by||Peter Brooke|
|Chief Secretary to the Treasury|
28 November 1990 – 11 April 1992
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Norman Lamont|
|Succeeded by||Michael Portillo|
|Member of Parliament
3 May 1979 – 1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Hugh Jenkins|
|Succeeded by||Tony Colman|
12 March 1949 |
|Conservative (until 2003)|
|Spouse(s)||Judith Mellor (1974–1995)|
|Alma mater||Christ's College, Cambridge|
|Profession||Barrister - not practising|
Rt Hon David John Mellor QC (born 12 March 1949) is a former British politician, non-practising barrister, broadcaster, journalist and businessman. As a member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister John Major as Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1990–92) and Secretary of State for National Heritage (April–September 1992), before resigning in 1992. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Putney from 1979 to 1997. Since leaving Parliament, he has worked regular as a newspaper columnist, a radio presenter, after-dinner speaker, served as Chairman of the government's 'Football Task Force', and established a successful career as an international business consultant and entrepreneur.
Political career 
Born in Wareham, Dorset, Mellor was educated at Swanage Grammar School, and Christ's College, Cambridge, where he was Chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association and a contestant on University Challenge. After briefly working for Jeffrey Archer(then a Member of Parliament (MP)) while studying for his bar exams, Mellor became a barrister in 1972 and a Queens Counsel in 1987. He is currently not practising. After contesting West Bromwich East in the general election in October 1974, he subsequently became the MP for Putney aged only 30 in the general election of 1979. He was re-elected on three further occasions in the general elections of 1983, 1987, and 1992.
In 1981 David Mellor was made Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy, thus becoming Mrs Thatcher's youngest minister aged just 32. He remained her youngest minister for four years.
In 1983, Mellor was appointed to the Home Office where he was involved in several pieces of ground-breaking "Law and Order" legislation, including the pioneering Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, which amongst other things required police to tape-record all interviews with suspects in order for such evidence to be admissible at trial; The Prosecution of Offenders Act 1985 establishing the Crown Prosecution Service; legislation enabling the re-investigation of Miscarriages of Justice; and the significant vivisection "laboratory testing of animals" welfare legislation the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
The latter Act, prepared by a coalition of animal welfarists led by FRAME, and scientists led by Sir Andrew Huxley (President of the Royal Society), and was jointly launched by them, Mellor, and campaigner Dr Michael Balls - Father of Ed Balls MP (who went on to become the Labour Party's shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer) gave the UK what is still the most advanced framework for the protection of laboratory animals.
In 1987 Mellor was promoted to the Foreign Office by Margaret Thatcher, and was made responsible for the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union (before the fall of the Iron Curtain). He was briefly Minister for Health in 1988, where he was responsible for health service reforms, before he was made a Privy Councillor in 1990 by Margaret Thatcher, shortly before she resigned as Prime Minister.
Mellor was briefly Arts Minister in 1990 before entering John Major's new Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in November 1990. After the 1992 general election he remained a Cabinet Minister when he was made Secretary of State in the newly created Department for National Heritage (now the Department for Culture, Media and Sport), during which period he was vernacularly known as the "Minister for Fun" after comments he made to the waiting press on leaving 10 Downing Street on his appointment.
Mellor has never been one to fight shy of controversy – never more so than when, as a Foreign Office Minister in January 1988 during an official visit to Israel he protested angrily in front of press and TV cameras to an Israeli army Colonel about what he saw as the “excessive” and brutal way troops were treating local Palestinians. Mellor’s furious demand that it be stopped, and later statement to journalists that the treatment was “an affront to civilized values” was broadcast around the world, and caused an international incident for which Mellor refused point blank to apologise. He was later to be privately reprimanded by Mrs Thatcher.
Further controversy followed in December 1991 when he was interviewed on a TV programme following the setting up of the controversial Calcutt Committee Inquiring into Press Standards. Mellor claimed during the television interview that "the press - the popular press - is drinking in the Last Chance Saloon" and called for curbs on the "sacred cow" of press freedom. The press, coming under heavy criticism at that time, reacted furiously, alleging that he was prejudging Lord Calcutt’s inquiry.
Payback came In July 1992, when Mellor was involved in a kiss and tell story in which actress Antonia de Sancha sold a story of Mellor's extra-marital affair with her for £35,000. In a precursor to the “phone-hacking” scandal that would engulf Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World in 2006 and later in 2010, their telephone conversations had been secretly recorded by de Sancha's landlord, an activity which at the time was legal in England but has subsequently been outlawed. The Sun, relying on material supplied by publicist, Max Clifford, made a number of lurid fictional claims about the relationship that de Sancha later admitted in a newspaper interview were entirely untrue, This was subsequently confirmed by David Mellor in 2011 at the Leveson Inquiry into Press Behaviour.
Then Prime Minister John Major supported Mellor through the incident, but Fleet Street and the tabloids still angry at the “Last Chance Saloon” comments rounded on him. Subsequent claims of a holiday spent with Mona Bauwens, the daughter of a wealthy businessman and Palestine National Fund supporter Jaweed al-Ghussein, in August 1990, maintained the pressure on him and Mellor resigned on 24 September 1992.
This came just seven days after the front page headline "Now We've All Been Screwed by the Cabinet" which was a double pun on a series of sex controversies affecting the “Back to Basics” Major government as well as the "Black Wednesday" financial disaster the previous day which saw interest rates rise from 10% to 12% and the devalued Pound sterling removed from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
Controversy followed Mellor to the back benches following the Dunblane school shooting horror of 1996 when Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 children and an adult before committing suicide. Mellor led a backbench revolt against the Government, which subsequently led to the introduction of extremely stringent legal restrictions on the owning and possession of handguns, a standpoint policy that led Mellor to being the target of a vicious and highly personalised campaign by the pro-handgun lobby.
Defeat at 1997 general election 
Mellor contested the 1997 general election, but was defeated by the Labour Party's Tony Colman as one of the most notable Tory casualties as Labour won by a landslide to end nearly 20 years of Tory rule. The election night was memorable for Mellor's showdown with the Referendum Party founder Sir James Goldsmith — Mellor was taunted by Goldsmith and the pro-handgun candidate (who gave him a slow hand clap and shouted "Out! Out! Out!") during his concession speech. Mellor retorted:
|“||... and Sir James... has got nothing to be smug about, and I would like to say that 1,500 votes is a derisory total. We have shown tonight that the Referendum Party is dead in the water, and Sir James can get off back to Mexico knowing your attempt to buy the British political system has failed.||”|
After Parliament 
Mellor was chairman of the incoming Labour government's 'Football Task Force' from August 1997 until its dissolution in 1999. Among the recommendations accepted by the Labour government and introduced into law was the criminalisation of racial abuse by an individual spectator, as distinct from a group.
Mellor has also pursued a career in journalism, and has written columns for six national newspapers including the Evening Standard, The Guardian and The People, often on current affairs, but also his specialist interests of sport and the arts. Famously a fanatical Chelsea fan, he regularly presented football-related programmes on BBC Radio 5 until 2001, and classical music programmes on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3. In 1994 he won the Variety Club's "BBC Radio Personality of the Year" award. He currently presents "David Mellor" and The New CD Show on Classic FM. He is Opera and Classical Music critic for Britain's biggest-selling mid-market newspaper the Mail on Sunday. He is a regular presenter/contributor on LBC Radio and hosts a Saturday morning politics and current affairs discussion programme alongside Labour’s former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone. A natural Speaker, he has been a fixture on the “After Dinner” speech circuit since leaving government in 1992.
Since leaving office has pursued a highly successful career as an international business consultant focusing heavily on the Middle East and China. He has been a senior advisor to a wide range of blue-chip companies as diverse as Ernst and Young, BAE Systems, Aedas, and a major Gulf-based Islamic bank. He is also senior partner of an investment brokerage company with offices in London and Hong Kong.
Private life 
Mellor married Judith on 20 July 1974. They divorced in March 1995. They have two sons.
Mellor currently lives with his partner of 20 years, Penelope, Viscountess Cobham.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: David Mellor|
- Bar Standards Board Website - Records 8 December 2010 -
- Daily Telegraph, 10 June
- quoted in Roy Greenslade Press Gang: How Newspapers Make Profits From Propaganda, London: Macmillan, 2003 , p.539, n.21, p739; Hard News, Channel 4, 21 December 1989, The Times, 22 December 1989, p.5
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by David Mellor
- Profile at Speakers International
- David Mellor presents on Classic FM
- David Mellor (Rt. Hon. David Mellor QC) - Broadcaster, Journalist and Former MP (agent's site)
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Putney
|Minister of State for the Arts
|Chief Secretary to the Treasury
|New office||Secretary of State for National Heritage