David Prior (politician)

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The Honourable
David Gifford Leathes Prior
Member of Parliament
for Norfolk North
In office
1 May 1997 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Ralph Howell
Succeeded by Norman Lamb
Personal details
Born (1954-12-03) 3 December 1954 (age 59)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Caroline Holmes

The Honourable David Gifford Leathes Prior (born 3 December 1954) is a former Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for North Norfolk from 1997 until the 2001 general election, when he lost his seat to Norman Lamb of the Liberal Democrats by 483 votes.

Early life[edit]

He was educated at Charterhouse School and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he gained an MA in Law.

During his time at Cambridge, he helped to launch the Cambridge University Industrial Society, a student group, which subsequently spread to many other UK universities.

From 1977-80, he worked for the investment banks Lehman Brothers and Lazard Freres. From 1980-7, he worked for British Steel, becoming Commercial Director.


He was elected as MP for North Norfolk in 1997 and he became Chief Executive of the Conservative Party and its deputy chairman. In 2002 he was appointed chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, resigning in November 2006.

On 14 November 2006, he was arrested,[1] among others, by Norfolk Constabulary investigating allegations of financial irregularities at Cawston Park Hospital previously known as Cawston College, a private psychiatric hospital in Cawston, Norfolk. He was cleared of involvement in the alleged fraud on 15 February 2007 and subsequently reappointed as chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust.[2] He is Chairman of the Ormistan Victory Academy and the Sir Issac Newton Free School, a six form college specialising in sciences and mathematics.

On 28 January 2013 he was appointed as Chairman of the Care Quality Commission.[3] He was said by the Health Service Journal to be the 23rd most powerful person in the English NHS in December 2013.[4] In April 2014 he had a hip replacement operation paid for by private insurance in a wing partly reserved for private patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He is the son of former Conservative cabinet minister James Prior, Baron Prior. He married Caroline Holmes on 14 February 1987. They have a son and a daughter.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Ex-MP cleared of fraud allegation". BBC News. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  3. ^ "New Chair of CQC announced". 13 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  4. ^ "HSJ100 2013 The annual list of the most influential people in health". Health Service Journal. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "NHS watchdog chief goes private for hip operation... avoiding the three-month wait patients face in hospitals he's meant to be improving". Daily Mail. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ralph Howell
Member of Parliament for Norfolk North
Succeeded by
Norman Lamb