David Verney, 21st Baron Willoughby de Broke

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Willoughby de Broke
DL
Lord Willoughby de Broke.jpg
UKIP Spokesperson, House of Lords
Personal details
Born Leopold David Verney
(1938-09-14) September 14, 1938 (age 75)
Political party UKIP
Other political
affiliations
Conservative (until 2007)
Alma mater New College, Oxford

Leopold David Verney, 21st Baron Willoughby de Broke DL (born 14 September 1938) is a British member of the House of Lords.

Verney succeeded to his father's title in 1986[1] and is one of the 90 hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999; originally elected a Conservative peer, he defected to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in January 2007,[2] making him one of only three UKIP members at Westminster (although the UKIP has many supportive unelected hereditary peers, eg Lord Hesketh)[citation needed].

The only son of the John Verney, 20th Baron Willoughby de Broke and Rachel Wrey, Verney was educated at Le Rosey in Switzerland and at New College, Oxford where he studied modern languages (MA).[3] Since 1992, he has been Chairman of St Martin's Theatre Company Ltd.[4] - the building of St Martin's Theatre was commissioned by his grandfather. From 1999 to 2004, he was President of the Heart of England Tourist Board.[5]

From 1990 to 2004, Verney was Patron of the Warwickshire Association of Boys' Clubs[6] and from 2005 to the present has been Chairman of the Warwickshire Hunt.[7] From 2002 he has been a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and also from 2002 the president of the Warwickshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).

Verney married Petra Aird, the daughter of Colonel Sir John Renton Aird Bt MVO MC, in 1965. They divorced in 1989 and in 2003 he married Alexandra du Luart, granddaughter of Lord Butler of Saffron Walden (only daughter of his second son, Sir Adam Butler). He has two sons by his first wife (Rupert and John) and two stepdaughters.

On 19 November 2009, Verney introduced the Constitutional Reform Bill 2009-10 to the House of Lords. The bill was intended to repeal the European Communities Act 1972, repeal the Human Rights Act 1998, reduce the powers of the House of Commons and government, reduce MPs' pay and give more power to local authorities.[8]

On 29 May 2012, Verney introduced the Referendum (European Union) Bill 2012-13 to the House of Lords, to make provision for the holding of a referendum on the United Kingdom's continued membership of the European Union, on the same day as the next General Election.[9][10]

The heir apparent to his title is his eldest son, the Hon Rupert Greville Verney (born 1966).

Ancestry[edit]

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Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Verney
Baron Willoughby de Broke
1986–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent