Douglas Hogg

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This article is about the contemporary Conservative politician. For his grandfather, see Douglas Hogg, 1st Viscount Hailsham.
The Right Honourable
The Viscount Hailsham
DouglasHogg 20040917.jpg
Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
In office
2 May 1997 – 17 June 1997
Leader John Major
Preceded by Jack Cunningham
Succeeded by David Curry
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
In office
5 July 1995 – 2 May 1997
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by William Waldegrave
Succeeded by Jack Cunningham
Member of Parliament
for Sleaford and North Hykeham
Grantham (1979–1997)
In office
4 May 1979 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Joseph Godber
Succeeded by Stephen Phillips
Personal details
Born (1945-02-05) 5 February 1945 (age 70)
Chelsea, London, England, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Sarah Boyd-Carpenter (1968–present)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Religion Anglicanism

Douglas Martin Hogg, 3rd Viscount Hailsham PC, QC (born 5 February 1945) is a British politician and barrister. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1995 to 1997, and was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1979 to 2010. When the Daily Telegraph in 2009 exposed that Hogg had claimed upwards of £2,000 of taxpayers' money for the purposes of cleaning the moat around his country estate, Kettlethorpe Hall, he became one of the most prominent illustrations used by the media to portray the extent of the expenses scandal, though Hogg always maintained that the allegation was untrue. As a result of the negative publicity, Hogg did not seek re-election at the 2010 general election.

Early life[edit]

Eton College

Douglas Hogg is the son of Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, a former Lord Chancellor. He inherited the Viscountcy on 12 October 2001 upon the death of his father who had disclaimed that title for life in 1963, but who later accepted a life peerage in 1970; he is the grandson of Douglas Hogg, 1st Viscount Hailsham, also a former Lord Chancellor.

He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in History in 1968. In 1967, he served as the President of the Oxford Union. He was called to the Bar in 1968, after which he worked as a barrister. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1990, a year after his sister, Dame Mary Hogg, who is now a judge in the Family Division of the High Court.

Member of Parliament[edit]

He was elected as a Member of Parliament at the 1979 general election for the Lincolnshire seat of Grantham, following the retirement of the sitting Conservative MP Joseph Godber.

The Grantham seat was abolished at the 1997 general election; however, Hogg stood and was elected as MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham in 1997.

In government[edit]

In Parliament, Hogg served as a member of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Select Committee from 1979, until he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Leon Brittan in 1982.

Hogg became a member of the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher following the 1983 general election, when he was appointed as a Whip for a year. He rejoined the government in 1986 when he was appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office, and was promoted in 1989 to Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry.

Hogg was moved in 1990 under the leadership of Prime Minister John Major to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, becoming a member of the Privy Council in 1992. He joined Major's Cabinet as the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1995, serving in that capacity during the BSE crisis for which he received much criticism[1] and remaining in post until the election of the Tony Blair government in 1997.

On 3 March 1997, a disgruntled farmer from Anglesey, Louis Hayward, drove six hours from his farm to Hogg's house in Lincolnshire in order to dump three tonnes of pig manure outside his house.

Following the 1997 general election, Hogg was a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee for a year, and has remained on the backbenches since. The House of Lords Act 1999, which removed the right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, meant that Viscount Hailsham did not have to disclaim his peerage to remain an MP on the death of his father.

Stevens Inquiry[edit]

In the report of his inquiry concerning collusion in Northern Ireland between loyalist paramilitaries and the state security forces, under "Other Matters concerning Collusion", Sir John Stevens noted:

"2.17 My Enquiry team also investigated an allegation that senior RUC officers briefed the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Rt Hon Douglas Hogg QC, MP, that ‘some solicitors were unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA’. Mr Hogg repeated this view during a debate on the Prevention of Terrorism legislation in the House of Commons. Within a few weeks Patrick Finucane was murdered. Mr Hogg’s comments about solicitors’ support for terrorism made on 17 January 1989 aroused controversy. To the extent that they were based on information passed by the RUC, they were not justifiable and the Enquiry concludes that the Minister was compromised." [2]


Even though he had been claiming near maximum Additional Costs Allowance in the 2001 and 2005 UK Parliaments, Douglas Hogg's total running costs as an MP (including allowances, expenses and staff costs) were consistently very much lower than most MPs.[3]

In 2009, during the row over MPs' expenses, The Daily Telegraph alleged that Hogg had submitted and was paid a claim form including more than £2,000 for the moat around his country estate, Kettleburgh Hall,[4] to be cleared.[5] The taxpayer helped meet the cost of a full-time housekeeper. Other allegations included expenses for work done to Hogg’s stables and for his piano to be tuned.[6] It is claimed that the bills for Kettlethorpe Hall were so large, Hogg eventually agreed a deal with the expenses office simply to have one twelfth of the second homes allowance paid into his bank account every month.[4] In his defence, Hogg resolutely claimed he had not claimed for moat cleaning, and that the items were a list of all expenses incurred during house works, most of which were not paid for by the taxpayer. Hogg responded to the newspaper's claims by saying he had agreed the claims with the fees office, and therefore hoped and believed that they would comply with the rules and the 'spirit' of the rules.[7] In saying that his claims complied with both the spirit and letter of the rules,[8] Hogg said he had issued, in the interests of transparency, full lists of all his expenditure on the property but these were never meant to be the record of a claim.[9] On 14 May, Hogg agreed to repay the £2,200 cost of clearing the moat, after an order from the party leadership. He maintained he had not claimed the money but agreed it had not been "positively excluded" from paperwork submitted to the Commons fees office.[10]

Following the scandal, Hogg announced on 19 May 2009 that he would not stand at the next general election.[11] Prime Minister David Cameron put Hogg's name forward for a life barony to be included in the 2011 New Year Honours, but House of Lords Appointments Commission advised against the appointment.[12] In 2013, Hogg stood for election to the House of Lords seat made vacant by the death of Earl Ferrers, losing to Viscount Ridley.[13]

Months later, he stood again for another seat in the House of Lords, this one made vacant by the death of Hugh Mackay, 14th Lord Reay. Hailsham came second, behind James Borwick, 5th Baron Borwick. [14] In February 2010 Hogg was played by Geoffrey Beevers in the television film On Expenses.

Personal life[edit]

He married Sarah, daughter of John Boyd-Carpenter, on 6 June 1968 in Westminster and they have a son (born October 1973) and a daughter (born August 1970). As his wife was created a life peeress, the Hailshams are one of the few couples to both hold noble titles in their own right.

Their daughter Charlotte, who was previously in charge of retail operations at Santander UK, has been appointed, with effect from 1 July 2013, as the first-ever Chief Operating Officer at the Bank of England, under new Governor Mark Carney.


  1. ^ Richard Wilson (1998-12-16). "Minister without a friend". BBC News. Retrieved 2006-11-01. 
  2. ^ Stevens Inquiry 3
  3. ^ "Douglas Hogg MP". TheyWorkForYou. mySociety is a project of UK Citizens Online Democracy (UKCOD). UKCOD is a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1076346. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  4. ^ a b "". Daily Mirror. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  5. ^ Summers, Deborah (14 May 2009). "Andrew MacKay made 'unacceptable' home claims for eight or nine years". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Winnett, Robert (2009-05-11). "MPs' expenses: Paying bills for Tory grandees". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  7. ^ Prince, Rosa (12 May 2009). "Daily Telegraph: Douglas Hogg (12 May 2009)". London: Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  8. ^ BBC News
  9. ^ "Sleaford MP denies he claimed expenses for moat cleaning". Sleaford Standard (Sleaford, Lincolnshire). 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2009-05-13. MP Douglas Hogg has denied newspaper reports that he claimed more than £2,000 in expenses to have the moat at his Lincolnshire home cleaned. ...the Sleaford and North Hykeham MP told the Standard: "I have never claimed for the moat, or for the piano tuning - the allegation that I did is incorrect. I never claimed for these and I never received any money. "The work to the stables that the Telegraph mentioned was actually for maintenance of security lights which were installed by the Home Office as part of the response to an IRA threat." He said he had issued, in the interests of full transparency, full lists of all his expenditure on the property but these were never meant to be the record of a claim. Mr Hogg said it was clear to the fees office that the overall allowable expenses were over the Additional Costs Allowance and that his claim only covered utilities, council tax, building insurance, the alarm system, heating, repairs and maintenance of house and garden and 65 per cent of the cost of a housekeeper to clean and maintain the house and look after it when he and his wife, Baroness Hogg, were away. He said: "It was on this basis and with the express agreement of the fees office, in advance and in writing that I was making a monthly claim equal to one-twelfth of the ACA." Mr Hogg added: "I am amongst the lowest claimers in parliament – specifically 551st out of 645 MPs in 2007/8. "There is no doubt that our system has lost public confidence and we as parliamentarians have got to accept that we are responsible for having put the system in place and that it is probably flawed. "We got it wrong and need to apologise for that, and I do apologise for it." 
  10. ^ "Tory MP Hogg to repay 'moat cost'". BBC News. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  11. ^ "Moat claim MP to quit at election". BBC News Online. 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  12. ^ Gammell, Caroline (6 March 2011). "Tory MP who claimed for moat cleaning is denied peerage". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  13. ^ "Conservative Hereditary Peers' By-Election, February 2013". Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  14. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph Godber
Member of Parliament for Grantham
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Sleaford and North Hykeham
Succeeded by
Stephen Phillips
Political offices
Preceded by
William Waldegrave
Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Succeeded by
Jack Cunningham
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Title last held by
Quintin Hogg
Viscount Hailsham