Maurice Saatchi, Baron Saatchi

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Saatchi
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In office
with Liam Fox
10 November 2003 – 20 May 2005
Leader Michael Howard
Preceded by Theresa May
Succeeded by Francis Maude
Personal details
Born Maurice Nathan Saatchi
(1946-06-21) 21 June 1946 (age 68)
Baghdad, Iraq
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Gillian Osband (1972–1984; divorced)
Josephine Hart (1984–2011; her death)
Relations Charles Saatchi (brother)
Profession Advertising
Religion Judaism

Maurice Nathan Saatchi, Baron Saatchi (Arabic: موريس ساعتجي‎) (born 21 June 1946), is an Iraqi-British politician and with his brother, Charles, co-founder of the advertising agencies Saatchi and Saatchi and M&C Saatchi.


Early life[edit]

Maurice Saatchi is the third of four sons born to Nathan Saatchi and Daisy Ezer, a wealthy Iraqi Jewish family in Baghdad, Iraq. Maurice's brothers are David (born 1937), Charles Nathan (born 1943) and Philip (born 1953).[1] Nathan was a successful textile merchant and in 1947, he pre-empted a flight that tens of thousands of Iraqi Jews would soon make to avoid persecution and relocated his family to Finchley[2] London.[3] Nathan purchased two textile mills in north London and after a time re-built a thriving business. Eventually the family would settle into a house with eight bedrooms on Hampstead Lane in Highgate.[1]

Saatchi attended Tollington Grammar and graduated from the London School of Economics with a First class honours degree in Economics in 1967.[1] His first job was at Haymarket Publications where Maurice would form valuable relationships with Michael Heseltine, the Group Managing Director and with staff at the Haymarket's leading trade weekly for the ad industry Campaign. He spent three years at Haymarket as Creative Director before leaving to join his brother Charles' fledgling ad agency.

Advertising career[edit]

In 1970, Saatchi, with his brother, formed the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi. They are credited with a number of successful advertising campaigns, most notably the "Labour isn't working" posters on behalf of the Conservative Party for the 1979 British general election and advertisements for the cigarette brand Silk Cut.[4] Maurice Saatchi served as chairman of the firm which became the world's largest advertising agency.[5] However, a shareholder revolt in 1994 ended the brothers' role in the company, and they founded a new company, M&C Saatchi, the following year. The new company has also been described as a success.[5]

Political career[edit]

Maurice Saatchi was created a life peer as Baron Saatchi, of Staplefield in the County of West Sussex on 4 October 1996.[6] He sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative. Under the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith, Saatchi served as shadow Treasury spokesman in the Lords, forming a close relationship with Michael Howard, who was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Saatchi argued for the simplification of the tax system and that the poorest eight million people in the United Kingdom should not pay income tax.[5] In June 2014, he suggested that small businesses should pay no corporate tax and that investors in said small businesses should pay no capital gains tax in order to "challenge cartel capitalism."[7]

After Howard became leader of the Conservatives in November 2003, Saatchi was appointed joint chairman of the party with Liam Fox. He had responsibility for running the party campaign for the 2005 general election, after which he stepped down.[8] He published his reflections on the election campaign in a Centre for Policy Studies pamphlet If this is Conservatism, I am a Conservative in a chapter entitled How I Lost the Election. Among his failings listed in the document, Saatchi highlighted the following:

  • I DID NOT convince the Party that if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
  • I DID NOT dispel the illusion of research, which said that, as immigration was the number one issue in deciding how people vote, it should be the number one topic.
  • I DID NOT prevent economics, the Conservatives' former ace of trumps, becoming a 'second order issue.'
  • I DID NOT avoid the underestimation of public intelligence, as in the policy description 'Lower Taxes' when in fact taxes would be higher.

He recommended that future Conservative leaders establish a "moral purpose" as an ideology and future direction for the Party.[9]

Other roles[edit]

He is also chairman of the Finsbury Food Group plc, and is a Governor of the London School of Economics. Saatchi is a trustee of the Museum of Garden History, and also a director of the Centre for Policy Studies. He was also a trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1988 to 1996.

He is a previous recipient of the St. George’s Society Medal of Honour, an award established in 1996 which recognizes American and British industry leaders for significant contributions in the fields of business, finance and education.[10]


He and his brother founded the Saatchi Shul, an independent Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Maida Vale, London, England, in 1998.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

Saatchi's first wife was Gillian Osband, a children's book editor and writer whom he had known since childhood and whom he married in 1972. They divorced in 1984 and that same year he married the novelist Josephine Hart (1942–2011), whom he first met when they worked together at Haymarket Publications in 1967.[5] She died on 2 June 2011.[13]

His country property is a mock Tudor castle called Old Hall in Staplefield, West Sussex, built in 1842. There are sixty acres of parkland and ten acres of flowers, trees and lakes. Maurice Saatchi has a fondness for gardening, laid out the garden on the estate and built a conservatory to house semi-tropical plants. The property was the subject of a display article in Architectural Digest in January 1995.[1]

Maurice Saatchi and his brother Charles were listed at number 366 in the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, with an estimated wealth of £220m in advertising and art.[14] In the Sunday Times Rich List 2009 they were listed at number 438.[15]

The Medical Innovation Bill[edit]


Following the death of his wife Josephine Hart to ovarian cancer, Maurice Saatchi has campaigned for a change to the UK law which, he believes, holds doctors back from using innovative treatments because they fear litigation.[16] Saatchi has said that he believes health provision in the UK is "innovation averse" and that the current standard treatment offered to some people with incurable cancer is "degrading, medieval and ineffective" leading "only to death".[17][18]

Saatchi's Medical Innovation Bill proposes that doctors be permitted to use non-standard treatments for any medical condition.[19] The bill was formally introduced in 2013 and was co-adopted by the government in its passage through parliament.[20]


The proposed legislation has enjoyed some popular support and favourable press coverage, but has drawn a critical response from some medical and legal bodies, patient groups and charities.[21][22]

In November 2014 more than 100 medical professionals signed a letter to The Times saying that the existing law did not impede innovation as has been claimed, and that the proposed new legislation could have the unintended consequence of weakening the evidence base for research by leading to an accumulation of merely anecdotal evidence.[23]

Cancer Research UK has said there is "no pressing need" for new legislation[24] and in an editorial in The Lancet Oncology said that Saatchi was promoting "precisely the type of emotional response that evidence-based practice seeks to avoid", that the current UK law already provided for medical innovation, and that the bill's provisions threatened to undermine the hippocratic oath.[25]

Others have taken a different view, including medico-legal academic Jo Samanta of De Montford University, who has argued that the Bill is ethically sound.[26]

In June 2014 a number of doctors and patients wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph in support of the bill.[27] Also, in June 2014, Lord Saatchi promised to introduce an open-access register of innovation, to log the results of innovations as part of the bill.

The register – which Lord Saatchi has said will be hosted by Oxford University – will allow doctors and researchers to share the results of innovative treatments.

During a speech on the Bill in the House of Lords on 27 June, 2014, Lord Saatchi said: "As well as that, there has been another important new result from the consultation which I should like to announce to your Lordships. Oxford University has come forward to say that it will maintain a public register of innovations that take place under the Bill.

"This Oxford initiative achieves two aims simultaneously: to advance scientific progress through the dissemination of knowledge to the global medical community; and full public disclosure and transparency to deter recklessness. Sunlight is the best disinfectant."[28]

The Bill passed its Third Reading in the Lords in January 2015 with an amendment jointly laid by Lords Saatchi and Hunt and Baronesses Masham and Wheeler which requires doctors using the Bill to “…comply with any professional requirements as to registration of the 25 treatment under the provisions of this Act with a scheme for capturing the results of innovative treatment (including positive and negative results and information about small-scale treatments and patients’ experiences), and take such other steps as are necessary to secure that the decision is made in a way which is accountable and transparent.[29]


Arms of Maurice Saatchi, Baron Saatchi
A Butterfly Or Wings addorsed Azure supporting a Quill Argent spined Or
Azure a Pale couped in chief and there conjoined to a Pallet a Barrulet embowed and a Chevronel throughout reversed and embowed Argent issuing from each point of conjunction a Hazel Nut slipped Or
On either side an Angel proper vested Argent crined and winged Or about the waist a Sash Azure in the exterior hand a Sword point downwards Argent Hilt Pommel and Quillons and enflamed Or



  1. ^ a b c d Goldman 1997.
  2. ^ Thomson, Alice; Rachel Sylvester (28 February 2009). "The Saturday interview: Charles Saatchi". London: Times Online. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Jones, Chris (12 July 2002). "Charles Saatchi: Artful adman". BBC News. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  4. ^ Silk Cut Cigarette Advertisements.
  5. ^ a b c d "Profile: Lord Saatchi". BBC News. 10 November 2003. Retrieved 1 August 2008. 
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54547. p. 13389. 9 October 1996.
  7. ^ Peter Dominiczak, Lord Saatchi: Cut corporation tax for small businesses, The Daily Telegraph, June 16, 2014
  8. ^ Pierce, Andrew (1 August 2005). "Saatchi charges Tories £1.5m for failed campaign". London: The Times. Retrieved 1 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "Saatchi: Why Tories lost election". BBC News. 20 June 2005. Retrieved 1 August 2008. 
  10. ^ St. George Medal of Honour
  11. ^ Mark Slobin (2003). Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World Book & CD. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  12. ^ The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute Planning Assessment, 2004–2005: The Jewish People Between Thriving and Decline. Gefen Publishing House Ltd. 2005. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Obituaries: Josephine Hart, The Telegraph, 3 June 2011
  14. ^ Rich List: Maurice, Lord Saatchi and Charles Saatchi, The Sunday Times, 27 April 2008
  15. ^ Rich List: Lord Saatchi and Charles Saatchi, The Sunday Times, 29 April 2011
  16. ^ Ross N (2 June 2014). "The 'Saatchi Bill': can a PR guru cure cancer?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 2014.
  17. ^ "Lord Saatchi's personal appeal". Daily Telegraph. 26 January 2014. Retrieved December 2014.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Hills D (19 November 2014). "Attacking critics is no way to fix the Saatchi bill". The Guardian. Retrieved December 2014.
  20. ^ "Lord Saatchi's personal appeal". Daily Telegraph. 26 January 2014. Retrieved December 2014.
  21. ^ Ross N (2 June 2014). "The 'Saatchi Bill': can a PR guru cure cancer?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 2014.
  22. ^ Hills D (19 November 2014). "Attacking critics is no way to fix the Saatchi bill". The Guardian. Retrieved December 2014.
  23. ^ "Medical innovation". The Times (Letter). 13 November 2014. (subscription required)
  24. ^ "Doctors sign letter of opposition to Medical Innovation Bill". Cancer Research UK. 13 November 2014. Retrieved December 2014.
  25. ^ "Undermining the Hippocratic Oath: the Medical Innovation Bill". The Lancet Oncology (Editorial). 27 November 2014. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(14)71139-8.
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Hansard , 27 Jun 2014 : Column 1453
  29. ^
  • Goldman, Kevin (1997), Conflicting Accounts – The Creation and Crash of the Saatchi and Saatchi Empire, New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-83553-3 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Theresa May
Chairman of the Conservative Party
with Liam Fox
Succeeded by
Francis Maude