Michael Spicer, Baron Spicer

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Spicer
PC Kt
Member of Parliament
for West Worcestershire
South Worcestershire (1974–1997)
In office
28 February 1974 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Gerald Nabarro
Succeeded by Harriett Baldwin
Personal details
Born (1943-01-22) 22 January 1943 (age 71)
Bath, Somerset, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Patricia Ann Hunter
Alma mater Wellington College
Emmanuel College, Cambridge

William Michael Hardy Spicer, Baron Spicer (born 22 January 1943) is a British Conservative Party peer and member of the House of Lords. From 1974 to 2010 he was a Member of Parliament (MP), and sat in the House of Commons as a backbencher. He was chairman of the 1922 committee from 2001 to 2010.

Early life[edit]

Wellington College, Berkshire

He was born in Bath, to Lt. Col. (later Brigadier) L. Hardy Spicer and Muriel, daughter of Wallis G. Carter of Bath.[1] Spicer was educated at Vienna, Gaunts House Preparatory School, Wellington College and has a degree in economics from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. After graduation, he worked as a financial journalist for the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times and The Statist. From 1968–70, he was Director of Conservative Systems Research Centre. From 1970–80, he was Managing Director of Economic Models Ltd.

Parliamentary career[edit]

At the 1966 general election, he challenged Manny Shinwell in the safe Labour Easington constituency as the youngest Parliamentary candidate in the country against the oldest. He stood in Easington again at the 1970 general election before being elected at the February 1974 general election for South Worcestershire. He represented South Worcestershire until 1997 when boundary changes abolished the constituency and he moved to the West Worcestershire seat which he represented until his retirement from the Commons.

After the 1979 general election, which swept the Conservatives to power, he became Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department of Trade. He was later made a Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. He became a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport in 1984, serving until 1987, with specific responsibility for Aviation. In 1987, he moved to the Department of Energy, again as a Parliament Under Secretary, this time with responsibility for Electricity and Coal. In January 1990, he was promoted to become a Minister of State at the Department of Environment, however, after the ousting of Margaret Thatcher in November 1990, he left the government payroll.

On leaving the government he became Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee in the House of Commons. In the 1996 New Year Honours[2] he received knighthood, having the honour conferred by The Queen on 13 February 1996.[3] After the 1997 general election, he became a member of the Treasury Select Committee.

As an MP after 1997[edit]

After the 2001 general election Michael Spicer was elected Chairman of the 1922 committee, a position he held until standing down in 2010.

As chairman of the 1922 committee, he had the distinction of presiding over more leadership elections than any of his predecessors as Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Howard and David Cameron were all elected during his tenure.

His majority declined in 1997, in keeping with the general trend across the country, but it almost doubled 4 years later at the 2001 General Election. However, unlike most Conservative MPs he failed to increase his majority in 2005; instead it was more than halved and he held one of the Conservative's most marginal seats against the Liberal Democrats.

On 26 March 2006 Spicer announced that he would not contest the Worcestershire West seat at the 2010 election and would retire as an MP.

In the 2009 leaked list of Parliamentarians' expenses it included £7,000 for gardening including hedge trimming what was described as a ‘helipad’.

He was created a life peer on 8 July 2010 as Baron Spicer of Cropthorne in the County of Worcestershire.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He married Patricia Ann Hunter on 7 April 1967, and they have a son and two daughters. He has been president of the Association of Electricity Producers.

Author[edit]

He is an author and has had a number of books published, including The Spicer Diaries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forthcoming Marriages, The Times, 10 September 1940
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54255. p. 2. 30 December 1995.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54537. p. 12875. 27 September 1996.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59487. p. 13285. 13 July 2010.

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Offices held[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gerald Nabarro
Member of Parliament for South Worcestershire
Feb. 19741997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for West Worcestershire
19972010
Succeeded by
Harriett Baldwin
Political offices
Preceded by
Archie Hamilton
Chairman of the 1922 Committee
2001–2010
Succeeded by
Graham Brady