Peter Morrison

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For other people named Peter Morrison, see Peter Morrison (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
Sir Peter Morrison
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
4 May 1979 – 5 January 1981
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Member of Parliament
for Chester
In office
28 February 1974 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by John Temple
Succeeded by Gyles Brandreth

Sir Peter Hugh Morrison PC (2 June 1944 – 13 July 1995) was a British Conservative politician, MP for Chester from 1974 to 1992, and Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Background and education[edit]

Morrison was the third son of John Morrison, 1st Baron Margadale, by the Honourable Margaret Smith, the daughter of Frederick Smith, 2nd Viscount Hambleden and Lady Esther Gore. Sir Charles Morrison, Conservative MP for Devizes from 1964 to 1992, was his elder brother. He was educated at Eton and Keble College, Oxford, where he read Law.

Political career[edit]

Morrison was first elected to the House of Commons in the general election of February 1974 for Chester. He had been one of the first backbench MPs to urge Margaret Thatcher to stand for the Party leadership in 1975. In 1986 he became Deputy Conservative Party Chairman under Norman Tebbit [1] having been previously a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister of State in the Department of Employment. In 1987, he was Minister of State for Energy,[2] with responsibility for oil.[3] During this period Morrison it was alleged Morrison joined the small group of MP's, including Michael Grylls, Neil Hamilton and Michael Brown, who took money from Ian Greer on behalf of third party clients. [4]During the Cash for Questions Inquiry, Ian Greer Associates admitted Morrison received payments after Morrison had ceased to be an MP. The Parliamentary Report in Hansard quotes Ian Greer as stating he made "Two commission payments, perhaps three, for client referrals," to Morrison between 1993-1994. [5]

He became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and was the leader of her campaign team in the Conservative leadership election in the same year. He was relaxed about Thatcher's prospects and predicted an easy win for her. Alan Clark went to visit Morrison one afternoon during the campaign and found him asleep in his office. Morrison claimed that he had enough MPs down as Thatcher supporters to ensure she would win. After the first ballot among Conservative MPs had shown that Thatcher did not have enough votes to win outright, Morrison suggested to her that she should consult the Cabinet one-by-one to gauge support. He said to her: "Prime Minister, if you haven't won then there are a lot of Tory MPs who are lying".[6] He stood down at the 1992 general election, being succeeded as MP for Chester by Gyles Brandreth.

Morrison died of a heart attack early in the morning of 13 July 1995, aged 51.

Homosexuality[edit]

According to the journalist Simon Heffer, Morrison was gay and went cruising (looking for men for sex) in Sussex Gardens, west London.[7] Fellow Conservative MP Michael Brown, himself openly gay, described Morrison as gay in a column published in The Independent.[8]

Investigative journalist Nick Davies reported in The Guardian Morrison received a caution for cottaging with underage boys in public lavatories.[9] Fellow Tory MP Edwina Currie states in her autobiography that Morrison regularly had sex with 16 year-old-boys – whilst the legal age of consent at the time was 21.[10]

Allegations of child abuse[edit]

In October 2012, Rod Richards, a former MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Conservatives, implicated Morrison in the North Wales child abuse scandal.[11] Between 1974 and 1990, up to 650 children from 40 children's homes (such as Bryn Estyn in Wrexham), were sexually, physically and emotionally abused. Richards said Morrison and another high-profile Conservative were named in documents as regular and unexplained visitors to the care homes.[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Temple
Member of Parliament for the City of Chester
Feb 19741992
Succeeded by
Gyles Brandreth