|Sir Peter Viggers|
|Member of Parliament
28 February 1974 – 6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Constituency Created|
|Succeeded by||Caroline Dinenage|
13 March 1938 |
|Spouse(s)||Jennifer Mary McMillan|
|Alma mater||Trinity Hall, Cambridge|
Sir Peter John Viggers (born 13 March 1938) is a lawyer and former Conservative Party member of parliament for the seat of Gosport in the United Kingdom. He stepped down in 2010 as a result of the investigation of MPs' expenses.
Born in Gosport, Hampshire, he is the son of John Sidney Viggers. He was educated at Alverstoke School, Portsmouth Grammar School and Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge, receiving an MA in History and Law in 1961. He qualified from the College of Law in Guildford in 1967. He became a solicitor in 1967. From 1970 to 1979 Viggers was chairman and director of banking, oil, hotels, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and venture capital companies.
Viggers was member of parliament for Gosport, and lives just a few miles from where he was born. He was first elected in February 1974 and served as industry minister for Northern Ireland under Margaret Thatcher from 1986 to 1989. He left the ministry in 1989 and returned to the back-benches.
Viggers was the chairman of Calgary-based Tracer Petroleum Corporation from 1996 to 1998, and of Lloyd's Pension Fund from 1996. He was a director of Jakarta-based Emerald Energy plc from April 1998 to 2003.
The Duck Island Incident
On 21 May 2009, The Daily Telegraph reported on Viggers' claims as part of its investigation of MPs' expenses, which it said showed Viggers was paid more than £30,000 for gardening expenses over three years. The paper noted in particular that Viggers had attempted to claim for a "pond feature" worth £1,645 which was identified as a "floating duck island", although it was unclear whether he had actually been repaid as an official had written "not allowable" next to it. On hearing the details of the story the Telegraph intended to run, Viggers announced late the previous night "at the direct request" of party leader David Cameron his intention to stand down at the next election. He also stood down from his role as spokesman for the Speaker's Committee answering Parliamentary Questions for the Electoral Commission. On his website, however, he said about expenses: "Personally, I have of course always scrupulously observed the rules". The floating duck island, symbol of the expenses scandal, was later sold and the proceeds handed over to the Macmillan Cancer charity. The claim was later referenced in the name of the 2013 play The Duck House based on the UK parliamentary expenses scandal.
Viggers is a vice-patron of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. He is also an honorary treasury of the America All Party Parliamentary Group. For four years he was chairman of governors at St Vincent College. He married (medical) Dr Jennifer Mary McMillan in 1968, and they have two sons and one daughter.
- Peter Viggers: Electoral history and profile The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2009
- MP suggests single Euro language BBC News, 6 November 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2009
- Nick Allen, "£30,000 for the garden, including the ducks bill", The Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2009, p. 3
- Nigel Morris "More MPs resign over expenses – but could claim huge payouts", The Independent, 21 May 2009, p. 8
- Situation Report, 12 noon, Wednesday, 13 May[dead link]
- News report, Five Live, Drive, 6 September 2010
- "MPs' expenses scandal becomes West End comedy". The Daily Telegraph. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- "The Duck House: MPs' expenses satire heads for West End". BBC News. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- Official site
- Peter Viggers They Work for You
- Gosport Conservatives
- Peter Viggers: Electoral history and profile The Guardian biography
- BBC Politics page
- The MiP files: Checking out Big Brother! CBBC Newsround
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Gosport