Simon Kerslake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
Simon Kerslake
MP PC
Leader of the Opposition
In office
1990–1990
Shadow Housing Spokesman
In office
1969–1970
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office
In office
1970–1974
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Shadow Minister of State for Education
In office
1975–1979
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Minister of State for Northern Ireland
In office
1979–1982
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Minister of State for Defence
In office
1982–1985
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Secretary of State for Defence
In office
1985–1988
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
1988–1989
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
1989–1990
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Office
Incumbent
Assumed office
1990
Member of Parliament
for Coventry Central
In office
1964–1974
Member of Parliament
for Pucklebridge
Incumbent
Assumed office
1975
Majority 19,641
Personal details
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Drummond Kerslake
Children Peter Kerslake
Michael Kerslake
Occupation Politician

Simon Kerslake is a fictional character in the political novel First Among Equals, by Jeffrey Archer. He is a British Conservative Party politician, representing the Coventry Central and later Pucklebridge constituencies, who served under Prime Ministers Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher.There is a certain amount of autobiographical influence in the chararcter, as he shares Archer's politics, sporting history and a financial scandal that threatens his political career.

Personal life[edit]

Simon is a devoted family man married to Elizabeth (née Drummond), a gynecologist, with two children, Peter and Lucy. His desire to look after his family nearly costs him his political career in the British House of Commons: anxious to give his family the lifestyle he felt they desired, he makes some risky investments, accumulates a lot of debt and only narrowly avoids bankruptcy.

Political career[edit]

Kerslake is a centrist Conservative, hard-working and honourable (despite his poor business judgment).

With only a few political missteps, Kerslake rises steadily through the Conservative Party during his 30-year career. Boundary changes lead to the abolition of his constituency at the February 1974 general election but he finds another and returns to the Commons at the October 1974 general election. He is badly injured by an IRA bomb while serving as Minister of State for Northern Ireland. He serves in a number of other Cabinet posts, including Secretary of State for Defence.

Simon's biggest rival is Charles Gurney Seymour, an aristocratic Conservative MP who does everything he can to stymie and sidetrack him. Simon narrowly survives each attempt to bring him down, and ultimately defeats him in a closely fought contest to be elected Leader of the Conservative Party.

The novel culminates in an extremely close general election in 1991 (the novel was published in 1984). Labour Party leader Raymond Gould becomes Prime Minister in the original British edition of the novel, which ends with King Charles III inviting Kerslake to Buckingham Palace and informing him that he intends to make Gould his first Prime Minister. However, in the U.S. edition, Gould is invited to Buckingham Palace. King Charles III then informs him that in fact, Kerslake is to become the Prime Minister.

See also[edit]