Cubbon was educated at Bury Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He became Permanent Under Secretary of State (the senior civil servant in charge of a Government department) of the Northern Ireland Office from 1976 to 1979 and Permanent Secretary of the Home Office from 1979 to 1988. He was a Press Complaints Commission Commissioner from 1995 to 2002.
Cubbon was injured in an IRA bomb explosion in which the British Ambassador to Ireland, Christopher Ewart-Biggs, was killed in 1976. The car in which the party was travelling was blown up by a bomb concealed in a culvert under the road. Cubbon's Private Secretary, Judith Cooke, was also killed, and the driver, Brian O'Driscoll, was injured.
He died of a heart attack on 20 May 2015 at the age of 87.
Sir Robert Armstrong
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Sir Clive Whitmore
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