Colin Moynihan, 4th Baron Moynihan
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Moynihan
|Minister for Sport|
22 June 1987 – 26 July 1990
|Prime Minister||Margaret Thatcher|
|Preceded by||Richard Tracey|
|Succeeded by||Robert Atkins|
|Member of Parliament
for Lewisham East
9 June 1983 – 9 April 1992
|Preceded by||Roland Moyle|
|Succeeded by||Bridget Prentice|
13 September 1955 |
|Spouse(s)||Gaynor-Louise (née Metcalf)|
|Children||2 sons (Nicholas and George); 1 daughter (India)|
|Alma mater||University College, Oxford|
|Profession||Sports administrator/ Parliamentarian/ Businessman|
|Representing Great Britain|
|1980 Moscow||Men's Eight|
|World Rowing Championships|
|1981 Munich||Men's Eight|
Colin Berkeley Moynihan, 4th Baron Moynihan (born 13 September 1955) is a British Olympic coxswain, businessman, Conservative politician and sports administrator. Colin Moynihan (or Lord Moynihan, as he is formally styled) served as chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA) from 2005–2012.
Moynihan is the son of Patrick Moynihan, 2nd Baron Moynihan, by his second wife June Elizabeth Hopkins, daughter of Arthur Stanley Covacic Hopkins. He was educated in the state system, including at secondary level, but studied at Monmouth School with a Music Scholarship from 1968 to 1973. In 1968 he won a Gold Medal in the Home Countries International Regatta, coxing the Welsh Senior Rowing IV. He was selected to tour the United States in 1973 as a member of the British Swifts Golf Team. In 1974 he went up to University College, Oxford, graduating in 1977 with a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (proceeding MA in 1982). He was a "double blue" coxing the victorious Oxford University crew in the 1977 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and boxing against Cambridge in the Bantamweight division. He beat Benazir Bhutto in the election for the Presidency of the Oxford Union in 1976 and won the Trans-Atlantic Universities Debating Competition the same year. In 1977, he was awarded the Fiddian Post-Graduate Research Scholarship in Politics at Brasenose College, Oxford, which he did not take up in favour of working at the Westburn sugar refinery in Greenock for Tate & Lyle. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy by the London Metropolitan University.
Sport and the Olympics
In 1978 Moynihan won a Gold Medal coxing the British Lightweight VIII in the World Rowing Championships held in Copenhagen. In the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games he was cox for the Great Britain men's rowing VIII winning a Silver Medal; during the race, the steering cables to the rudder broke and Moynihan had to reach behind him to grasp the rudder bar. In this unorthodox – and extremely difficult – manner, he steered the boat for most of the race. He did this so well, that most of the crew did not realise what had happened until after the race was over. In the 1981 Munich World Championships he coxed the British VIII to Silver Medal success.
Since 1978 he has, at different times, been a Trustee of the Sports Aid Foundation, Governor of the Sports Aid Trust, Member of the Sports Council, Member of the Central Council for Physical Recreation's Enquiry into Sponsorship of Sport, a Trustee of the Oxford University Boat Club, Member of the Major Spectator Sports Committee of the Central Council for Physical Recreation, a Steward of the British Boxing Board of Control, Patron of the Bath University Amateur Boxing Club, Patron of the Uphill Ski Club, President of the British Biathlon Union, President of the Welsh Amateur Rowing Association and Chairman of the Paralympic World Cup in 2005. As a celebrated former University College Boat Club (Oxford) cox, he was invited to open the new University College Boathouse in Oxford in 2007.
Following his appointment in 1981 as one of Whitehall's earliest Political Advisers (working in the Foreign Office for Francis Pym, then Foreign Secretary), Moynihan was elected in 1983 as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Lewisham East. After chairing the World Youth Summit in Hiroshima and being an Official Commonwealth Observer at the Kenyan elections he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Kenneth Clarke in a number of Departments. From 1987 to 1990 he served as Minister for Sport in Margaret Thatcher's government. He was in this post at the time of the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster in which 96 football fans were killed, and visited the scene with Margaret Thatcher to meet with senior South Yorkshire police officers on the day after the tragedy.
Moynihan was at the centre of an abortive attempt to bring in an ID Card scheme for supporters of English Football League teams in the wake of repeated outbreaks of hooliganism in the late 1980s. However, these plans had to be abandoned following the Hillsborough disaster and the subsequent Taylor Report, but he eventually piloted the Football Spectators Bill through Parliament to address football hooliganism which included the introduction of CCTV cameras in all 92 League Grounds and a range of other measures to tackle hooliganism.
From 1987 to 1990 Moynihan was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment responsible for water privatisation, National Heritage, the National Rivers Authority, Inner City policy, planning and urban regeneration. During his time at the Department of the Environment he worked closely with Michael Howard who, when subsequently Leader of the Conservative Party, appointed Moynihan as his Special Adviser and Chairman of the Conservative Campaigning Board. From 1990–92 he was joint-Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy in both the Thatcher and Major governments responsible for oil, gas and renewable energy policy, a field in which he took a leading interest through the establishment of the first Government UK Renewable Energy Advisory Group which he chaired and the introduction of the first Non Fossil Fuel Obligation in Parliament which initiated Government support for renewable energy. During his time in the House of Commons, he chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on Afghanistan, was Hon. Secretary of the Conservative Foreign Affairs Committee, the Parliamentary British Latin America Group and the Parliamentary Friends of the British Council. Whilst Moynihan's House of Commons seat was lost to Labour's Bridget Prentice in the General Election of 1992, his half-brother's death in 1991 opened the door to him for continuing his political career in the House of Lords. From 1997 to 2000 Moynihan was a Shadow Senior Front Bench Foreign Affairs Spokesman for the Conservative Party and was elected as one of the hereditary peers to remain in the Upper House following the House of Lords Act 1999. He was Shadow Minister for Minister for Sport in the House of Lords from July 2003 to February 2005.
Moynihan started his business career working consecutively in Glasgow, Liverpool and the London docks with Tate & Lyle. He remained with the company for ten years with his last assignment being Chief Executive of Ridgways Tea & Coffee Merchants. After ten years in Parliament, Moynihan returned to the business world as Executive chairman and Chief Executive of Consort Resources Ltd and then Director of Clipper Windpower plc and Executive Chairman of Clipper Windpower Europe Ltd. He has held a series of non-executive directorships including Ranger Oil Ltd, in Canada and Rowan Companies Inc in the United States. From 2005 to 2011 he was Chairman of Pelamis Wave Power Ltd in Edinburgh. He is currently a non-Executive Director of the Rowan Companies plc, where he chairs Rowan's Health, Safety and Environment Committee. He is Chairman of the clean energy company, Hydrodec Group plc and chairman and Partner of the private equity group, Buckthorn Capital LLP.
A Freeman of the City of London, he was later admitted as a Liveryman of the Haberdashers' Company in 1981 becoming a member of the Haberdashers' Court of Assistants in 2002, Third Warden from 2013–2014, chairs the Haberdashers' Education Foundation and is a member of the Haberdashers' Company Finance Committee.
The barony of Moynihan was deemed to have become dormant on the death of the 3rd Baron in 1991. Colin Moynihan spent the following five years engaged in proving his claim to the title. This was complex due to the number of the 3rd Baron's marriages and questions over their legality and the legitimacy of his sons. However, in 1997 the Committee for Privileges adjudicated:
...that neither of the two sons purporting to be the sons of the Third Baron can, in fact, be an heir to the peerage. In the case of the elder, Andrew, the committee was shown overwhelming genetic evidence that he cannot be the son of the late Lord Moynihan; and so far as the younger, Daniel, is concerned, the evidence clearly shows that he is the child of a bigamous marriage and is therefore illegitimate. In those circumstances, it is clear beyond doubt that the petitioner, Colin Moynihan, must be the rightful heir and that his Petitions must succeed.
A writ of summons was issued on 30 May 1997 confirming Colin Moynihan in the title of Baron Moynihan.
Lord Moynihan also succeeded as a baronet, a title granted to his family in 1922.
British Olympic Association
On 5 October 2005, Moynihan was elected Chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA), for the run-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games. He beat the 1968 Olympic hurdles champion, David Hemery, by a vote of 28 to 15. He was re-elected unopposed in 2008.
He has served on a number of Committees and Commissions for the International Olympic Committee including the IOC International Relations Commission, the IOC 2009 Congress Editorial Committee and as an Executive Board member of the Association of National Olympic Committees from 2006–2011. He was elected to the European Olympic Committee Executive Board in 2009. In the context of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Lord Moynihan was a Director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), where he also served on the LOCOG Audit Committee; a Trustee of International Inspiration and a member of the Olympic Board, which had oversight of the London 2012 Games.
Chairmanship controversy and resignation
In March 2011 it was reported that Moynihan's future as BOA chairman seemed in doubt, because of a dispute with the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics which revolved around the funding of the Paralympics. In April 2011 the dispute with the London Organising Committee who were supported by the International Olympic Committee was resolved with the BOA.
Lord Moynihan married Gaynor-Louise, only daughter of Paul Goodwin Metcalf, in 1992. They have two sons and a daughter:
- Hon Nicholas Ewen Berkeley Moynihan (born 31 March 1994)
- Hon George Edward Berkeley Moynihan (born 4 June 1995)
- Hon India Isabella Sarah Moynihan (born 2 September 1997)
Lord Moynihan formed part of the "Living Legends" art exhibition of 2014, with his head being body-cast by sculptor Louise Giblin (cast in 2012).
- The Honourable Colin Moynihan (1955–1983)
- The Honourable Colin Moynihan MP (1983–1992)
- The Honourable Colin Moynihan (1992–1997)
- The Rt Hon the Lord Moynihan (1997–)
In fact, although styled Lord Moynihan by some following the death of his half-brother, it was not until the Committee for Privileges found in his favour could he be properly so styled or take his seat in the House of Lords.
- Baron Moynihan
- Members of the House of Lords
- MPs elected in the UK general election, 1983 and 1987
- Rowing at the 1980 Summer Olympics
- thepeerage.com Colin Berkeley Moynihan, 4th Baron Moynihan
- Lords Hansard text for 20 Mar 1997 (170320-03)
- The London Gazette: . 8 May 1997.
- Moynihan named new BOA chairman, BBC News (5 October 2005)
- "Moynihan future in doubt over row". BBC News. 23 March 2011.
"LONDON 2012: Coe dismisses BOA legal threat as 'spurious' and 'depressing'".
BOA chairman Colin Moynihan has staked his future on the dispute and his position is looking increasingly isolated, as powerful figures in world sport line up against him and his organisation.
Gibson, Owen (7 April 2011). "BOA suspends arbitration case in Olympic cash row, but what next?". London: The Guardian.
It has been hard to find anyone outside the BOA with a good word to say about Moynihan in recent weeks. His negotiating tactics have left much to be desired as he has searched increasingly desperately for routes out of the organisation's short-term cashflow problems and for ways to match the BOA's long-term desire to be at the heart of the post-Games landscape.
"London 2012 board suspends Lord Moynihan and Andy Hunt". BBC. 24 March 2011.
Lord Moynihan told a BOA board meeting that he was determined to press on with the action against the London 2012 Organising Committee despite accusations that he is damaging crucial relationships within the Olympic movement, little more than a year before the Olympics begin.
"Lord Moynihan hopeful resolution to BOA and LOCOG's London 2012 cash row is near". Daily Mail. 30 March 2011.
BOA vice-chairman David Hemery – like Coe a former Olympic athletics gold medallist – expressed his disappointment over the ongoing row. Hemery said: 'I find it very sad that the focus has moved to almost a marriage dispute going on. I would have liked to see greater harmony expressed between the Olympic authorities and ourselves. 'We have for many years had a great relationship with LOCOG and Colin (Lord Moynihan) and Seb (Coe) have been friends for many years. To have this kind of public dispute, I do not think is good in general.'
Hart, Simon (25 March 2011). "London 2012 Olympics: Lord Moynihan faces backlash over legal fight with Games organising committee". Daily Telegraph.
Moynihan, who along with BOA chief executive Andy Hunt has been suspended from the Locog board until the dispute over Olympic cash has been resolved, will face accusations that he is taking the BOA down a highly damaging path when the leaders of all 33 summer and winter Olympic sports in Britain gather in London on Tuesday for what could be a stormy National Olympic Committee meeting.
"London 2012: Lord Moynihan and Andy Hunt excluded from Olympics board meetings". Daily Mirror.
The International Olympic Committee fully supports this position, as it said so clearly last week when it was asked by the BOA to define the surplus of the Games."It is very disappointing that this vision is being undermined by the BOA. The sooner we can all get back to focusing on the Games, the athletes and the sports, the better.
"PARALYMPIC CHIEF JOINS CASH ROW". Sporting Life.
A senior official of the International Paralympic Committee has claimed British Olympic chiefs have their facts wrong in their dispute with London organisers over money. Xavier Gonzalez, chief executive of the IPC, says the cash row is damaging to the London 2012 Games and called on the BOA to drop their legal action against the organising committee. BOA chairman Lord Moynihan has written to all Olympic sports claiming their cut of any surplus after the Games should not include the costs of staging the Paralympics.
- Kelso, Paul (19 April 2011). "London 2012 Olympics: BOA climbdown brings an end to Locog dispute". The Daily Telegraph.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has backed down from its central argument in its dispute with London 2012 organising committee (Locog), clearing the way for a settlement agreement signed last night and announced this morning.
- "London 2012 Organising Committee and British Olympic Association Sign Settlement Agreement".
- London 2012
- The Peerage, entry for 4th Baron Moynihan
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Lord Moynihan
- Debrett's People of Today
- Independent Sports Review information
- Ugandan Discussions – on the cover of Private Eye (Issue 692, 24 June 1988)
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Lewisham East
|Minister for Sport
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy
with Tony Baldry July–November 1990
David Heathcoat-Amory 1990–1992
(as Minister of State for Energy and Industry)
|Chairman of the British Olympic Association
The Lord Coe
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
Hon. Nicholas Moynihan
|Notes and references|
|1. Moynihan's claim to the title was not proved until 1997.|