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Derek Laud

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Derek Laud
Born Derek George Henry Laud
(1964-08-09) 9 August 1964 (age 52)
London, United Kingdom
Residence London, United Kingdom
Citizenship United Kingdom
Education Falconbrook House School
Occupation Speechwriter, lobbyist
Employer Stanhope Capital
Known for Big Brother
Political party Conservatives
Parent(s) Lyn and Samuel Laud[1]

Derek George Henry Laud (born 9 August 1964) is a British lobbyist, businessman, political adviser, speechwriter, and journalist. He received public attention when he was a contestant in the 2005 series of the British reality television show Big Brother. Laud is co-founder and the executive director of the New City Initiative, a think tank and financial lobbying company.[2] He is also a partner, partnership secretary, Director of the Advisory Board, and Director of Corporate Affairs at wealth management company Stanhope Capital LLP. Laud was the first black member of the Conservative Monday Club and first black master of foxhounds in the United Kingdom.

Early life and education[edit]

Derek Laud was born on 9 August 1964 in Chelsea, London. His parents, Lyn and Samuel Laud, had emigrated to the United Kingdom from Jamaica in the late 1950s.[1] Laud's mother was a nurse and his father left the family when Laud was eight.[1]

As a child, Laud became close to two middle-aged sisters, Anne and Cecily Meehan, and went to live with them in Clapham following a breakdown in his relationship with his mother as a result of his revealing to her that he was homosexual at the age of 14; Laud had known that he was gay since he was eight.[1] Laud was later reconciled with his mother after a near-20-year estrangement.[1] Anne Meehan was deputy headmistress of Falconbrook House School in Clapham, which Laud attended, and Cecily worked as a child psychologist. In an article for the Daily Mail in 2007 Laud described the sisters' importance in his life, and how he consults them on every major decision.[1]



In the early 1980s, Laud became the first black member of the Conservative Monday Club.[3] In October 1984, Laud produced a policy paper under the auspices of the Club's Immigration and Race Relations Committee titled "The Law, Order and Race Relations". Laud considered himself on the liberal wing of the Club, and resigned following disagreements about apartheid South Africa.[4] He later wrote that until he became a member of the Club "I hadn't appreciated just how absurdly nasty this fringe group of lunatics really were".[4]

Laud subsequently became a researcher and special adviser, working for Conservative Members of Parliament and government ministers in the mid-1980s. Laud also worked as an advisor to Sir Gordon Downey, the former Auditor General, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and Chairman of the Personal Investment Authority.[2]

In the second half of the 1980s, Laud became an aide and speechwriter for then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.[5][6] During this period, Laud also contributed to speeches for other leading Conservative politicians including Alan Clark and Michael Heseltine.[5][7] Laud was a campaign aide and fundraiser for then Prime Minister John Major during the 1992 general election campaign.[6]

In the 1997 general election, Laud was selected as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Tottenham, a constituency with a large non-white population that had been represented by black Labour MPs since 1987, but stepped down shortly before the election citing "business reasons".[8] The Daily Telegraph reported that Laud had withdrawn his candidacy after being convicted for drink driving in the United States.[9] Laud was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to keep right, and driving without a licence in the August 1996 incident. Three people in a car struck by Laud suffered physical injuries.[6]


In the mid-1980s, Laud worked for Strategy Network International (SNI), a lobbying company linked with apartheid South Africa and UNITA, the Angolan armed opposition group. Laud recommended the recruitment of Conservative Members of Parliament Michael Colvin and Neil Hamilton as consultants for SNI.[10]

During the late 1980s, Laud worked in private equity finance for John Beckwith, and was a director of numerous companies owned and controlled by the Pacific Group.

In 1992 Laud co-founded the lobbying company Ludgate Laud with Michael Colvin.[11] In 1996 Laud acquired part of Ludgate Laud with an annual fee income of around £500,000 from the public relations company Ludgate Communications.[12]

Laud is a partner, partnership secretary, Director of the Advisory Board, and Director of Corporate Affairs at wealth management company Stanhope Capital LLP.[13]

Laud is also co-founder and the executive director of New City Initiative, a think tank and financial lobbying company.[2]


In 2015 he published The Problem With Immigrants[14] through political publishing house Biteback.

Media appearances[edit]

Big Brother[edit]

Laud was a contestant on Big Brother in 2005, the sixth series of the British reality television series Big Brother, in which a number of contestants live in an isolated house trying to avoid being evicted by the public.[15][16] Laud was the tenth person to be evicted from the Big Brother House after losing in a head-to-head with Eugene Sully.[17]


Laud makes regular appearances on radio and television, appearing regularly on Sky News, The Alan Titchmarsh Show and BBC Radio 5 Live.[citation needed] Laud appeared on a charity edition of the television quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? on 17 September 2005, partnering Edwina Currie.[18] Laud appeared on the BBC television discussion programme Question Time in November 2005.[19][20] He has also appeared as a guest on Graham Norton's The Bigger Picture.[citation needed]

Laud is a feature writer for The Mail on Sunday.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

An enthusiastic fox hunter, Laud was made Master of Foxhounds for the New Forest Hunt in 1999, becoming the first black master of foxhounds in the United Kingdom.[21][22]

Laud is an advocate for the gambling addiction charity GamCare[23] and the dog protection charity Dogs Trust, the latter of which was his chosen charity when he appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.[24]

Laud's nickname is "Golly", in reference to his collection of Robertson's jam golliwoggs.[25] Laud was reported to have been writing his memoirs in September 2005.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Laud, Derek (2 June 2007). "My two mothers...and how they saved my life by Big Brother's Derek Laud". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "NCI: Board of Directors". New City Initiative. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Big Brother's Tory is 'friend of Camilla'". Daily Mail. London. 3 June 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Laud, Derek (12 June 2011). "I liked Speaker Bercow until I realised I was one of the 'immigrants' about whom he was then so disparaging". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Stone-Lee, Ollie (5 October 2005). "Big Brother Derek Backs Cameron". BBC News. 
  6. ^ a b c Tuma, Debbie (5 March 1997). "Ex-thatcher Aide Sued In L.i. Crash". New York Daily News. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Black Tory leads white witch into the transparent Big Brother house". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 28 May 2005. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Sengupta, Kim (22 March 1997). "Bernie Grant's foe faces deselection". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Wormesley, Tara; Foster, Peter. "Dinner guests whose testimony will count". The Daily Telegraph. Londondate=13 August 2001accessdate=11 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Davies, Patricia Wynn; Dowden, Richard; Carlin, John (26 October 1994). "The Attack on Sleaze: How apartheid regime set out to woo Tories". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  11. ^ Roth, Andrew (25 February 2000). "Obituary: Michael Colvin". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Dowman, Rebecca (12 June 1996). "Ludgate Laud splits in two as Laud goes solo". PR Week UK (via Brand Republic). Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Stanhope Capital: The Stanhope Team". Stanhope Capital. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Laud, Derek (27 January 2015). The Problem With Immigrants. Biteback. p. 336. ISBN 9781849547215. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "Millions tune into Big Brother 6". BBC News. 28 May 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Vote me out... so that I can stay!". Daily Mail. London. 29 May 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Big Brother boot for Derek Laud". BBC News. 5 August 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?: Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?". BFI. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "This week's panel". BBC. 16 November 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Housemate attacks Makosi decision". BBC News. 18 November 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  21. ^ Cook, Emma (18 July 1999). "Derek Laud; Melvyn Bragg; Harry Enfield; PJ Harvey; Ivan Massow; Simon Bates; Paula Hamilton; Gary Bushell; What do all these people have in common? They support hunting". The Independent on Sunday. London. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  22. ^ Pook, Sally (4 September 2003). "Black woman is new face of the hunt". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Charities 'need to inform donors about trusteeships'". Capital Society. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  24. ^ "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?". Locate TV. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  25. ^ Laud, Derek (18 January 2009). "My nickname is Golly, but I don't insist on it". The Independent on Sunday. London. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Spare the Rod, begs Llewellyn". Daily Mail. London. 19 September 2005. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 

External links[edit]