Derek Spencer

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Sir Derek Spencer
Solicitor General for England and Wales
In office
15 April 1992 – 1 May 1997
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by Sir Nicholas Lyell
Succeeded by Charles Falconer
Member of Parliament
for Brighton Pavilion
In office
9 April 1992 – 1 May 1997
Preceded by Julian Amery
Succeeded by David Lepper
Member of Parliament
for Leicester South
In office
9 June 1983 – 11 June 1987
Preceded by Jim Marshall
Succeeded by Jim Marshall
Personal details
Born (1936-03-31) 31 March 1936 (age 80)
United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Keble College, Oxford

Sir Derek Harold Spencer, QC (born 31 March 1936),[1][2] is a British Conservative Party politician.

Education and Career[edit]

Born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, he was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School and Keble College, Oxford. He served as a Lieutenant in the King's Own Regiment from 1954-56.[3] He became a barrister in 1961 and 'took silk' as a QC in 1980.[4]

He is a Master of the Bench, Gray's Inn.

Politics career[edit]

Spencer was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Leicester South constituency in the Conservative landslide of 1983,[1] by just 7 votes — the smallest margin in the country. He lost the seat back to Labour in 1987.

Then he was elected for the marginal Brighton Pavilion seat in 1992,[2] when he was knighted and appointed Solicitor-General.

As Solicitor General he represented the government in several significant cases including Wingrove v UK (1997) about the application of blasphemy law under the Human Rights Act 1998.

In 1997,[2] however, he was defeated by Labour's David Lepper by 13,181 votes on a 13.5% swing.


  • Ex officio Bar Council, 1992–1997
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Northern Ireland Bar
  • South Eastern Circuit


Sir Derek has three sons (David, Andrew and Frederick) and one daughter (Caroline). His second wife, Caroline, died on 10 January 2003 of a heart attack.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jim Marshall
Member of Parliament for Leicester South
Succeeded by
Jim Marshall
Preceded by
Julian Amery
Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion
Succeeded by
David Lepper
Legal offices
Preceded by
Nicholas Lyell
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Charles Falconer