George Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie

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The Viscount Younger of Leckie

George Younger.JPEG
Secretary of State for Defence
In office
7 January 1986 – 24 July 1989
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byMichael Heseltine
Succeeded byTom King
Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
4 May 1979 – 7 January 1986
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byBruce Millan
Succeeded byMalcolm Rifkind
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
18 February 1975 – 15 January 1976
LeaderMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byPeter Walker
Succeeded byIan Gilmour
Minister of State for Defence
In office
8 January 1974 – 4 March 1974
Prime MinisterTed Heath
Preceded byIan Gilmour
Succeeded byWilliam Rodgers
Under Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
24 June 1970 – 8 January 1974
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byBruce Millan
Succeeded byTeddy Taylor
Member of Parliament
for Ayr
In office
15 October 1964 – 9 April 1992
Preceded byThomas Moore
Succeeded byPhil Gallie
Personal details
Born(1931-09-22)22 September 1931
Stirling, Scotland, UK
Died26 January 2003(2003-01-26) (aged 71)
Gargunnock, Scotland, UK
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Diana Tuck (1932–2015)
Alma materNew College, Oxford
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
UnitArgyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Battles/warsKorean War

George Kenneth Hotson Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie, Baron Younger of Prestwick, KT, KCVO, TD, PC (22 September 1931 – 26 January 2003),[1] was a British politician and banker.

Early life and career[edit]

Younger's forebearer, George Younger (baptised 1722), was the founder of George Younger and Son of Alloa, the family's brewing business (not to be confused with Younger's of Edinburgh). Younger's great-grandfather, George Younger, was created Viscount Younger of Leckie in 1923. Younger was the eldest of the three sons of Edward Younger, 3rd Viscount Younger of Leckie.

He was born in Stirling in 1931 and educated at Cargilfield Preparatory School, Winchester College, and New College, Oxford, where he obtained a Master's degree. Joining the British Army, he served in the Korean War with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. On 7 August 1954, he married Diana Tuck, daughter of a Royal Navy captain; they had 4 children.[2]

Political career[edit]

He first stood for Parliament, unsuccessfully, in North Lanarkshire in the 1959 General Election. Subsequently, he was initially selected to stand for the Kinross and West Perthshire seat in a by-election in late 1963, but agreed to stand aside to allow the new Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home the chance to enter the House of Commons.

Following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather the 1st Viscount, Younger became Member of Parliament for Ayr in 1964 and served as Margaret Thatcher's Secretary of State for Scotland for seven years. He subsequently succeeded Michael Heseltine as Secretary of State for Defence in 1986 when Heseltine resigned from the cabinet over a dispute about helicopters known as the Westland crisis.

Later years[edit]

Younger quit the cabinet in 1989, and joined the Royal Bank of Scotland, becoming its chairman in 1992. He was created a life peer as Baron Younger of Prestwick, of Ayr in the District of Kyle and Carrick, on 7 July 1992, five years before succeeding to the viscountcy. As such, he continued to sit in the House of Lords after the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999 which expelled most of the hereditary peers.



  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)
  • Burke's Peerage & Baronetage (106th edition, 1999). Editor-in-chief: Charles Mosley; publisher: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Moore
Member of Parliament
for Ayr

Succeeded by
Phil Gallie
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Walker
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Succeeded by
Ian Gilmour
Preceded by
Bruce Millan
Secretary of State for Scotland
Succeeded by
Malcolm Rifkind
Preceded by
Michael Heseltine
Secretary of State for Defence
Succeeded by
Tom King
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Younger
Viscount Younger of Leckie
Succeeded by
James Younger