John Roper, Baron Roper

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Roper
House of Lords Chief Whip, Liberal Democrats
In office
7 June 2001 – 5 May 2005
Leader Charles Kennedy
Preceded by John Harris, Baron Harris of Greenwich
Succeeded by David Shutt, Baron Shutt of Greetland
Director, Institute for Security Studies of Western European Union
In office
April 1990 – September 1995
Chief Whip, Social Democrat Party
In office
26 March 1981 – 9 June 1983
Leader Roy Jenkins
Preceded by Office Created
Succeeded by John Cartwright
Member of Parliament
for Farnworth
In office
18 June 1970 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by Ernest Thornton
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1935-10-09) 9 October 1935 (age 80)
Political party Labour Co-operative (1970-81); Social Democratic Party (1981-88); Liberal Democrats (1988-)
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford; University of Chicago

John Francis Hodgess Roper, Baron Roper (born 10 September 1935), is a British politician.

Early life[edit]

John Roper was educated at William Hulme's Grammar School (Manchester), Reading School, Magdalen College, Oxford (studying PPE), and the University of Chicago. He started his career as an economics lecturer at the University of Manchester.

Political career[edit]

Roper first stood for Parliament for High Peak as a Labour candidate in 1964. He was elected Member of Parliament for Farnworth in 1970. He sat as a Labour Co-operative MP (1970–81) and for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) from 1981 to 1983, when he was also the party's Chief Whip. His Farnworth seat was subsequently abolished, and he contested Worsley at the 1983 general election, finishing third in a three-way marginal.

House of Lords[edit]

On 12 May 2000 he was created a Life peer as Baron Roper, of Thorney Island in the City of Westminster.[1] He was the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the House of Lords until 2005. He was subsequently appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. In 2008, he was elected Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees. He retired from the House of Lords on 23 May 2015.[2]

Stasi allegations[edit]

He has controversially been accused by Anthony Glees of being a Stasi "agent of some influence" during his time at Chatham House.[3][4] Lord Roper rejects the charge indignantly. He says he was engaged in building bridges with East Germany in the 1980s as part of a Foreign Office-approved policy of thawing relations.

"He was deceived, he says, about the background of an undercover Stasi officer he employed as a research fellow when he was director of studies at Chatham House." [5]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ernest Thornton
Member of Parliament for Farnworth
Constituency abolished