Philip Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Harris of Peckham
15 September 1942
Peckham, London, England, UK
|Known for||Carpetright, Harris Federation, Arsenal FC|
|Net worth||£285 million (2006)|
|Political party||Conservative Party (UK)|
Harris was the chairman of Carpetright plc and has over 50 years’ experience in carpet retailing. He was chairman and chief executive of Harris Carpets. Harris Carpets acquired Queensway in 1977 to become Harris Queensway plc until the company was taken over in 1988. Lord Harris was also a non-executive director of Great Universal Stores plc for 18 years, retiring from the GUS Board in July 2004. Lord Harris became a non-executive director of Matalan in October 2004.
Arsenal Football Club
Conservative Party donations
Harris made donations to David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party. He is considered to be one of his personal friends. He is said to have played a role in convincing Cameron to contest the party's leadership in the summer of 2005. His ties to Cameron came under scrutiny two years later when it appeared that Andrew Feldman, a political associate of his and a fellow donor to Cameron's leadership campaign, used Harris's name to claim privileges accorded to active members of the House of Lords (which Harris, his peerage notwithstanding, had never been). A report in The Independent newspaper quoted a senior member of the Lords Privileges Committee as suggesting the allegation shows how fundraising "pollutes our politics".
British education and Harris Federation
He has contributed extensively to education and as a result, many schools and colleges (such as Harris Manchester College, Oxford) bear his name. Through the Harris Federation, many secondary schools in South London have received Harris donations. In the London Borough of Croydon, he helped to found the Harris City Technology College, Harris Academy South Norwood and Harris Academy Merton, Harris Academy Purley, Harris Academy Chafford Hundred, although many local residents are angered that the original name of the South Norwood site, Stanley Technical High School, was dropped in place of the Harris name. In recent years, the forced change to academy status has placed additional schools under the management of the Harris Federation despite considerable opposition from Boards of Governors and parents.
In 1960, Philip Harris married Pauline Chumley. The couple have a daughter Susan, and sons; Martin, Peter and Charles.
Sunday Times Rich List
Lord Harris ranked 206th in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006, with an estimated wealth of £285m. (2004 162nd £254m, 2005 192nd £250m).
- "South Norwood residents demand Stanley's name is retained at new Harris Academy". Croydon Labour. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
- "Primary school parents in row over takeover by academy chain". The Guardian. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- "London 2012 Olympics: Team GB's triumphant show-jumping team grateful for loyal owners". Daily Telegraph.
- "The team". Graham & Tina Fletcher.
- "No. 50221". The London Gazette. 6 August 1985. p. 10816.
- "No. 54291". The London Gazette. 17 January 1996. p. 747.