Philip Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Harris of Peckham
Born Philip Harris
(1942-09-15) 15 September 1942 (age 74)
Peckham, London, England, UK
Residence London
Nationality United Kingdom British
Occupation Businessman
Known for Carpetright, Harris Federation, Arsenal FC
Net worth £285 million (2006)
Political party Conservative Party (UK)
Spouse(s) Pauline

Philip Charles Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham (born 15 September 1942 in Peckham, South London) is an English Conservative member of the House of Lords and businessman.

Business interests[edit]

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[edit]

He was appointed to the board of Arsenal Football Club as a non-executive director in November 2005.

Conservative Party donations[edit]

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".[1]

British education and Harris Federation[edit]

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.[2] 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.[3]

Equestrian interests[edit]

Lord Harris is the co-owner of the Olympic gold medal-winning horse Hello Sanctos ridden by Scott Brash in the team show jumping event at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.[4]

Lord Harris and Lord Kirkham bought the horse for an estimated 2 million at the start of 2012. They are also co-owners of the horses Hello Sailor, Hello Unique and Hello Boyo. [5]

Personal life[edit]

In 1960, Philip Harris married Pauline Chumley. The couple have a daughter Susan, and sons; Martin, Peter and Charles.

His wife Pauline was appointed an DBE in 2004 and a DL in 2005.

Sunday Times Rich List[edit]

Lord Harris ranked 206th in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006, with an estimated wealth of £285m. (2004 162nd £254m, 2005 192nd £250m).


He was Knighted in 1985.[6]

He was made a Life peer as Baron Harris of Peckham, in the London Borough of Southwark on 11 January 1996.[7]


  1. ^ Independent
  2. ^ "South Norwood residents demand Stanley's name is retained at new Harris Academy". Croydon Labour. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  3. ^ "Primary school parents in row over takeover by academy chain". The Guardian. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  4. ^ "London 2012 Olympics: Team GB's triumphant show-jumping team grateful for loyal owners". Daily Telegraph. 
  5. ^ "The team". Graham & Tina Fletcher. 
  6. ^ "No. 50221". The London Gazette. 6 August 1985. p. 10816. 
  7. ^ "No. 54291". The London Gazette. 17 January 1996. p. 747.