David Triesman, Baron Triesman

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The Lord Triesman
Executive director - Salamanca Group
Assumed office
Chairman Advisory Board - Templewood Merchant Bank
Assumed office
Chairman - The Football Association
In office
Preceded by Geoff Thompson
Succeeded by David Bernstein
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
In office
Preceded by Bill Rammell
Succeeded by David Lammy
General Secretary of the Labour Party
In office
Preceded by Margaret McDonagh
Succeeded by Matt Carter
General Secretary of the Association of University Teachers
In office
Preceded by Diana Warwick
Succeeded by Sally Hunt
Personal details
Born David Maxim Triesman
(1943-10-30) 30 October 1943 (age 72)
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Other political
British Communist Party
Children 1 daughter
Alma mater University of Essex,
King's College, Cambridge
Occupation Academic, trade unionist, Merchant Banker, Politician
Profession Economist
Religion Judaism
Awards Hon Doctorates, etc: University of Northamptonshire, London South Bank University, University of Essex, Icebreaker Award for China-UK Relations

David Maxim Triesman, Baron Triesman (born 30 October 1943) is a British politician, Merchant Banker and former trade union leader.

Triesman is a Labour member of the House of Lords, having previously been a minister in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

A former Chairman of the Football Association, he now serves as HM Opposition (Labour) Lords Spokesman for Foreign Affairs since Cameron's Coalition Government.[1]


Triesman (named Maxim after Maxim Gorky, the Russian author, whom his mother admired) was born into a North London Jewish community, the son of Michael Triesman, of Belarusian and Latvian descent, and Rita Triesman (née Lubran) of French descent.

Triesman was educated at the Stationers' Company's School in London, before going up to the University of Essex and subsequently the University of Cambridge, Kings College.[2][3]

At Essex University, Triesman and a group of fellow students seized control declaring it a 'free university'.[4] He was subsequently suspended from Essex in 1968 after interrupting a meeting addressed by a defence industry scientist but readmitted after two weeks.[5]

Business career[edit]

Triesman has been involved in business in real estate, banking, publishing and fine art. He has served on the boards and advisory boards of several companies including chairing Victoria Management, the advisory board of UBS and Templewood Merchant Bank and some of its subsidiaries. He is an Executive Board member of the Salamanca Group and its subsidiaries, One Ocean Enterprises, Funding Affordable Homes (and its Housing Association).

Politics and union career[edit]

In 1959, aged 16, Triesman became a member of the Labour Party but eleven years later resigned and joined the Communist Party where he remained until the autumn of 1976, when he rejoined the Labour Party.

For a number of years he was a Lecturer and research director, and union leader at South Bank Polytechnic (now London South Bank University).

Triesman first became a full-time union official of NATFHE in 1984, with the post of National Negotiating Secretary. He was General Secretary of the Association of University Teachers from 1993 until 2001 and the General Secretary of the Labour Party from 2001 to Dec 2003.[2] He was created a Life Peer on 9 January 2004 taking the title Baron Triesman, of Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey,[6] prior to which he was elected a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge in 2000, for the study of economics and Higher Education. He has published a number of academic papers in economics and epidemiology. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Warwick and a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. Triesman is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and the Royal Society of Arts. In 2015, he was awarded the Icebreaker Award by the Chinese Ambassador to the UK for services to Chinese-UK relations including football.

Triesman is also a member of the Henry Jackson Society's Political Council.,[7] and a member of the European Leadership Network Board and Top Level Group.

Government office[edit]

Under Tony Blair's third Labour administration, Triesman served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for relations with Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Overseas Territories, the Commonwealth, UK visas, migration policy working directly to the Prime Minister, consular policy, the British Council, the BBC World Service and the Chevening Scholarships Scheme. During this period he conducted negotiations with Iran to secure the release of a group of British naval and marine personnel who had been taken prisoner in the Upper Persian Gulf. In the reshuffle of 29 June 2007, he was moved to the newly created post of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. In this role he had responsibility for quality in higher education, innovation and intellectual property and future planning. In 2004, he was appointed as a Lord in Waiting. He is a member of the European Affairs External Affairs Select Committee. He is chairman of the Design Commission. He is co-chairman of the All Party St Lucia Group and a member of the All Party China and Chinese in Britain Group.

He was critical of Gordon Brown's premiership, making critical remarks after the 2010 General Election campaign, saying: "I think Gordon Brown's been awful."[8]

Football administration[edit]

A longtime fan of Tottenham Hotspur and Patron of the club's charitable Foundation, Triesman became the first independent Chairman of the Football Association in January 2008.[9] Triesman was a Board member at Wembley National Stadium, the Premier League shareholders' meeting, and the Football Foundation, He is a qualified senior football referee.

In February 2011, a few months after giving up The FA chairmanship, he testified before a parliamentary committee on the state of the administration of English football. He was heavily critical of the FA, saying it was shying away from governing the game. He was especially damning of the FA's administrative procedures and its working relationship with other football bodies, in particular the Premier League.[10]

Comments about FIFA bribery allegations[edit]

On 16 May 2010, the Mail on Sunday revealed that Melissa Jacobs, a civil servant and blogger,[8][11] subsequently dismissed from the Civil Service, had secretly tape-recorded Triesman in a restaurant, and with convicted and disgraced publicist Max Clifford, sold the tape to The Mail on Sunday. He made comments about alleged bribery attempts by Spain and Russia of referees in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Triesman asserted, "there’s some evidence that the Spanish football authorities are trying to identify the referees ... and pay them."[12] It was announced that he was to 'quit' both the FA and England's 2018 bid.[13][14] On 10 May 2011, Triesman, speaking before a British parliamentary select committee, affirmed his suspicions of bribery concerning four FIFA members, claiming that they sought bribes in return for backing England's failed 2018 World Cup bid.[15] Whilst the FIFA Executive Committee dismissed the allegations, all the FIFA officials named have subsequently been either convicted of offences, or face extradition to the USA for trial. They with other FIFA executives have been banned for different periods from all contact with football.

Personal life[edit]

Triesman spent many years in a relationship with the writer and critic Michelene Wandor until they split up in the late 1990s.[2] He is married and has a daughter.


  1. ^ www.labourlords.org.uk
  2. ^ a b c Francis Beckett (1 October 2001). "New Labour and proud of it". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Eason, Kevin (16 May 2010). "Lord Triesman was out of touch and always doomed to fail". The Times. London. 
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ Lipsett, Anthea (18 October 2007). "Former radical appointed students minister". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 October 2007. 
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 57178. p. 443. 14 January 2004.
  7. ^ "Advisory Council - Political Council members". Henry Jackson Society. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Gallagher, Ian (15 May 2010). "FA chief Lord Triesman accuses Spain and Russia of bid to bribe World Cup referees". Mail on Sunday. London. 
  9. ^ www.thefa.com
  10. ^ Damning criticism of English FA, RTHK, 9 February 2011
  11. ^ Patrick Foster (17 May 2010). "Melissa Jacobs: the civil servant blogger with 'beautiful eyes'". The Times. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Matthew Syed (17 May 2010). "It's a travesty that Triesman has been forced out". The Times. 
  13. ^ "Lord Triesman quits FA and 2018 World Cup bid jobs". BBC. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  14. ^ Gallagher, Ian (16 May 2010). "FA chief Lord Triesman quits England's 2018 bid after accusing Spain and Russia of trying to bribe World Cup referees". The Mail on Sunday. London. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "Ex-FA boss makes Fifa bribe claim". BBC News. 10 May 2011. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Rammell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
Succeeded by
David Lammy
Party political offices
Preceded by
Margaret McDonagh
General Secretary of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Matt Carter
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Diana Warwick
General Secretary of the Association of University Teachers
Succeeded by
Sally Hunt