Maurice Peston, Baron Peston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Lord Peston
Born 19 March 1931
London, U.K.
Died 23 April 2016(2016-04-23) (aged 85)
Alma mater
Occupation economist and Labour life peer
Spouse(s) Helen Conroy
Children 3
Parent(s) Abraham Peston
Yetta Malt

Maurice Harry Peston, Baron Peston (19 March 1931 – 23 April 2016[1]), was an English economist and Labour life peer.[2] His research interests included macroeconomic policy and the economics of education.[3]


Peston was born in 1931 in London, the son of Abraham Peston and Yetta R. (née Malt) Peston. He was educated at Belle Vue Boys' School, Bradford, West Yorkshire,[2] and Hackney Downs School. He graduated from the London School of Economics and undertook postgraduate study at Princeton University.[4] He married Helen Conroy in London in 1958.[5]

The couple believed passionately in state education, and sent all of their three children to the local comprehensive, Highgate Wood School, Crouch End, north London.[6] One of their children is the journalist Robert Peston, currently ITV's political editor.



Peston founded the economics department at Queen Mary College, London, and advised various government departments and Labour Secretaries of State from the 1960s through to the 1990s.[7] He remained an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the College until his death in 2016.[3]

House of Lords[edit]

Peston was created a life peer as Baron Peston, of Mile End, in Greater London, on 24 March 1987.[8] He immediately became Opposition Spokesperson for Energy (until 1997) and Education & Science (until 1997).[9] He served as Opposition Spokesperson on the Treasury (1990–92) and Trade & Industry (1992–97).[9] He chaired the House of Lords Offices Refreshments Sub-committee from 1993 to 1997.[9]

When Labour took over government, he chaired the influential House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs from 1998 until 2005.[9] Since then he has worked on the Lords Constitution Committee, and on the committee reviewing the BBC Charter.[9]

Other interests[edit]

Lord Peston was a patron of the British Humanist Association,[10] as well as an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. In the House, he spoke candidly about his existential views, describing himself as someone "who regards all religious belief as failing to meet even the most elementary epistemological and deontological criteria".[10]


  1. ^ Hattersley, Roy; Keegan, William (26 April 2016). "Lord Peston obituary". The Guardian. 
  2. ^ a b Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Department of Economics". Queen Mary College, London. 22 July 2008. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "Lord Peston – obituary". The Telegraph. 24 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Trasnscription of index of Births, Marriages and deaths in England and Wales". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  6. ^ Grice, Elizabeth (24 January 2008). "Robert Peston: 'I'm not going to become smooth and phoney'". London, UK: The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2008. 
  7. ^ Peston, Maurice (11 January 2004). "Treasure our golden oldies". London, UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2008. 
  8. ^ "No. 50879". The London Gazette. 3 April 1987. p. 4493. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Member Profile – Lord Peston". UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 October 2008. 
  10. ^ a b "BHA mourns its patron, Lord Peston". British Humanist Association. 25 April 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 

External links[edit]