Michael Chan, Baron Chan

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The Lord Chan of Oxton
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
2 June 2001 – 21 January 2006
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born6 March 1940
Singapore, Straits Settlements
Died21 January 2006(2006-01-21) (aged 65)
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Political partyCrossbencher
Spouse(s)Irene Chee
ChildrenRuth Chan
Stephen Chan
  • Physician
  • politician

Michael Chew Koon Chan, Baron Chan MBE (Chinese: 曾秋坤; 6 March 1940 – 21 January 2006) was a SingaporeanBritish physician and politician.

Early life and education[edit]

Chan was born in Singapore into a Christian home to Chieu Kim Chan (Headmaster of Raffles Institution) and his wife Rosie.[1]

Chan was educated at Raffles Institution, and moved to the United Kingdom to study medicine at Guy's Hospital Medical School. He trained as a paediatrician, specialising in blood diseases. He returned to Singapore after his studies, becoming a lecturer and consultant pediatrician at the University of Singapore, but returned to the UK in 1974 to study Von Willebrand's disease at the University of London Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Medical career and politics[edit]

Chan moved to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1976, where he remained until 1994 as a senior clinical lecturer and consultant pediatrician. He was director of the National Health Service Ethnic Health Unit in Leeds between 1994 and 1997, and was successively director of two NHS primary health trusts from 1999.[2]

He was also active in the field of race relations, serving as an advisor to the Home Secretary and then as a Commissioner for the Commission for Racial Equality between 1990 and 1995, and as a member of the Sentencing Panel from 1999. He became a member of the Press Complaints Commission in 2002, and he was chairman of the Chinese in Britain Forum. He was a committed Christian and elder of the Liverpool Chinese Gospel Church, undertaking various charitable works, for which he was appointed MBE in 1991.[1]

He was created a life peer (appointed members of the U.K. peerage whose titles cannot be inherited, in contrast to hereditary peers) on 2 June 2001, becoming Baron Chan, of Oxton in the County of Merseyside,[3] chosen as a "People's Peer." He sat as a crossbencher. He became the second person of Chinese descent to take a seat in either of the Houses of Parliament, after Baroness Dunn. Chan is survived by his wife Irene Wei-Len Chee, his son, Stephen, and daughter, Ruth.[1]

Since Chan's death, Lord Wei has been the only ethnic Chinese Peer in the House of Lords, as Baroness Dunn gave up her seat in the Lords in order to retain her non-domiciled tax status following the passing of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Michael Chew Koon Chan, Lord Chan of Oxton". Royal College of Physicians. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  2. ^ Roth, Andrew (13 February 2006). "Obituary: Lord Chan". Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  3. ^ "No. 56232". The London Gazette. 13 June 2001. p. 6953.
  4. ^ "Four non-dom peers leaving Lords". BBC News. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Letter from Baroness Dunn to the House of Lords - a Freedom of Information request to House of Lords". WhatDoTheyKnow. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2021.

Further reading[edit]