Patricia Rawlings, Baroness Rawlings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Patricia Elizabeth Rawlings, Baroness Rawlings (born 27 January 1939) is a Conservative Party politician and former frontbencher in the House of Lords. She was also a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1989 to 1994.

Baroness Rawlings was Chairman of King's College London Council 1998–2007, and she was made a Fellow of King's College (FKC) in 2003. She has been President of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations since 2002, and President of the British Antique Dealers' Association 2005-2013. She is also a trustee of the Chevening Estate.


Rawlings was educated in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. She trained as a nurse at Westminster Hospital and is an active member of the British Red Cross (she was awarded the British Red Cross national Badge of Honour in 1987). She was a mature student at University College London and studied for a postgraduate diploma in International Relations from the London School of Economics. She was awarded an Hon DLitt from the University of Buckingham in 1998.

Political career[edit]

Rawlings was elected at the 1989 European election as the MEP for Essex South West. That constituency was abolished for the 1994 European election when she was defeated by Labour's Hugh Kerr in the new Essex West and Hertfordshire East constituency.

She was created a life peer with the title Baroness Rawlings, of Burnham Westgate in the County of Norfolk on 5 October 1994 and entered the House of Lords where she has held several frontbench positions.[citation needed] She served as an Opposition Whip (1997–1998), Spokesperson on Culture, Media and Sport (1997–1998), Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1998–2010) and International Development (1998–2010). Following the 2010 general election, she served as the Government Whip with responsibility for Culture, Media and Sport and for Scotland.

She retired from Government on 25 June 2012.[1]


In 2002 Baroness Rawlings became involved in a controversy over a 1.8-acre (7,300 m2) piece of land, owned by King's College London, and formerly owned by St Thomas' Hospital. King's had instructed Jones Lang LaSalle to value the site, resulting in a valuation of £10 million.[citation needed] An offer to buy the land for up to £24 million came unexpectedly from the Aga Khan Development Network, causing opposition from St Thomas’.[2] It was rumoured that Baroness Rawlings had engineered the unsolicited offer[citation needed] which she strenuously denied, saying that as Chairman of King's College London Council she knew absolutely nothing about any such bid.[citation needed] Baroness Rawlings insisted that it was a valuable part of the King’s College London estate and that it should be sold to the highest bidder on the open market. The College eventually decided to retain the property.

Personal life[edit]

Patricia Rawlings was married in 1962 to businessman David Wolfson, now Baron Wolfson of Sunningdale, but divorced in 1967; both partners held noble titles in their own right. She was the Honorary Secretary of Grillion's dining club, and a member of the Pilgrims Society.

She lives in Burnham Westgate Hall, a Sir John Soane designed house in Norfolk.

Foreign orders and decorations[edit]

  • In 1991 Patricia Rawlings is the first British woman to be awarded the Order of the Rose (Silver), which was bestowed upon her by President Zhelyu Zhelev of Bulgaria, in recognition of her interest in Bulgaria. Rawlings is permitted to wear the decoration whenever she visits Bulgaria or goes to the Bulgarian embassy.
  • For services to Anglo-Brazilian relations, she was awarded the Grand Official, Order of the Southern Cross from the Republic of Brazil in 1998.



External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alexander Sherlock
Member of the European Parliament for Essex South West
Constituency abolished
(see Essex West & Hertfordshire East)