Peter Morrison

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The Right Honourable
Sir Peter Morrison
Peter Morrison, British MP and Conservative Party politician.jpg
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
In office
23 July – 28 November 1990
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Archie Hamilton
Succeeded by Graham Bright
Minister of State for Energy
In office
11 June 1987 – 23 July 1990
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Alick Buchanan-Smith
Succeeded by Colin Moynihan (Under-Secretary)
Conservative Party Deputy Chairman
In office
10 September 1986 – 11 June 1987
Leader Margaret Thatcher
Minister of State for Trade and Industry
In office
2 September 1985 – 10 September 1986
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Norman Lamont
Succeeded by Giles Shaw
Minister of State for Employment
In office
13 June 1983 – 2 September 1985
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Michael Alison
Succeeded by Kenneth Clarke
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
4 May 1979 – 5 January 1981
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Member of Parliament
for Chester
In office
28 February 1974 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by John Temple
Succeeded by Gyles Brandreth
Personal details
Born 2 June 1944
Fonthill, Wiltshire, England, UK[1]
Died 13 July 1995(1995-07-13) (aged 51)
London, England
Alma mater Keble College, Oxford

Sir Peter Hugh Morrison PC (2 June 1944 – 13 July 1995) was a British Conservative politician, MP for Chester from 1974 to 1992, and Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Background and education[edit]

Morrison was the third son of John Morrison, 1st Baron Margadale, by the Honourable Margaret Smith, the daughter of Frederick Smith, 2nd Viscount Hambleden and Lady Esther Gore. Sir Charles Morrison, Conservative MP for Devizes from 1964 to 1992, was his elder brother. He was educated at Eton and Keble College, Oxford, where he read Law.

Political career[edit]

Morrison was first elected to the House of Commons in the general election of February 1974 for Chester. He was one of the first backbench MPs to urge Margaret Thatcher to stand for the Party leadership in 1975. In 1986 he became Deputy Conservative Party chairman under Norman Tebbit[2] having been previously a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister of State in the Department of Employment. In 1987, he was Minister of State for Energy,[3] with responsibility for oil.[4]

During this period it was alleged that Morrison joined the small group of MPs, including Michael Grylls, Neil Hamilton, and Michael Brown, who took money from Ian Greer on behalf of third-party clients.[5] During the Cash for Questions Inquiry, Ian Greer Associates admitted Morrison received payments after ceasing to be an MP. The Parliamentary Report in Hansard quotes Ian Greer as stating he made "Two commission payments, perhaps three, for client referrals" to Morrison between 1993–1994.[6]

He became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and was the leader of her campaign team in the Conservative leadership election in the same year.[citation needed] He was relaxed about Thatcher's prospects and predicted an easy win for her. Alan Clark went to visit Morrison one afternoon during the campaign and found him asleep in his office. Morrison claimed that he had enough MPs down as Thatcher supporters to ensure she would win.[citation needed]

After the first ballot among Conservative MPs had shown that Thatcher did not have enough votes to win outright, Morrison suggested to her that she should consult the Cabinet one-by-one to gauge support. He said to her: "Prime Minister, if you haven't won then there are a lot of Tory MPs who are lying".[7] He stood down at the 1992 general election, being succeeded as MP for Chester by Gyles Brandreth.

Morrison was knighted by the Queen in February 1991.[8] He died of a heart attack early in the morning of 13 July 1995, aged 51.

Homosexuality[edit]

According to the journalist Simon Heffer, Morrison was gay and went cruising (looking for men for sex) in Sussex Gardens, west London.[9] Fellow Conservative MP Michael Brown, himself gay, described Morrison as gay in a column published by The Independent in 2002.[10]

Allegations of child abuse[edit]

In October 2012, Rod Richards, a former MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Conservatives, implicated Morrison in the North Wales child abuse scandal.[11]

Between 1974-90, up to 650 children from forty children's homes (such as Bryn Estyn in Wrexham) were sexually, physically and emotionally abused. Richards said that Morrison and another high-profile Conservative politician were named in documents as regular and unexplained visitors to the care homes.[12]

Investigative journalist Nick Davies reported in The Guardian that Morrison received a caution for cottaging with underage boys in public lavatories.[13]

Former Conservative minister Edwina Currie stated that Morrison regularly had sex with 16-year-old boys – whilst the legal age of consent (for same-sex relations) at the time was 21.[14] In 2002, Currie described Morrison as a "notable pederast".[15]

In July 2014, Barry Strevens, a former bodyguard to Margaret Thatcher, claimed he warned her that Morrison allegedly held sex parties with under-age boys. Strevens said that despite passing on the allegations to Thatcher she later promoted Morrison to the position of deputy chairman of the Conservative party. Thatcher's private secretary, Archie Hamilton, reportedly took notes of what was said.[16]

In January 2015, The Daily Telegraph reported allegations that Morrison raped a 14-year-old boy at Elm Guest House in London. The alleged victim said he was walking in the village of Harting in West Sussex in 1982 when Morrison gave him some money and later lured him to London.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patrick Cosgrave. "Obituary: Sir Peter Morrison". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  2. ^ Sir Peter Morrison Patrick Cosgrave obituary, independent.co.uk, 15 July 1995.
  3. ^ Department of Energy (1974–1992), Ministers as at 26 June 1987
  4. ^ Glasgow Herald, 26 April 1989.
  5. ^ Stephen Castle, "Rise and fall of the greed generation's lobbyist", independent.co.uk, 6 October 1996.
  6. ^ House of Commons Select Committee on Standards and Privileges First Report 1996, publications.parliament.uk; accessed 7 September 2016.
  7. ^ "The ghastly process has begun". BBC News. 9 July 2001. Retrieved 17 February 2009. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette, 28 May 1991, p. 8208
  9. ^ Simon Heffer (4 August 2002). "Homophobia has never been the Tories' problem". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 February 2009. 
  10. ^ "Shock news: there are gay MPs in the Tory party". The Independent. 30 July 2002. 
  11. ^ Patrick Sawer and Jason Lewis "Senior Tories accused over child abuse", The Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Thatcher aide was paedophile who preyed on boys' home". Daily Mail. London. 27 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "The sheer scale of child sexual abuse in Britain". Reprinted from The Guardian (April 1998) on www.nickdavies.net. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Thatcher aide 'had sex with underage boys'". Sunday Times. London, UK. 21 October 2012. 
  15. ^ Gardner, Bill (5 January 2015). "Thatcher confidant raped boy and police covered crime up". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. 
  16. ^ Eleftheriou-Smith, Loulla-Mae (27 July 2014). "Thatcher 'was warned of Tory child sex party claims'". The Independent on Sunday. London, UK. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Gardner, Bill (5 January 2015). "Murder link to Margaret Thatcher aide accused of raping teenage boy". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Temple
Member of Parliament for the City of Chester
Feb 19741992
Succeeded by
Gyles Brandreth