Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde
Thomas Galloway Dunlop du Roy de Blicquy Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde CH PC (born 22 February 1960), known informally as Tom Strathclyde, is a British Conservative politician. Lord Strathclyde served in the political role of Leader of the House of Lords from the 2010 general election until January 2013 and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, having been Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords (1998-2010).
Thomas Galbraith was born in Glasgow, the son of Conservative politician Sir Tam Galbraith and his Belgian wife Simone du Roy de Blicquy. His father was MP for Glasgow Hillhead from 1948 until his death in 1982, which triggered a by-election won by Roy Jenkins of the Social Democratic Party. Galbraith succeeded to the barony at the age of 25 on the death of his grandfather in 1985.
Galbraith was educated at Sussex House School, a day school in Cadogan Square, Chelsea in London and Wellington College, a co-educational independent school in Crowthorne, Berkshire, followed by the University of East Anglia, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Languages and European Studies in 1982. He also studied at Aix-Marseille University, and is fluent in French.
House of Lords
Strathclyde entered the House of Lords in 1986, becoming a Junior Whip in 1988, then Minister for Tourism in 1989. Between 1990 and 1992 he was Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries in the Scottish Office. He then served in the Department of the Environment and the Department of Trade and Industry before being appointed Conservatives' Chief Whip in the House of Lords in 1994, succeeding Lord Ullswater. The next year, he was sworn of the Privy Council.
In 1998 Strathclyde, along with the Conservative front bench in the Lords, threatened to tender his resignation if the party refused to accept a proposed compromise plan for reform of the Lords that had been negotiated with Labour by Lord Cranborne, the Conservatives' leader in the Lords, unbeknown to the Leader of the Opposition (in the Commons) William Hague and to his annoyance. Hague however accepted the proposals, dismissing Cranborne for the conduct in negotiations, and Strathclyde was appointed to succeed him. Under his leadership the House of Lords Act 1999 passed: under this Strathclyde was elected by other peers as one of the 92 hereditary peers to remain in the House of Lords.
He won Channel 4 Peer of the Year 2000, and Spectator Peer of the Year 2004.
When the Conservatives formed a coalition government under David Cameron in May 2010, Strathclyde became Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with a seat in the Cabinet.
On 7 January 2013, Strathclyde announced that he would be stepping down as Leader of the House of Lords and resigning from the Cabinet with immediate effect to pursue a second business career. He was succeeded by Lord Hill of Oareford. He was subsequently appointed a Companion of Honour (postnomial: CH) for his services to the Lords.
Marriage and children
Strathclyde married Jane Skinner, elder daughter of John Skinner, in 1992. They have three daughters:
- Hon Elizabeth Ida Skinner Galbraith (born 1 December 1993)
- Hon Annabel Jane Simone Skinner Galbraith (born 15 May 1996)
- Hon Rose Marie Louise Skinner Galbraith (born 27 January 1999)
As Strathclyde has no sons, the heir presumptive to the peerage is his younger brother the Hon. Charles William du Roy de Blicquy Galbraith (b. 1962).
Lord Strathclyde is a Governor of Wellington College, Berkshire.
He was a non-executive director on the board of Trafigura's hedge-fund arm, Galena Asset Management, from 2004 until 2009. Trafigura defended court actions during the 2006 Ivory Coast toxic waste dump scandal and The Guardian suggested his appointment may be an attempt to de-toxify the Dutch company globally.
Styles of address and arms
Styles of address
- 1960–1985: The Hon Thomas Galbraith
- 1985–1995: The Right Honourable The Lord Strathclyde
- 1995–2013: The Right Honourable The Lord Strathclyde PC
- 2013–: The Right Honourable The Lord Strathclyde CH PC
- Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. pp. 3774–3776. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
- "Lord Strathclyde: Expert on Scottish Affairs". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 15 July 1985. p. 10.
- James Landale. "BBC News - Lord Strathclyde resigns from cabinet". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- 10 Downing Street. "10 Downing Street - Appointment to the Order of the Companions of Honour". number10.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Samira Shackle, Stephanie Hegarty and George Eaton The new ruling class New Statesman 1 October 2009
- Glen Owen The coalition of millionaires: 23 of the 29 member of the new cabinet are worth more than £1m... and the Lib Dems are just as wealthy as the Tories Mail on Sunday 23 May 2010
- Leigh, David; Evans, Rob (17 September 2009). "Lord Strathclyde severs links with oil trader Trafigura after waste scandal". The Guardian. London.
- Leigh, David (16 September 2009). "Inside Trafigura: Accusations, sour deals and friends in high places". The Guardian. London.
- Profile at the Conservative Party
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at PublicWhip.org
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou.com
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- Article archive at The Guardian