William Clark, Baron Clark of Kempston

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For other people named William Clark, see William Clark (disambiguation).

William Gibson Haig Clark, Baron Clark of Kempston, PC (18 October 1917 – 6 October 2004) was a British Conservative Party politician.

Early life[edit]

Clark was educated at Battersea Polytechnic, qualifying in accountancy in 1941. From 1941 to 1946 he served in World War II in Britain and India in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, gaining the rank of major. He became involved in business, particularly in sugar broking, with interests in St Kitts and Belize, and in property in the UK.

Political career[edit]

In 1949, Clark was elected to Wandsworth Borough Council, serving until 1953. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to win a seat on the London County Council and stood without success in the 1955 general election in Northampton.

Clark was elected to Parliament for Nottingham South in 1959, serving on the opposition front bench from 1964 to 1966, the only period in his career. He lost his seat in 1966. He was MP for East Surrey in 1970 to 1974, and from 1974 until he retired in 1992 for its largely successor seat after boundary changes, Croydon South. He was active in the 1970s in restoring Conservative Party finances to a sustainable levels. He identified with the right wing of the party and voted against British membership of the Common Market in 1971. He chaired the Conservative backbench Finance Committee from 1979 until 1992, encouraging Margaret Thatcher to pursue financial stability and free enterprise and defending her policies on television and radio. He was knighted in 1980 and in 1990 he was made a Privy Counsellor.

Following his retirement Clark received a life peerage as Baron Clark of Kempston in the County of Bedfordshire, and was an active contributor to House of Lords debates.

Personal life[edit]

Clark was married to Irene Rands and had three sons and a daughter.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Denis Keegan
Member of Parliament for Nottingham South
Succeeded by
George Perry
Preceded by
Michael Astor
Member of Parliament for Surrey East
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Howe
New constituency Member of Parliament for Croydon South
Succeeded by
Richard Ottaway