Peter Lilley

Peter Lilley

birth_place = North London
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nationality = British
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party = Conservative
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alma_mater = Clare College, Cambridge
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Peter Bruce Lilley (born 23 August 1943, Hayes, Kent, England) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament MP since 1983. He currently represents the constituency of Hitchin and Harpenden and, prior to boundary changes, represented St Albans which was its predecessor seat.

Early life

His father was a personnel officer for the BBC. He was educated at Dulwich College and Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied Economics. His Cambridge contemporaries included Kenneth Clarke, Michael Howard and Norman Lamont. Before entering Parliament, he was an energy analyst at the City of London stockbroker, W. Greenwell & Co.

Member of Parliament

Having been selected and elected for St. Albans, a safe Tory seat, he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Nigel Lawson, then as Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Financial Secretary to the Treasury before joining the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to replace Nicholas Ridley in mid-1990 after the latter was forced to resign over an anti-German remark. After the 1992 General Election he became Secretary of State for Social Security.

He contested the Conservative Party leadership election, 1997 coming fourth in a field of five. In opposition he held the post of Shadow Chancellor from 1997-1998 and was Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party from 1998 to 1999.

In 2001 Lilley provoked some controversy in his party and Britain more widely by calling for cannabis to be legalised in a Social Market Foundation pamphlet. []

In 2005 Lilley produced a report for the Bow Group centre-right think tank that was highly critical of Government plans to introduce national identity cards. []

When David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservatives in December 2005, Lilley was appointed Chairman of the Globalisation and Global Poverty policy group, part of Cameron's extensive 18-month policy review.


Peter Lilley has twice given singing performances at Conservative Party conferences. In 1992 as Secretary of State at the DSS, he sang a riff on "I have a little list", from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, condemning those who unfairly claimed benefits.

In September 2007 former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett named this speech, on BBC2's The Daily Politics, as one of his all-time favourite Conference moments.

In 1998, he changed the words of "Land of Hope and Glory", singing "Land of Chattering Classes", in condemnation of the apparent abandonment of British values and history by Tony Blair's New Labour.


His wife Gail is an artist.

External links

* [ The Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP] official site
* [ - Peter Lilley]
* [,9290,-3130,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Peter Lilley MP]
* [ - Peter Lilley MP]
* [ The Public Whip - Peter Lilley MP]
* [ BBC News - Peter Lilley] profile 22 October, 2002
* [ BBC article about Lilley's legalise cannabis proposal] 6 July, 2001
* [ Lilley speaks about his work as Chair of the Globalisation and Global Poverty policy group] Clare Politics

Offices held

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