Norman Fowler


Norman Fowler
The Right Honourable
The Lord Fowler
PC
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
2 June 1998 – 15 June 1999
Leader William Hague
Preceded by Brian Mawhinney
Succeeded by Ann Widdecombe
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In office
11 April 1992 – 15 July 1994
Leader John Major
Preceded by Chris Patten
Succeeded by Jeremy Hanley
Minister without Portfolio
In office
11 April 1992 – 15 July 1994
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by The Lord Young of Graffham
Succeeded by Jeremy Hanley
Secretary of State for Employment
In office
13 June 1987 – 3 January 1990
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by David Young
Succeeded by Michael Howard
Secretary of State for Social Services
In office
14 September 1981 – 13 June 1987
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Patrick Jenkin
Succeeded by John Moore
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
5 January 1981 – 14 September 1981
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Himself (Minister of State)
Succeeded by David Howell
Minister of State for Transport
In office
4 May 1979 – 5 January 1981
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Bill Rodgers
Succeeded by Himself (Secretary of State)
Member of Parliament
for Sutton Coldfield
In office
28 February 1974 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Geoffrey Lloyd
Succeeded by Andrew Mitchell
Member of Parliament
for Nottingham South
In office
18 June 1970 – 28 February 1974
Preceded by George Perry
Succeeded by Constituency Abolished
Personal details
Born 2 February 1938 (1938-02-02) (age 73)
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Trinity Hall, Cambridge

(Peter) Norman Fowler, Baron Fowler,[1] PC (born 2 February 1938) is a British Conservative politician who was from 1981 to 1990 a member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet.

Contents

Early life

He was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, in the county of Essex; after which he did National Service as a Second Lieutenant in the Essex Regiment. Whilst studying at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he was Chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association in Michaelmas 1960, in which term he entertained both the Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and Home Secretary (and de facto Deputy Prime Minister, although he did not hold the title until 1962) Rab Butler. He then became a journalist, and worked on The Times.

Member of Parliament

In opposition

During the mid 1970s Fowler was shadow Minister of Transport. In April 1976 he was photographed outside the Palace of Westminster having just taken delivery of his third four cylinder MG MGB GT, having reportedly rejected the idea of buying a V8 version on account of the cost.[2] At a time when a recently promoted Minister of Transport had imputed ownership of the family car to his wife, apparently on grounds of political correctness, former journalist Fowler's acknowledgment of his choice of a sports car provided an interesting contrast.

In government

As Secretary of State for Transport, Fowler drove through Lord Nugent's 1981 bill to make seat belts compulsory, a law that came into force in 1983.[3][4]

As Secretary of State for Health and Social Security in 1986, Fowler implemented the first official drive to educate the British public to the dangers of AIDS. Edwina Currie (Health) and John Major (Social Security) both served under him as junior ministers.

Backbenches, retirement and Shadow Cabinet

Fowler later resigned from the cabinet as Employment Secretary in January 1990, becoming the first politician to cite "to spend more time with my (his) family" as his reasoning.[5] Although it was the truth in Fowler's case, the expression later became a smokescreen for politicians who had quit high-profile roles for slightly more dark or controversial reasons.

Having spent more time with his family, Fowler then returned twice to the Conservative front bench, first as Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1992 to 1994, during which time he oversaw the Boundary Changes in the early 1990s, then as Shadow Environment, Transport & the Regions Secretary in 1997 to 1998 and Shadow Home Secretary in 1998 to 1999.

In 2001, he was made a life peer as Baron Fowler, of Sutton Coldfield, in the county of West Midlands.[1]

In 2003, he proposed that the European Union should appoint a high-level coordinator with ambassadorial rank to deal with the AIDS epidemic.[6]

In 2006, he chaired a House of Lords select committee which criticised the use of the television licence fee, which is used to fund the BBC, as a tax.

His book, A Political Suicide (Politico's Publishing ISBN 978-1-84275-227-2), was published in 2008 and it was shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award.

Work in industry

He has been deeply involved in industry, having been on the board of directors of several companies. Until 24 October 2007, he was Non-Executive Chairman of Aggregate Industries plc. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists.[7]

News International phone hacking scandal

The Conservative peer had demanded an independent inquiry into the phone hacking inquiry on 7 July 2011. He was also chairman of the Birmingham Post newspapers for five years. He said that the UK was faced by "one of the biggest scandals affecting the press in living memory".[8]

References

  1. ^ a b [1] London Gazette: no. 56266. p. 1. 6 July 2001.
  2. ^ "News: An MG for Shadow Minister". Autocar 144 (nbr 4146): pages 27. date 24 April 1976. 
  3. ^ "Seat belt law introduction recalled by Lord Fowler". BBC News. 2011-05-21. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13461459. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  4. ^ "RoSPA History - How Belting Up Became Law". Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. http://www.rospa.com/about/history/seatbelt-history.aspx. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  5. ^ Norman Fowler (2008-07-05). "Family first". Guardian Unlimited. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/05/familyandrelationships. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  6. ^ Michael White (2003-02-21). "Europe should appoint Aids envoy, peer says". Guardian Unlimited. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,9174,899971,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  7. ^ http://www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0005foi.html?i=flolder&d=2000_05
  8. ^ "Former Sutton Coldfield MP Lord Fowler demands independent phone hacking inquiry". Blogs.birminghampost.net. http://blogs.birminghampost.net/news/2011/07/former-sutton-coldfield-mp.html. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Perry
Member of Parliament for Nottingham South
19701974
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Geoffrey Lloyd
Member of Parliament for Sutton Coldfield
19742001
Succeeded by
Andrew Mitchell
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Rodgers
as Secretary of State for Transport
Minister of State for Transport
1979–1981
Succeeded by
Himself
as Secretary of State for Transport
Preceded by
Himself
as Minister of State for Transport
Secretary of State for Transport
1981
Succeeded by
David Howell
Preceded by
Patrick Jenkin
Secretary of State for Social Services
1981–1987
Succeeded by
John Moore
Preceded by
The Lord Young of Graffham
Secretary of State for Employment
1987–1990
Succeeded by
Michael Howard
Minister without Portfolio
1992–1994
Succeeded by
Jeremy Hanley
Preceded by
Brian Mawhinney
Shadow Home Secretary
1998–1999
Succeeded by
Ann Widdecombe
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chris Patten
Chairman of the Conservative Party
1992–1994
Succeeded by
Jeremy Hanley

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