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Anthony Lambton

From Academic Kids

The former 6th Earl of Durham
The former 6th Earl of Durham

Anthony Claud Frederick Lambton (born 10 July 1922) was a Conservative Member of Parliament and a cousin of Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the former Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary.

Lambton was educated at Harrow School. He served for a period in the Hampshire Regiment during World War II before being invalided out. He then did war work in a Wallsend factory. He first stood for parliament at the 1945 general election in the safe Labour seat of Chester-le-Street, then Bishop Auckland in 1950. He was elected to Durham County Council in 1947, serving for two years. He was elected Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1951, where he served until 1973. He served as Parliamentary Under Secretary for Defence (RAF) from 1970 until 1973.

He was the 6th Earl of Durham, Viscount Lambton, and Baron Durham for a short time in 1970. He acceded to the peerage upon his father's death on 4 February 1970, but disclaimed it on 23 February, to continue as MP and government minister, but insisted on being called Lord Lambton, his former courtesy title. On 22 May 1973 he resigned. A few days later he was followed by the Earl Jellicoe, the Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords. The Sunday tabloid The News of the World exposed both as using prostitutes, and published photographs of Lambton naked in bed with two "call-girls" smoking a cannabis cigarette in a flat belonging to Norma Russell whose husband was an alleged drug dealer. A Security Committee investigation found that the conduct of Lord Jellicoe did not constitute a security risk, but that Lambton would have to be denied of access to secret material.

Interviewed for the inquiry by MI5 officer, Charles Elwell, Lambton said he had become involved with prostitutes because his job as a junior minister was so undemanding.

He then claimed it was due to his "obsession" with an obscure dispute over the right to use his title.

"He claimed that his behaviour since 1972 was out of character and had been caused by his obsession over his failure to win his battle to use his title. He said he had been made to look a perfect fool, that he had almost won the battle and had only been foiled at the last minute by the dishonesty of two of the parliamentary clerks. "This had become an obsession with him to the extent that he was no longer able to read - and he had been a great reader - and he sought to forget his obsession in frantic activity," Elwell noted. "He had for example become an enthusiastic and vigorous gardener. Another example of this frenzied activity was his debauchery." Elwell notes say "Lord Lambton's behaviour throughout the interview was of a man who is on the verge of collapse. He spoke very quietly as if in a daze. I have no doubt whatever he is on the verge of mental collapse," he said. Although his gardening was once seen as evidence of mental problems, Lambton has not given it up, and has spent twenty years restoring the house and gardens of the Villa Cetinale (http://www.vivo-toscana.com/vivo/pages-e/sight-gardens.htm) his new home in southern Italy.<p> He continues, despite the rules of peerage, to use the courtesy title "Lord Lambton". Lambton married Belinda Blew-Jones in 1942. They had five daughters, including Lucinda Lambton, the writer and architectural commentator, and one son. He fought Berwick-upon-Tweed for the Referendum Party at the 1997 General Election.

Succession

Preceded by:
John Frederick Lambton
Earl of Durham
(Disclaimed)
Followed by:
Currently disclaimed

External links

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