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Douglas Hurd

From Academic Kids

Douglas Richard Hurd, Baron Hurd of Westwell, CH, CBE, PC (born March 8, 1930), is a British politician in the Conservative Party, and a patron of the Tory Reform Group.

Eldest son of Baron Hurd, he was born in Marlborough, Wiltshire, and attended Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge where he was President of the Cambridge Union Society. In 1952 he joined the diplomatic service and in 1966 became a member of the Conservative Party. He was secretary to Edward Heath, and was then elected to Parliament in 1974. During his 23 years in parliament he represented the constituencies of Mid-Oxfordshire (Feb. 1974 - 1983), and Witney (1983 - 1997). He entered government during the Thatcher administration, and was propelled by a series of resignations into the position of Home Secretary in 1985 and then Foreign Secretary in 1989.

After Thatcher withdrew from the 1990 Conservative Party leadership elections, he was nominated as leader, but was beaten by John Major. He continued to serve in Major's cabinet, until his retirement as a minister in 1995. He did not stand for Parliament in the 1997 general elections.

He was created Baron Hurd of Westwell, of Westwell in the County of Oxfordshire, in 1997, and remains active, supporting the pro-European wing of the Conservative party, notably Kenneth Clarke, and often criticising the leadership.

Douglas Hurd is also well known as a novelist of political thrillers including The Arrow War (1967), Truth Game (1972), Vote To Kill (1975), An End To Promises (1979), Image in the Water, and Palace of Enchantments (1985, with Stephen Lamport).

Hurd's son, Nick Hurd, is also a Conservative politician and was elected Member of Parliament for Ruislip-Northwood at the May 2005 general election. His father, Anthony Hurd, was also an MP for Newbury.


Preceded by:
James Prior
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1984–1985
Succeeded by:
Tom King
Preceded by:
Leon Brittan
Home Secretary
1985–1989
Succeeded by:
David Waddington
Preceded by:
John Major
Foreign Secretary
1989–1995
Succeeded by:
Malcolm Rifkind

Template:End box


A "Douglas Hurd" is Cockney rhyming slang for a "Turd" in the United Kingdom, named after the minister. Ref: Handsworth riots Photographs of Douglas Hurd 1985 by Pogus Caesar http://www.digitalhandsworth.org http://www.oomgallery.net

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