|Prime Minister John Major|
Preceded by Tom King
Preceded by Kenneth Clarke
Role British Politician
Succeeded by Stephen Dorrell
|Preceded by David Mellor|
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Name Peter Baron
Party Conservative Party
|Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Education Marlborough College, Balliol College, Harvard Business School
Similar People Patrick Mayhew - Baron Ma, Henry Brooke - Baron Br, Harvey Proctor
Peter Leonard Brooke, Baron Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, CH, PC (born 3 March 1934), is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and was a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Cities of London and Westminster from 1977 to 2001.
He is the son of Henry Brooke, a former Home Secretary, and Barbara Brooke. (His parents were one of the few married couples where both partners held noble titles in their own right.) He was educated at Marlborough College and Balliol College, Oxford, (where he was President of the Oxford Union) before going on to the Harvard Business School in the United States. After leaving university he worked as a headhunter and was Chairman of Spencer Stuart.
After unsuccessfully challenging Neil Kinnock at the Labour stronghold of Bedwellty in October 1974, he was elected as MP for the Cities of London and Westminster in a by-election in 1977. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1988. He was made Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1987, and then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in 1989.
In January 1992, Brooke appeared on the Irish chat show, The Late Late Show. After a pleasant interview, the presenter, Gay Byrne coaxed and goaded the unwilling Brooke, into singing "Oh My Darling, Clementine" on a day when seven Protestant construction workers had been killed by an IRA bomb. Unionists were outraged at what seemed to be a moment clearly out of touch with grieving families, and instantly requested the resignation of Brooke. The incident was a factor in Brooke's being dropped from his position after the April 1992 general election, although Brooke claimed he had offered his resignation after the incident.
After leaving the Cabinet, Brooke stood unsuccessfully for the position of Speaker of the House of Commons. The House instead elected the Labour MP Betty Boothroyd to the role, with several Conservative MPs voting against Brooke on the grounds that he had too recently been in the Cabinet and was thus insufficiently close to the backbenches. Brooke then remained on the backbenches for a short time before being brought back into the Cabinet later in the year as Secretary of State for National Heritage, a role he held until 1994. During his time as Heritage Secretary, he oversaw the restoration of Windsor Castle following the fire that had struck the state apartments in 1992.
Brooke stepped down as an MP at the 2001 general election and was made a life peer as Baron Brooke of Sutton Mandeville of Sutton Mandeville in the County of Wiltshire in October 2001. He was Chairman of the Association of Conservative Peers. He was appointed Companion of Honour, as his father had been, in 1992.
Lord Brooke is one of several peers and MPs with an abiding interest in the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, especially the Sherlock Holmes adventures.