The Lord Mawhinney
Brian Mawhinney MP.jpg
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
11 June 1997 – 11 April 1998
LeaderWilliam Hague
Preceded byMichael Howard
Succeeded byNorman Fowler
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In office
5 July 1995 – 11 June 1997
LeaderJohn Major
Preceded byJeremy Hanley
Succeeded byCecil Parkinson
Minister without Portfolio
In office
5 July 1995 – 2 May 1997
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byJeremy Hanley
Succeeded byPeter Mandelson
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
20 July 1994 – 5 July 1995
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byJohn MacGregor
Succeeded byGeorge Young
Minister of State for Health
In office
14 April 1992 – 20 July 1994
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byVirginia Bottomley
Succeeded byGerry Malone
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
24 June 2005 – 9 November 2019[nb]
Life peerage
Member of Parliament
for North West Cambridgeshire
In office
1 May 1997 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byShailesh Vara
Member of Parliament
for Peterborough
In office
3 May 1979 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byMichael Ward
Succeeded byHelen Clark
Personal details
Brian Stanley Mawhinney

(1940-07-26)26 July 1940
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died9 November 2019(2019-11-09) (aged 79)
Peterborough, England
Political partyConservative
EducationRoyal Belfast Academical Institution
Alma mater
AwardsKnight Bachelor (1997)
n.b. ^ Leave of absence from 9 October 2017

Brian Stanley Mawhinney, Baron Mawhinney, PC (26 July 1940 – 9 November 2019) was a British Conservative politician. He was a member of the Cabinet from 1994 to 1997 and a member of Parliament (MP) from 1979 to 2005.

Early life

Mawhinney was born on 26 July 1940[1] in Belfast, son of Frederick Stanley Arnot Mawhinney and Coralie Jean (née Wilkinson).[2][3] He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.[4] He studied physics at Queen's University Belfast,[4] gaining an upper second class degree in 1963 and obtained a PhD in radiation physics at the Royal Free Hospital in London in 1969 with thesis title Studies on the effects of radiation on mammalian bone grown in vitro.[4] He worked as assistant professor of radiation research at the University of Iowa from 1968 to 1970 and then returned to the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine as a lecturer from 1970 to 1984.[4]

Political career

Mawhinney contested Stockton-on-Tees in October 1974 but lost to Labour incumbent, Bill Rodgers. Mawhinney served as Member of Parliament for Peterborough from 1979 to 1997 and Member of Parliament for North West Cambridgeshire from 1997 to 2005.[5] Mawhinney campaigned prolifically against pornography. In 1979 one of his bills was in the Private Members' Bills ballot, which attempted to ban indecent displays outside cinemas, sex shops and strip clubs. In early 1980, he called for Keith Joseph to launch an inquiry into a page on the Post Office's Prestel viewdata service, called "A Buyer's Guide to Dirty Books".[6]

In Government

He was PPS to John Wakeham from 1982 to 1983, and PPS to Tom King from 1984 to 1986.[4] He became a junior minister at the Northern Ireland Office in 1986,[1] and then became Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office in 1990.[4] In 1992, he became Minister of State at the Department of Health until 1994.


Having been sworn of the Privy Council in the 1994 New Year Honours,[7] he entered the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport that year.[4] He served as Chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio for two years from 1995 until the 1997 election.[1] He was knighted in the 1997 Dissolution Honours.[8]

In Opposition

He served as Shadow Home Secretary and spokesman for home, constitutional and legal affairs for a year under William Hague before returning to the back benches in June 1998.[1] He stepped down from the House of Commons in April 2005.[9][10]

House of Lords

On 13 May 2005 it was announced that he would be created a life peer,[11] and on 24 June he was created Baron Mawhinney, of Peterborough, in the County of Cambridgeshire.[12]

Lord Mawhinney questioned the priority David Cameron had given to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, stating that it was a distraction.[13]

He took leave of absence from the House of Lords in October 2017.[14]

Outside politics

In 2003, he was appointed chairman of The Football League,[15] and in 2004 oversaw a re-organisation of the league structure, renaming the former Division One as the Football League Championship. Deeply religious, Mawhinney was a leading member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship as well as a member of the General Synod for five years.[1] He was also president of Christians in Sport.[16] Mawhinney was also a patron of Peterborough United until his death in November 2019.

Personal life and death

Mawhinney had two sons and a daughter with his wife Betty, a United States citizen. He listed Anglo-American relations among his interests.[17]

Mawhinney died on 9 November 2019, aged 79.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Sir Brian Mawhinney". BBC News. 18 October 2002. Retrieved 23 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Mawhinney, Baron cr 2005 (Life Peer), of Peterborough, in the county of Cambridgeshire (Brian Stanley Mawhinney)". Who's Who. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Introducing Ireland: a serious visitor's guide with biographies of over 700 leaders, George Eaton, Mercier Press, 1992, p. 57
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Mawhinney, Brian". London, UK: Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 14 November 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2008.
  5. ^ "…with 27 new working peers…". Telegraph Media Group. London, UK. 14 May 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2008.
  6. ^ InfoWorld, 28 April 1980.
  7. ^ "No. 53527". The London Gazette. 30 December 1993. p. 1.
  8. ^ "No. 55229". The London Gazette. 16 August 1998. p. 8994.
  9. ^ "Mawhinney to leave Parliament". BBC News. 30 September 2003. Retrieved 21 December 2007.
  10. ^ "End of Commons road for four MPs". BBC News. 10 April 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Full list of new life peers". BBC News. 13 May 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
  12. ^ "No. 57688". The London Gazette. 29 June 2005. p. 8439.
  13. ^ David Cameron under renewed pressure from Tory grassroots over gay marriage,, 2 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Ineligible members of the House of Lords". UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Mawhinney handed top post". BBC Sport. 19 December 2002. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
  16. ^ "PRESS RELEASE: Lord Mawhinney appointed as President of Christians in Sport". Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  17. ^ Castle, Stephen (31 July 1994). "Profile: No nonsense for the Cabinet's new boy: Brian Mawhinney: The transport boss may have a twinkle in his eye, writes Stephen Castle, but he won't take flannel from civil servants". The Independent. London, UK.
  18. ^ "Brian Mawhinney, former Tory cabinet minister, dies aged 79". The Guardian. 10 November 2019.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byMichael Ward Member of Parliamentfor Peterborough 19791997 Succeeded byHelen Clark New constituency Member of Parliamentfor North West Cambridgeshire 19972005 Succeeded byShailesh Vara Political offices Preceded byJohn MacGregor Secretary of State for Transport 1994–1995 Succeeded byGeorge Young Preceded byJeremy Hanley Minister without Portfolio 1995–1997 Succeeded byPeter Mandelson Preceded byMichael Howard Shadow Home Secretary 1997–1998 Succeeded byNorman Fowler Party political offices Preceded byJeremy Hanley Chairman of the Conservative Party 1995–1997 Succeeded byCecil Parkinson