The Lord Jopling
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
In office
11 June 1983 – 13 June 1987
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byPeter Walker
Succeeded byJohn MacGregor
Chief Whip of the House of Commons
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
In office
4 May 1979 – 11 June 1983
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byMichael Cocks
Succeeded byJohn Wakeham
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
30 October 1973 – 4 March 1974
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byOscar Murton
Succeeded byVacant
Assistant Government Whip
In office
8 November 1971 – 30 October 1973
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Member of Parliament
for Westmorland and Lonsdale
(Westmorland, 1964 – 1983)
In office
15 October 1964 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byWilliam Fletcher-Vane
Succeeded byTim Collins
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
5 June 1997
Life Peerage
Personal details
Thomas Michael Jopling

(1930-12-10) 10 December 1930 (age 92)
Ripon, Yorkshire, England
Political partyConservative
SpouseHilary Gail Dickinson
ChildrenNicholas Jopling, Jay Jopling
Alma materDurham University
Newcastle University

Thomas Michael Jopling, Baron Jopling, PC, DL (born 10 December 1930) is a politician in the United Kingdom, and sits in the House of Lords as a member of the Conservative Party.[1][2]

Life and career

Jopling is the son of Mark Bellerby Jopling (1886–1958), of Masham, North Yorkshire, a partner in Imeson and Jopling (later Jopling, Cawthorn and Blackburn), surveyors, auctioneers and estate agents.[3][1][4] He was educated at Cheltenham College and Durham University. He was a farmer and company director, and served on the national council of the National Farmers Union. Jopling was a councillor on Thirsk Rural District Council.

Having previously stood unsuccessfully in Wakefield in 1959, Jopling was elected Conservative MP for Westmorland, now in Cumbria, in 1964 and became Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury from 1979 to 1983. In 1983, he was elected for Westmorland and Lonsdale after boundary changes, and was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1983 to 1987.

In his Diaries, the military historian and Tory member of Parliament Alan Clark famously quoted what he claimed was Jopling's "snobby but cutting" dismissal of the ambitious Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine: "The trouble with Michael is that he had to buy all his furniture".[5]

After over 32 years as a member of the House Commons, he stood down at the 1997 general election and was succeeded by Tim Collins. He was absent during the last few weeks of his Commons career as he was severely injured in a go-karting accident in February 1997. He returned to the House on the last day it sat before it dissolved for the election, and was greeted at Prime Minister’s Questions by John Major at his last question session on 20 March.[6]

Jopling was made a life peer as Baron Jopling, of Ainderby Quernhow in the County of North Yorkshire on 5 June 1997.[7] He is a member of the Privy Council and the America All Party Parliamentary Group.

Personal life

Jopling married Hilary Gail Dickinson (b. 1936) in 1958; she was appointed an MBE in 2017. The couple had two sons: the Hon. Nicholas Mark Fletcher Jopling (born 4 October 1961) and the Hon. Jeremy Michael Neal Jopling (born 15 June 1963).[8] Nicholas is active in the Conservative Party, having contested the Sedgefield constituency at the 1992 general election, but losing to the future Labour Party leader and Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Nicholas's son, Caspar (Jopling's grandson) is married to singer Ellie Goulding.[9]

His younger son, Jeremy (known as 'Jay'), is a British contemporary art dealer and gallerist,[10] who was married to Sam Taylor-Wood, one of the Young British Artists.

Jopling is an Honorary member of the Buck's and Royal Automobile clubs. He lives at Ainderby Hall in Thirsk.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Jopling, Baron, (Thomas Michael Jopling) (born 10 Dec. 1930)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u22516. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  2. ^ The International Who's Who 2004. Europa Publications. 2004. p. 832. ISBN 9781857432176. Michael Jopling 1930 Ripon, Yorks.
  3. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 2003, vol. 2, p. 1115
  4. ^ "Joplings". The Making of Mashamshire.
  5. ^ Alan Clark Diaries: In Power 1983–1992 (Wednesday 17 June 1987) 1993 Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  6. ^ "Engagements (Hansard, 20 March 1997)".
  7. ^ "No. 54789". The London Gazette. 10 June 1997. p. 6745.
  8. ^ "Person Page". Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  9. ^ Fitzpatrick, Katie (31 August 2019). "Who is Ellie Goulding's husband Caspar Jopling?". men. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  10. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (10 November 2001). "Happy return". The Guardian.