The Earl of Kilmorey
Minister of State for Trade
In office
14 April 1992 – 6 July 1995
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byTim Sainsbury
Succeeded byAnthony Nelson
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Northern Ireland
In office
3 September 1985 – 15 April 1992
Prime MinisterThatcher; Major
Preceded byChris Patten
Succeeded byNone
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for the Environment
In office
1984–1985
Sec. of StatePatrick Jenkin
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
1983–1984
Sec. of StateJames Prior
Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire
In office
10 June 1983 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byJames Gray
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
In office
4 May 1979 – 13 May 1983
Personal details
Born (1942-01-29) 29 January 1942 (age 79)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
Sigrid Thiessen-Gairdner
(m. 1965)
Children3
Parent(s)The 5th Earl of Kilmorey
Helen Bridget Faudel-Phillips
Alma materEton College

Richard Francis Needham, 6th Earl of Kilmorey, Kt PC (born 29 January 1942), usually known as Sir Richard Needham, is a British Conservative politician. A Member of Parliament from 1979 to 1997, he served as Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland between 1985 and 1992 and as Minister of State for Trade between 1992 and 1995. From January 1961 until April 1977, he was entitled to use the courtesy title Viscount Newry and Mourne.

Early life

Needham is eldest of the three sons of The 5th Earl of Kilmorey by his marriage to Helen Bridget Faudel-Phillips, a daughter of Sir Lionel Faudel-Phillips, 3rd and last Baronet. He was educated at Eton.[citation needed] When his father succeeded as The 5th Earl of Kilmorey in January 1961, Richard became entitled to use the courtesy title Viscount Newry and Mourne, known for short as Lord Newry. Richard himself succeeded his father to become The 6th Earl of Kilmorey in April 1977.

Political career

Needham was a member of the Somerset County Council between 1967 and 1974.[citation needed] In 1974, he stood unsuccessfully for parliament for the safe Labour seat of Pontefract and Castleford in the February general election, and was then also defeated at the more marginal Gravesend in October. He succeeded his father to the earldom in 1977. This is an Irish peerage and did not bar him from sitting in the House of Commons. At the 1979 general election, he was returned as Member of Parliament for Chippenham in Wiltshire. He was one of the "Wiltshire Wets", Conservative MPs from the county who expressed concern at the perceived loss of jobs resulting from the "monetarist" policies of Margaret Thatcher;[citation needed] in 1990 he called Thatcher "a cow" in a leaked telephone conversation with his wife.[1] His constituency was abolished for the 1983 general election, when he was returned to the House of Commons for the new North Wiltshire constituency. He held the seat until he retired from Parliament at the 1997 general election.[citation needed]

In Government

Kamel Alzarka and the Falcon Group welcomed Lord Kilmorey to the 3rd Annual Trade and Corporate Finance Forum in London
Kamel Alzarka and the Falcon Group welcomed Lord Kilmorey to the 3rd Annual Trade and Corporate Finance Forum in London

Needham was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior, between 1983 and 1984, and to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Patrick Jenkin, between 1984 and 1985. He served under Thatcher and later John Major as an Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland between 1985 and 1992 and under Major as Minister of State for Trade between 1992 and 1995,[citation needed] and was instrumental in transforming Northern Ireland's economic base and the UK's export strategy under Michael Heseltine. He was the longest serving British government Northern Ireland minister.[citation needed]

Books

Lord Kilmorey has written two books: Honourable Member and Battling for Peace: Northern Ireland's Longest-Serving British Minister (1999); an account of his years in Northern Ireland and his contribution to peace.[citation needed]

Honours

Lord Kilmorey holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Ulster. A founder member of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, he was appointed a member of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the Emperor of Japan. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1994 and knighted in 1997.[2]

Personal life

Needham married Sigrid Thiessen-Gairdner, daughter of Ernst Thiessen, in 1965. They have three children:

Although Needham inherited the Earldom of Kilmorey and Viscountcy of Newry and Mourne on the death of his father in 1977, he did not petition the House of Lords to formally claim succession until October 2012. According to his biography he opted not to use the title as he did not inherit any money with it. [3] The Needham estate, known as Mourne Park, is near Kilkeel in County Down in Northern Ireland but the title and estate were separated when the fifth Earl inherited the title but opted to live in England. The Needham estate or Mourne Park is now owned by the Anley family, descendants of the 4th Earl of Kilmorey.[4] The house was badly damaged by fire on 18 May 2013.[5]

References

  1. ^ "Minister Apologizes For Calling Thatcher a Cow". Associated Press. 10 November 1990. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Richard Needham". London Speaker Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Minutes of Proceedings, 18 October 2012". House of Lords Order Paper. 19 October 2012.
  4. ^ PRONI Introduction Kilmorey Papers November 2007
  5. ^ "Gallery: Mourne House fire 'a sad day for heritage'". newsletter.co.uk.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byDaniel Awdry Member of Parliament for Chippenham 1979 – 1983 Constituency abolished New constituency Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire 1983 – 1997 Succeeded byJames Gray Political offices Preceded byNicholas Scott Chris Patten The Lord Lyell Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 1985–1992 With: Nicholas Scott 1985–1986 The Lord Lyell 1985–1989 Peter Viggers 1986–1989 Brian Mawhinney 1986–1990 Peter Bottomley 1989–1990 The Lord Skelmersdale 1990 Jeremy Hanley 1990–1992 Succeeded byJeremy Hanley The Earl of Arran Preceded byTim Sainsbury Minister of State for Trade 1992–1995 Succeeded byAnthony Nelson Peerage of Ireland Preceded byFrancis Needham Earl of Kilmorey 1977–present Incumbent