Douglas Hurd

[The Lord Hurd of Westwell]

Biography of Douglas Hurd

Douglas Richard Hurd, Baron Hurd of Westwell (born 8 March 1930), is a British Conservative politician and novelist, who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major between 1979 and his retirement in 1995.

Born at Marlborough, Wiltshire, Hurd first entered Parliament in February 1974, as MP for the Mid Oxfordshire constituency (Witney from 1983). His first government post was as Minister for Europe, from 1979-83 (being that office's inaugural holder), and served in several Cabinet roles from 1984 onwards, including Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984–85), Home Secretary (1985–89) and Foreign Secretary (1989–95). He stood unsuccessfully for the Conservative Party leadership in 1990, but retired from frontline politics during a Cabinet reshuffle in 1995.

In 1997, Hurd was elevated to the House of Lords and is one of the Conservative Party's most senior elder statesmen. He is a Patron of the Tory Reform Group and remains an active figure in public life.

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