By Webteam - 1st September 2017 6:05am
Cecil Edward Parkinson, Baron Parkinson, PC was a British Conservative politician and cabinet minister.
Parkinson was born the son of a railway worker and was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School, a state-run day and boarding school for boys, from where he won a scholarship to Cambridge University, where he read English at Emmanuel College, later switching to read law. He won a Blue as an athlete, competing over 220 and 440 yards. While at university, he was a Labour supporter and for a time was a member of the Labour Party. He did National Service as an NCO in the Royal Air Force. He married Ann Mary Jarvis in 1957.
After leaving university, Parkinson worked as a manager for the Metal Box Company, later becoming a consultant. He trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant and in 1961 founded Parkinson-Hart Securities. Parkinson was elected as MP for Enfield West at a by-election in November 1970 and when that constituency was abolished for the February 1974 general election he was elected for the new South Hertfordshire constituency.
After the 1979 General Election, he was made a junior trade minister. In September 1981 he was made Chairman of the Conservative Party, and Paymaster-General with a seat in the cabinet and in 1982 was given the added official title of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Despite his relatively junior status, he was a member of the small War Cabinet which Mrs Thatcher set up to run the Falklands War.
He worked on the Conservative Party's 1983 election campaign and as a result of his success on the campaign, Thatcher had intended to promote him to Foreign Secretary, but before the election he warned her that this would be unwise as his former secretary, Sara Keays, was carrying his child. Although Thatcher initially remonstrated with him that Anthony Eden's womanising had been no bar on his holding the Foreign Office, she instead appointed him Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Parkinson was forced to resign on 14 October 1983 after the news of Sara Keays' pregnancy had become public knowledge.
After four years on the back benches, he was appointed Secretary of State for Energy in 1987, and for Transport in the July 1989 reshuffle. He resigned along with Margaret Thatcher when she was replaced by John Major. He stood down from the House of Commons at the 1992 general election.
He was created Baron Parkinson in 1992 and served in the House of Lords until his retirement in September 2015.
Born 1st September 1931 in Carnforth, Lancashire, England
Died 22nd January 2016 in Great Britain
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