John Wakeham, Baron Wakeham, PC, DL (born 22 June 1932) is a businessman and British Conservative Party politician and the current Chancellor of Brunel University.
He was a director of Enron from 1994 until its bankruptcy in 2001.
Life and career
Wakeham was educated at two independent schools in Surrey: at Aldro School in Shackleford, and at Charterhouse School near Godalming. He became a successful accountant and later a businessman. He stood unsuccessfully in Coventry East in 1966, and in Putney in 1970 before his election to the House of Commons at the February 1974 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Maldon in Essex. He became a minister after Margaret Thatcher's victory in 1979.
His first wife, Roberta, was killed in the Brighton hotel bombing in October 1984 and he was trapped in rubble for seven hours, suffering serious crush injuries to his legs. They had two children together. He married his secretary, Alison Ward MBE in 1985 and they have a son of their own. Before being Wakeham's secretary, Ward had been Margaret Thatcher's secretary.
During the late eighties he served as Leader of the House of Commons, in which capacity he was responsible for the televising of Parliament, and as Energy Secretary (1989–1992), where he drew up plans for the privatisation of electricity.
He was appointed a life peer as Baron Wakeham, of Maldon in the County of Essex in 1992 by John Major, serving as the Leader of the House of Lords until 1994. He became chairman of the Press Complaints Commission in 1995, retiring in 2001. In 1997, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire. Tony Blair appointed him in 1999 to head a Royal Commission on reform of the House of Lords — the resulting report suggested a mainly appointed Lords be maintained, with a small elected component.
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