Cecil Parkinson

From Academic Kids

Cecil Edward Parkinson, Baron Parkinson, PC (born September 1 1931), is a British Conservative politician and former Cabinet minister. He had relatively humble origins, being the son of a railway worker.

He became MP for Enfield West at a by-election in 1970, moving to the Hertfordshire South constituency in 1974. 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.

He worked on the Conservative Party's 1983 election campaign, standing in the new Hertsmere consitutency, and as a result of his success on the campaign, was promoted to Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

He was forced to resign in October 1983 after it was revealed that his former secretary, Sara Keays, was bearing his child (Flora Keays). Subsequently, as a result of a dispute over child maintenance payments, Parkinson (with Keays' initial consent) was able to gain a injunction in 1993, forbidding the media from making any reference to their daughter. Flora Keays suffers from learning difficulties and Asperger's Syndrome and had an operation to remove a brain tumour when she was four, which is thought to have caused her problems. This court order was the subject of some controversy, until Flora Keays reached her majority at the end of 2001, when the court order expired.

After four years on the back benches, he was appointed Secretary of State for Energy in 1987, and for Transport in 1989. He resigned along with Margaret Thatcher when she was replaced by John Major, and did not contest the 1992 general election.

He was created Baron Parkinson, of Carnforth in the County of Lancashire, after the 1992 elections, and returned to front-line politics when he was made Conservative Party Chairman again by William Hague in June 1997. He retired from this role in 1998. He is a vice-chairman of the Conservative Way Forward group.

Preceded by:
Francis Pym
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
The Baroness Young
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Succeeded by:
The Lord Cockfield
Preceded by:
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
Succeeded by:
Norman Tebbit
Preceded by:
Peter Walker
Secretary of State for Energy
Succeeded by:
John Wakeham
Preceded by:
Paul Channon
Secretary of State for Transport
Succeeded by:
Malcolm Rifkind

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