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Norman Lamont

speaker location icon London, UK

Adviser to the UK Government

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1990-93)

Vocal opponent of UK membership of the euro

A Conservative MP for 25 years, Lord Norman Lamont was Chancellor of the Exchequer during the UK’s last recession, presiding over the withdrawal of sterling from the Exchange Rate Mechanism and what quickly became known as Black Wednesday. His period in office saw the economy move from a deep recession which he inherited into a recovery based on low inflation and sound public finances that lasted for the next fifteen years. Sir Alan Walters, economic adviser to Mrs Thatcher, described him as “not only the most effective, but also the bravest Chancellor since the war.”

He was Britain’s negotiator at Maastricht and secured Britain’s optout from the Euro, which he has always opposed.

Originally an investment banker with NM Rothschild, Norman served in successive governments under Margaret Thatcher and John Major for a total of 14 years, in the Departments of Energy, Industry, Defence and the Treasury. In 1986, he moved to the Treasury, first as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, then Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

As Chancellor, he appointed the 26 year-old David Cameron as his special advisor. When David Cameron became Prime Minister, he invited Lord Lamont to join a panel of former Chancellors to advise on dealing with the financial crisis. As well as giving thoughtful speeches on the economy Norman also has a rich store of highly amusing political anecdotes.

Our Comment

"Since leaving the Commons Lord Lamont has held directorships with various financial companies, including N M Rothschild and Sons. He is a senior adviser to BC Partners, the private equity group, and also to Stanhope Capital. He was, from 1996 to 2008, Chairman of Le Cercle, a foreign policy club which meets bi-annually in Washington, D.C. In February 2014 he accompanied Jack Straw the former Foreign Secretary in a visit to Tehran to examine the prospects for re-establishing full diplomatic relations with Iran."

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