Lamont, Norman 1942–
Lamont, Norman 1942–
(Norman Stewart Hughson Lamont, Lord Lamont of Lerwick)
Born May 8, 1942, in Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland; son of Daniel (a surgeon) and Helen Irene Lamont; married Alice Rosemary White, 1971; children: Hilaire, Sophie. Education: Attended Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Politics: Conservative. Hobbies and other interests: Birdwatching, reading, watching soccer.
Office—c/o Balli PLC, 5 Stanhope Gate, London W1Y 5LA, England.
House of Commons, London, England, principal assistant to Duncan Sandys, 1965, elected member of parliament, 1972-97, parliamentary private secretary to Norman St. John Stevas, 1974, opposition spokesperson on prices and consumer affairs, 1975-76, opposition spokesperson on industry, 1976-79; Conservative Research Department, member of staff, 1966-68; N.M. Rothschild and Sons, merchant banker, 1968-79; British Government, London, minister of state for Department of Energy, parliamentary under-secretary of state, 1979-81, minister of state for Department of Trade and Industry, 1981-85, minister of state for defense procurement, 1985-86, financial secretary to treasury, 1987-89, chief secretary to treasury, 1989-90, chancellor of the exchequer, 1990-93. Business affiliations include non-executive director of N.M. Rothschild and Sons, 1993-95, director of RAB Capital, Small Companies Dividend Trust, Jupiter Second Split, Jupiter Adria, Jupiter Offshore Portfolio, Balli PLC, CIPAF, and Pantin Hotels Ltd.; vice president of Bruges Group, 1997—; also advisor to Romanian Government, 1997-98; Conservatives against Federal Europe, chair, 1998-99.
Electoral Reform, No Reform, Bow Publications (London, England), 1975.
Sovereign Britain, Duckworth (London, England), 1995.
In Office: The Autobiography of Norman Lamont, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 1999.
Also author of reports and other shorter works. Contributor to books, including foreword, A Wandering Voice: A Diary of Birdsong by Michael Waterhouse, illustrated by Philip Snow, Bellew (London, England), 1996.
Norman Lamont, Lord Lamont of Lerwick, was born in Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, an island chain north of Scotland, where his father, Daniel Lamont, was stationed in the Shetland Islands during World War II. He later attended Cambridge University, where he joined a group of young Conservatives known as the "Cambridge Mafia," who would later rise to prominent positions in British government. Among them were Michael Howard, who became the leader of the Conservative Party, John Gummer, who would become chair of the Conservative Party, Leon Brittan, who would later be secretary of state for trade and industry and home secretary, and Kenneth Clarke, who would become home secretary and chancellor of the Exchequer.
In 1963 Lamont was president of the Conservative Association of Cambridge and in 1964 was president of the Cambridge Union. After graduating, he continued his political interests by taking a position as a research assistant to Duncan Sandys, a Tory member of Parliament. He worked as a staff researcher for the Conservative Party from 1966 to 1968, and in 1970 he ran for a seat in the House of Commons, but did not succeed. From 1968 to 1979, he worked as a merchant banker for the investment banking firm N.M. Rothschild and Sons. In 1972 he ran in an election that was called to fill a vacancy in the House of Commons and won; by the time he reached thirty years of age, he was already the youngest Conservative member of Parliament.
Lamont eventually rose through the ranks, and is most noted for becoming chancellor of the exchequer in 1990, just when England was entering a deep recession. Faced with the burden of dealing with the recession he inherited, Lamont was in a difficult position. He tried to institute various reforms and gave speeches exhorting the public to be optimistic about the country's financial future. He remained a member of the House of Commons until 1997.
In an article in the London Times, a reporter wrote: "To his friends, his belief that there is more to life than politics is delightful; his tendency to flippancy, his repartee and his endearing indiscretion make him good company."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Lamont, Norman, In Office: The Autobiography of Norman Lamont, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 1999.
New Statesman, October 25, 1999, Malcolm Rifkind, review of In Office: The Autobiography of Norman Lamont, p. 53.
Times Literary Supplement, January 12, 1996, review of Sovereign Britain, p. 26.