Meyer, Anthony 1920-2004

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MEYER, Anthony 1920-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born October 27, 1920, in London, England; died December 24, 2004, in London, England. Politician, civil servant, and author. Meyer was a former conservative member of the British Parliament who is often remembered for his efforts to oust Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from office. Inheriting a baronetcy at the age of fifteen, he graduated from New College, Oxford, in 1941. During World War II, he served in the British Army, commanded a tank in Europe during the Normandy invasion, and was severely wounded by a German shell. After the war, he joined the British Foreign Office and served various posts in France and Moscow. In 1962, he left the civil service to become director of research for Europe's Common Market campaign. His growing interest in an economically and diplomatically united Europe became a hallmark of his political career, which began in 1964 when he was elected to the Eton and Slough seat. Losing the 1966 election, Meyer worked for a year and a half with the Conservative Research Department, leaving in protest because of what he considered a lack of support for inner-city development. He then founded the conservative journal Solon, but after the periodical went under he refocused his efforts on politics. Meyer returned to Parliament in 1970 when he won the West Flint seat, which he represented until 1983. From 1983 until 1992 he was the MP for Northwest Clwyd. During the 1980s, Meyer gained a reputation for his opposition to Thatcher, beginning with his condemnation of the 1982 war on the Falkland Islands. He was also greatly upset by Thatcher's opposition to strenthening political ties with Europe through the European Economic Community. By the mid-1980s, he was actively seeking support among his fellow party members to remove Thatcher from office. This reached a head in 1989, when he bravely ran for office against the still politically formidable prime minister. Though he lost the election, winning only thirty-three votes in Parliament to Thatcher's 314, the mere fact that he gained this many votes convinced many politicians that Thatcher was not as invulnerable as she appeared. The very next year, Thatcher was removed from office. Though Meyer's political moves against the prime minister were an important factor in the demise of his own career, he was satisfied with the results because it eventually led to his goal of having Britain cooperate more with the rest of Europe. After leaving Parliament, Meyer became policy director of the European Movement until 1999. He was the author of two books about a united Europe, A European Technological Community (1968) and A Federal Europe: Why Not? (1992), as well as the autobiography Stand up and Be Counted (1990).



Financial Times, January 11, 2005, p. 4.

Independent (London, England), January 10, 2005, p. 35.

Times (London, England), January 8, 2005, p. 71.

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Meyer, Anthony 1920-2004

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