Robert Maclennan, Baron Maclennan of Rogart

Robert Adam Ross Maclennan, Baron Maclennan of Rogart, PC (26 June 1936 – 17 January 2020), was a British Liberal Democrat politician, formerly a life peer. He was the last leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), serving during the negotiations that led to its merger with the Liberal Party in 1988. He then became joint interim leader of the new party, known as the Social and Liberal Democrats (SLD) before later becoming the Liberal Democrats. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1966 to 2001, when he was elevated to the House of Lords.


The Lord Maclennan of Rogart

Official portrait of Lord Maclennan of Rogart crop 2.jpg
Official portrait of Lord Maclennan of Rogart
President of the Liberal Democrats
In office
1 January 1995 – 31 December 1998
LeaderPaddy Ashdown
Preceded byCharles Kennedy
Succeeded byDiana Maddock
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Acting
In office
3 March 1988 – 16 July 1988
Serving with David Steel
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPaddy Ashdown
Leader of Social Democratic Party
In office
28 August 1987 – 16 July 1988
Preceded byDavid Owen
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection
In office
4 March 1974 – 4 May 1979
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
19 July 2001 – 18 January 2020
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Caithness and Sutherland (1966–1997)
In office
31 March 1966 – 14 May 2001
Preceded byGeorge Mackie
Succeeded byJohn Thurso
Personal details
Born
Robert Adam Ross Maclennan

(1936-06-26)26 June 1936
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Died18 January 2020(2020-01-18) (aged 83)
Political partyLabour (Before 1981)
Social Democratic (1981–1988)
Liberal Democrats (1988–2020)
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford
Trinity College, Cambridge
Columbia University

Early lifeEdit

MacLennan's father, Sir Hector MacLennan, was a renowned gynaecologist and obstetrician. His mother, Isobel Adam, was also a physician and public health activist. He was educated at Glasgow Academy; Balliol College, Oxford; Trinity College, Cambridge; and Columbia University, New York City. He was the brother of David MacLennan, Elizabeth MacLennan and Kenneth MacLennan.

In ParliamentEdit

 
Maclennan, then SDP leader, addressing the Liberal Assembly in 1987

He became Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Caithness and Sutherland in 1966, and serving until 1997; and for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross after boundary changes, from 1997 to 2001.

He was first elected as a member of the Labour Party and served as a junior minister in the Labour government of 1974–1979, but in 1981 defected to become a founder member of the SDP. He was one of the few SDP MPs to keep their seats in the 1983 general election. After his stint as SDP Leader in 1988, he served as a front bench spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, and as their president from 1994 until 1998.

He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1997.[1]

After his retirement at the 2001 general election, he was raised to the House of Lords, elevated to a life peer as Baron Maclennan of Rogart, of Rogart in Sutherland.[2][3] He was the party's Cabinet Office and Scotland spokesman in the House of Lords until 2015.

DeathEdit

On 18 January 2020, it was reported that Maclennan had died at the age of 83.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Privy Counsellors". Privy Council Office. Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  2. ^ "No. 56285". The London Gazette. 25 July 2001. p. 8777.
  3. ^ "No. 25054". The Edinburgh Gazette. 24 July 2001. p. 1673.
  4. ^ Hudson, Wesley (18 January 2020). "Lord Robert Maclennan dead: Former Lib Dem leader and MP dies aged 83". Daily Express. Retrieved 18 January 2020.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Mackie
Member of Parliament
for Caithness and Sutherland

19661997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

19972001
Succeeded by
John Thurso
Party political offices
Preceded by
David Owen
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
1987–1988
Position abolished
New office Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Acting

1988
Served alongside: David Steel
Succeeded by
Paddy Ashdown
Preceded by
Charles Kennedy
President of the Liberal Democrats
1994–1998
Succeeded by
Diana Maddock