Christopher Tugendhat, Baron Tugendhat

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Christopher Samuel Tugendhat, Baron Tugendhat (born 23 February 1937) is a British Conservative politician, businessman, company director, journalist and author. He was a Member of Parliament from 1970 to 1977, then a member of the European Commission, and in 1993 was appointed as a life peer, with a seat in the House of Lords, in which he remains active.

The Lord Tugendhat
Official portrait of Lord Tugendhat crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2020
Chancellor of the University of Bath
In office
Preceded bySir Denys Henderson
Succeeded byThe Earl of Wessex
First Vice-President of the European Commission
In office
6 January 1981 – 5 January 1985
PresidentGaston Thorn
Preceded byFrançois-Xavier Ortoli
Succeeded byFrans Andriessen
European Commissioner for Budget & Financial Control and Financial Institutions
In office
Preceded byWilhelm Haferkamp
Succeeded byHenning Christophersen
Member of Parliament
for Cities of London and Westminster
In office
18 June 1970 – 24 February 1977
Preceded byJohn Smith
Succeeded byPeter Brooke
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
15 October 1993
Life peerage
Personal details
Christopher Samuel Tugendhat

(1937-02-23) 23 February 1937 (age 83)
Marylebone, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Julia Lissant Dobson
Alma mater
AwardsKnight Bachelor (1990)

Family backgroundEdit

Tugendhat's family background includes Austrian-Jewish ancestry on his father's side and British and Irish on his mother's. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic. His father, Dr Georg Tugendhat (1898–1973), was born in Vienna, but came to Britain after the First World War to pursue a doctorate at the London School of Economics, settled in this country and married Marie Littledale in 1934. Georg Tugendhat traced his paternal origins to the town of Bielitz in Silesia, which until 1918 was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but became part of Poland in 1920.[1]


Tugendhat was educated at King's College School, Cambridge,[2] Ampleforth College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, then took up a career in journalism, becoming a features editor and leader writer for the Financial Times from 1960 to 1970. In 1970 he was elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for the Cities of London and Westminster, remaining in the House of Commons until 1977, when he resigned after being appointed as a member of the European Commission. He was first appointed to the commission by a Labour government over the head of the nominee of the Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher, but four years later, as prime minister, Thatcher reappointed him, and he served as vice-president of the commission from 1981 until 1985.

On 3 December 1980, when he was leaving his home in Brussels, two bullets were fired at Tugendhat from a car, narrowly missing him; he called the attack "closer than I would have liked."[3] The Provisional IRA claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt.[4]

Following his role at the European Commission, Tugendhat was chairman of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) from 1986 to 1995, and of the Civil Aviation Authority from 1986 to 1991, when he was succeeded by Christopher Chataway. In 1993 he was appointed to the House of Lords as a life peer on the nomination of John Major.

He later went on to become the chairman of Abbey National, Blue Circle Industries, the European Advisory Board of Lehman Brothers, and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. He was also a director of Rio Tinto and Eurotunnel, among other companies.

Other workEdit

Tugendhat is a member of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) Advisory Board, an independent financial think tank which serves as a neutral, non-lobbying platform for exchanges among official institutions and private sector counter-parties worldwide.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

He married Julia Lissant Dobson; they have two sons, James (born 1971) and Angus (born 1974).[citation needed] His younger brother, Michael, was a judge of the High Court of England and Wales, and his nephew Tom Tugendhat has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling since May 2015.


Tugendhat was knighted in the 1990 Birthday Honours.[6] On 15 October 1993 he was created a life peer as Baron Tugendhat, of Widdington in the County of Essex.[7] In 1998 he became the Chancellor of the University of Bath, from which position he stood down in 2013, to be succeeded by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.[8] He was chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the UK's first academic health science centre, from 2007 until December 2011.

In 1998 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Bath.[9]


  • Oil: The Biggest Business (1968) London. Eyre and Spottiswoode
  • Multinationals (1971) London. Eyre and Spottiswoode
  • Making Sense of Europe (1986) London. Viking
  • Options for British Foreign Policy in the 1990s (Chatham House Papers) by Christopher Tugendhat and William Wallace (Nov 1988)
  • Roy Jenkins, a Retrospective (2004); contributor, wrote Chapter 12.
  • A History of Britain through Books 1900-1964 (2019) London. whitefox


  1. ^ Klaus-Dieter Alicke. "Bielitz (Oberschlesien), Winsen (Aller)". Geschichte der jüdischen Gemeinden im deutschen Sprachraum. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  2. ^ Henderson, RJ (1981). A History of King's College Choir School Cambridge. ISBN 978-0950752808.
  3. ^ Michael Hornsby (3 December 1980). "Tugendhat Escape in Brussells [sic?] shooting". The Times. p. 1.
  4. ^ Christopher Andrew (2009). The Defence of the Realm. Penguin. p. 696. ISBN 978-0-14-102330-4.
  5. ^ "Christopher Tugendhat : Political Economy : OMFIF". Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  6. ^ "No. 52173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 1990. p. 2.
  7. ^ "No. 53462". The London Gazette. 20 October 1993. p. 16835.
  8. ^ Profile Archived 2 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 19 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Smith
Member of Parliament for Cities of London and Westminster
1970Feb 1974
Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
New constituency
Member of Parliament for City of London and Westminster South
Feb 19741977
Succeeded by
Peter Brooke
Political offices
Preceded by
Wilhelm Haferkamp
European Commissioner for Budget & Financial Control and Financial Institutions
Succeeded by
Henning Christophersen
Preceded by
François-Xavier Ortoli
Vice-President of the European Commission
Succeeded by
Frans Andriessen
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Denys Henderson
Chancellor of the University of Bath
Succeeded by
The Earl of Wessex
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Dixon-Smith
Baron Tugendhat
Followed by
The Lord Nickson