Dick Taverne, Baron Taverne, QC (born 18 October 1928) is an English Liberal Democrat politician and life peer in the House of Lords.
The Lord Taverne
|Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies|
|Preceded by||Position Established|
|Succeeded by||John Kay|
|Financial Secretary to the Treasury|
13 October 1969 – 19 June 1970
|Prime Minister||Harold Wilson|
|Preceded by||Harold Lever|
|Succeeded by||Patrick Jenkin|
|Member of the House of Lords|
|Assumed office |
5 February 1996
|Member of Parliament |
8 March 1962 – 10 October 1974
|Preceded by||Geoffrey de Freitas|
|Succeeded by||Margaret Jackson|
|Born||18 October 1928|
|Political party||Labour (−1972)|
Democratic Labour (1972–80) Social Democratic (1981–88) Liberal Democrats (1988–)
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
Taverne's 1973 victory in Lincoln was short-lived: Labour regained the seat at the October 1974 general election. However, his success opened the possibility of a realignment on the left of British politics, which took shape in 1981 as the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which Taverne joined. He later joined the Liberal Democrats when the SDP merged with the Liberal Party.
He unsuccessfully contested Putney as the Labour Party candidate at the 1959 general election, and was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Lincoln at a by-election in March 1962. Under Harold Wilson's premiership in the 1960s, he served as a Home Office Minister from 1966 to 1968, Minister of State at the Treasury from 1968 to 1969 and then as Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1969 to 1970. In 1970, he helped to launch the Institute for Fiscal Studies, now an influential independent think tank and was the first Director, later chairman.
In 1972 he was asked to stand down by the Lincoln Constituency Labour Party, who disagreed with his pro-European Economic Community views. Instead he resigned from the Labour Party and from Parliament, and formed the Lincoln Democratic Labour Association. He was re-elected as an Independent Democratic Labour candidate at a by-election in March 1973, and held the seat at the February 1974 general election.
Taverne lost his seat in Parliament at the October 1974 general election, but he continued to remain active with the Democratic Labour Association until it folded after the 1979 general election. He was a leading social democratic thinker, publishing The Future of the Left: Lincoln and After in 1974.
When the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was formed in the early 1980s, he joined them, serving on their national committee from 1981 until 1987. He stood as an SDP candidate in the 1982 Peckham by-election, coming second with 32% of the vote, and in the 1983 general election, he stood in Dulwich, coming third with 22%. When the SDP merged with the Liberal Party he joined the new Liberal Democrats, serving on its Federal Policy Committee from 1989 until 1990. On 5 February 1996 he was created a life peer as Baron Taverne, of Pimlico in the City of Westminster, and sits in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat. In May 2006 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Liberal Democrats in local elections to Westminster City Council in the Marylebone High Street ward.
In 1955, he married Janice Hennessey, a scientist.[clarification needed] He became interested in science and public policy, and in 2002 founded Sense About Science, a charity with the objective of advancing public understanding of science and the evidence-based approach to scientific issues. He was elected President of the Research Defence Society in 2004. He was a member of the House of Lords Committee on the Use of Animals in Scientific Procedures, and is currently a member of the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Lords. He is the author of The March of Unreason, published by Oxford University Press in March 2005.
He is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and a Distinguished Supporter of Humanists UK, as well as a vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group. He is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group. He won the Science Writers' Award as Parliamentary Science Communicator of the Year 2005. He is a listed member of Republic, the campaign for abolishing the monarchy.
In 2014 Taverne published his memoir, Against the Tide.
- The Future of the Left: Lincoln and After. 1974. ISBN 0-224-00950-8.
- The March of Unreason: Science, Democracy and the New Fundamentalism. 2005. ISBN 0-19-280485-5.
- Contributed to Panic Nation: Unpicking the Myths We're Told About Food and Health. John Blake. ISBN 9781857828405.
- Against The Tide: Politics and Beyond. 2014. ISBN 978-1849546690.
- Stenton, Michael; Lees, Stephens (1981). Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume IV, 1945–1979. Brighton: The Harvester Press. p. 360. ISBN 0-85527-335-6.
- Taverne, Dick (March 2014). Against the Tide:politics and beyond (PDF). p. 201.
- "No. 54312". The London Gazette. 9 February 1996. p. 2027.
- London Borough Council Elections May 2006 Archived 17 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine (2006) at london.gov.uk, accessed 30 July 2015
- "National Secular Society Honorary Associates". National Secular Society. Retrieved 27 July 2019
- "All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group". British Humanist Association. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "Former Steering Committee Members". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "Letters: Harsh judgments on the pope and religion". The Guardian. London. 15 September 2010. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- "Oral history: TAVERNE, Dick (b.1928)". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- "Lord Taverne interviewed by Jason Lower". British Library Sound Archive. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Dick Taverne
- Lord Taverne profile at the site of Liberal Democrats
- Profile on SourceWatch
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Geoffrey de Freitas
| Member of Parliament for Lincoln
| Financial Secretary to the Treasury
|Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom|
The Lord Bowness
The Lord Thomas of Gresford