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John MacGregor, Baron MacGregor of Pulham Market

John Roddick Russell MacGregor, Baron MacGregor of Pulham Market, OBE, PC, FKC (born 14 February 1937) is a politician in the United Kingdom. He was educated at Merchiston Castle School,[1] then at the University of St Andrews (MA economics and history, 1959) and at King's College London (LLB, 1962). Prior to the 1979 general election he worked for Hill Samuel, a merchant bank.[2]

The Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market

Official portrait of Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market crop 2.jpg
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
11 April 1992 – 20 July 1994
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byMalcolm Rifkind
Succeeded byBrian Mawhinney
Leader of the House of Commons
Lord President of the Council
In office
2 November 1990 – 11 April 1992
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded byGeoffrey Howe
Succeeded byTony Newton
Secretary of State for Education and Science
In office
24 July 1989 – 2 November 1990
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byKenneth Baker
Succeeded byKenneth Clarke
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
In office
13 June 1987 – 24 July 1989
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byMichael Jopling
Succeeded byJohn Gummer
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
2 September 1985 – 13 June 1987
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byPeter Rees
Succeeded byJohn Major
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
4 May 1979 – 5 January 1981
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Member of Parliament
for South Norfolk
In office
28 February 1974 – 14 May 2001
Preceded byJohn Hill
Succeeded byRichard Bacon
Personal details
Born (1937-02-14) 14 February 1937 (age 82)
London, United Kingdom
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
King's College London

MacGregor is also an accomplished magician and member of The Magic Circle. He gave regular performances on British television, including guest spots on The Best of Magic and an annual children's charity programme on Anglia Television.[3]

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1971 New Year Honours for political services.[4]

He was elected the Conservative MP for South Norfolk in 1974, and stepped down at the 2001 election.

Member of ParliamentEdit

He became an MP at the February 1974 General Election,[5] and served as a Tory whip from 1977 to 1981, when he became a junior minister at the Department of Trade and Industry, moving to MAFF in 1983.

In governmentEdit

He entered the Cabinet on 2 September 1985 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and was made Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1987 - during the BSE crisis. He was promoted to Secretary of State for Education and Science in July 1989. In the small reshuffle following the resignation of Sir Geoffrey Howe, he was made Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council just days before Thatcher's own resignation. He continued in this position from 1990 to 1992, although William Keegan writes that he was a contender for the position of Chancellor when John Major came to power.[6] He was made Secretary of State for Transport in 1992, remaining in the post until July 1994 when was sacked from the cabinet. His time as Transport Secretary saw him given responsibility for the privatisation of British Rail and the decision to privatise the Transport Research Laboratory(TRL).[7] He was made a life peer as Baron MacGregor of Pulham Market, of Pulham Market in the County of Norfolk on 5 July 2001.[8][9] He sat in the House of Lords until his retirement on 26 July 2019.[10]

Styles of addressEdit

  • 1937–1971: Mr John MacGregor
  • 1971–1974: Mr John MacGregor OBE
  • 1974–1985: Mr John MacGregor OBE MP
  • 1985–2001: The Rt Hon John MacGregor OBE MP
  • 2001: The Rt Hon John MacGregor OBE
  • 2001–present: The Rt Hon The Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market OBE PC


  1. ^ "How charitable status has boosted the income of Scotland's top private schools" The Herald (Glasgow); 28 Feb 2008; Andrew Denholm, Brian Donnelly; p. 5
  2. ^ Debretts, The Rt Hon the Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market, OBE
  3. ^ Macintyre, Donald (24 January 1993). "Profile: And for his next trick…: John MacGregor - The Transport Secretary will need more than his magician's skill to make a success of rail privatisation". The Independent. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  4. ^ "No. 45262". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1971. p. 11.
  5. ^ "Theodore Mallinson" The Times (London); 22 Oct 2008; p. 61
  6. ^ "Business & Media: Mr Lamonts darkest day" The Observer (London); 22 Jul 2007; William Keegan; p. 6. "For Major it was simple: of four possibilities, neither Chris Patten nor Ken Clarke had any Treasury experience. John MacGregor and Lamont were 'both credible candidates'"
  7. ^ Hansard Wednesday 30 March 1994 Col 750-751
  8. ^ "No. 56270". The London Gazette. 10 July 2001. p. 8123.
  9. ^ "Life Baronies", The Times (London); 9 Jul 2001; p. 14
  10. ^ "Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2019.

External linksEdit