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Sir Philip Carter Goodhart (3 November 1925 – 5 July 2015) was a British Conservative politician, the son of Arthur Lehman Goodhart.

Sir Philip Goodhart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
4 May 1979 – 5 January 1981
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byJames Dunn
Succeeded byDavid Mitchell
Member of Parliament
for Beckenham
In office
21 March 1957 – 9 April 1992
Preceded byPatrick Buchan-Hepburn
Succeeded byPiers Merchant
Personal details
Philip Carter Goodhart

(1925-11-03)3 November 1925
London, England
Died5 July 2015(2015-07-05) (aged 89)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Valerie Winant
Children7, including David


Goodhart attended The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He contested Consett in 1950 whilst still a student at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was elected Member of Parliament for Beckenham at a 1957 by-election, and served until his retirement in 1992. One of the unsuccessful candidates for the nomination in 1957 was the young Margaret Thatcher.

In his book Referendum (Tom Stacey Ltd, 1971) he argued that the referendum, then under discussion in the context of the UK joining the EEC, could in fact serve to entrench constitutional safeguards that the UK then - as now - lacked, quoting Arthur Balfour's contribution to the debate on the Parliament Bill (later the Parliament Act 1911): "In the referendum lies our hope of getting the sort of constitutional security which every other country but our own enjoys ..." (Referendum, p 205). He wrote the definitive account of the referendum campaign in 1975, Full-hearted Consent, and also The 1922: The Story of the 1922 Committee (with Ursula Branston; Macmillan, 1973). He was a junior Northern Ireland minister (1979–1981) and a junior Defence minister (1981). He was a member of the Founding Council of the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford.

In 1950, he married Valerie Forbes Winant, niece of John Gilbert Winant;[1] they had seven children: Arthur, Sarah, David, Rachel, Harriet, Rebecca and Daniel.[2] The couple lived in Whitebarn, Youlbury Woods. He died in 2015, aged 89.[1] One of his children is David Goodhart, director of the Demos thinktank and journalist for the Prospect magazine.


  1. ^ a b "Sir Philip Goodhart, politician - obituary". 6 July 2015.
  2. ^ Daily Telegraph: "Valerie Forbes Winant died peacefully on April 1st aged 88" retrieved 30 September 2015

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn
Member of Parliament for Beckenham
Succeeded by
Piers Merchant