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Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde

Thomas Galloway Dunlop du Roy de Blicquy Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde CH PC (born 22 February 1960), known informally as Tom Strathclyde, is a British Conservative politician. Lord Strathclyde served in the political role of Leader of the House of Lords from the 2010 general election until January 2013 and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, having been Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords (1998–2010).

The Lord Strathclyde

Official portrait of Lord Strathclyde crop 2.jpg
Leader of the House of Lords
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
12 May 2010 – 7 January 2013
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Succeeded byThe Lord Hill of Oareford
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
In office
3 December 1998 – 11 May 2010
LeaderWilliam Hague
Iain Duncan Smith
Michael Howard
David Cameron
Preceded byThe Viscount Cranborne
Succeeded byThe Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords
In office
2 May 1997 – 3 December 1998
LeaderJohn Major
William Hague
Preceded byThe Lord Graham of Edmonton
Succeeded byThe Lord Henley
Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms
In office
20 July 1994 – 2 May 1997
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byThe Viscount Ullswater
Succeeded byThe Lord Carter
Minister of State for Trade and Industry
In office
16 September 1993 – 20 July 1994
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byThe Baroness Denton of Wakefield
Succeeded byThe Lord Fraser of Carmyllie (1995)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment
In office
15 April 1992 – 16 September 1993
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byTim Yeo
Succeeded byThe Baroness Denton of Wakefield
In office
26 July 1990 – 7 September 1990
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byMarion Roe
Succeeded byThe Baroness Blatch
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
7 September 1990 – 14 April 1992
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded byMichael Forsyth
Succeeded byAllan Stewart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment
In office
26 July 1989 – 24 July 1990
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byJohn Lee
Succeeded byThe Viscount Ullswater
Government Whip
In office
12 August 1988 – 24 July 1989
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byThe Lord Beaverbrook
Succeeded byThe Viscount Ullswater
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
18 March 1986
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded byThe 1st Lord Strathclyde
Personal details
Born (1960-02-22) 22 February 1960 (age 59)
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Jane Skinner
Alma materUniversity of East Anglia


Thomas Galbraith was born in Glasgow, the son of Conservative politician Sir Tam Galbraith and his Belgian wife Simone du Roy de Blicquy. His father was MP for Glasgow Hillhead from 1948 until his death in 1982. Galbraith succeeded to the barony at the age of 25, following the death of his grandfather in 1985.[1][2]


Galbraith was educated at Sussex House School, in London, and Wellington College near Sandhurst, Berkshire. He attended the University of East Anglia,[1] where he graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Languages and European Studies. He also studied at Aix-Marseille University.

House of LordsEdit

Strathclyde entered the House of Lords in 1986, becoming a Junior Whip in 1988, then Minister for Tourism in 1989. Between 1990 and 1992, he was Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries in the Scottish Office. He then served in the Department of the Environment and the Department of Trade and Industry, before being appointed the Conservative Party Chief Whip in the House of Lords in 1994, succeeding Lord Ullswater. The next year, he was sworn of the Privy Council.

In 1998 Strathclyde, along with the Conservative front bench in the Lords, threatened to tender his resignation if the party refused to accept a proposed compromise plan for reform of the Lords that had been negotiated with the Labour Party by Lord Cranborne, the Conservatives' leader in the Lords, unbeknown to the Leader of the Opposition (in the Commons) William Hague, and to his annoyance. Hague however accepted the proposals, dismissing Cranborne for the conduct in negotiations, and Strathclyde was appointed to succeed him. Under his leadership, the House of Lords Act 1999 passed: under this, Strathclyde was elected by other peers as one of the 92 hereditary peers to remain in the House of Lords.

He won Channel 4 Peer of the Year 2000, and Spectator Peer of the Year 2004.

When the Conservatives formed a coalition government under David Cameron in May 2010, Strathclyde became Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with a seat in the Cabinet.

On 7 January 2013, Strathclyde announced that he would be stepping down as Leader of the House of Lords, and resigning from the Cabinet with immediate effect, to pursue a second business career.[3] He was succeeded by Lord Hill of Oareford. He was subsequently appointed a Companion of Honour for his services to the Lords.[4]

Marriage and childrenEdit

Strathclyde married Jane Skinner, elder daughter of John Skinner, in 1992. They have three daughters:[1]

  • Hon Elizabeth Ida Skinner Galbraith (born 1 December 1993)
  • Hon Annabel Jane Simone Skinner Galbraith (born 15 May 1996) engaged to Lachlan, a domestic cleaner for a secular Hindu family in West London.
  • Hon Rose Marie Louise Skinner Galbraith (born 27 January 1999)

The family lives in Westminster and at the Galbraith family estate in Mauchline, Ayrshire.

As Strathclyde has no sons, the heir presumptive to the peerage is his younger brother the Hon. Charles William du Roy de Blicquy Galbraith (b. 1962).[1]

Outside interestsEdit

Lord Strathclyde is a governor of Wellington College, Berkshire. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from the University of East Anglia in July 2018.[5]

He is a director of Auchendrane Estates Ltd, a landowning company in Scotland. His wealth is estimated at £10m.[6][7]

He was a non-executive director on the board of Trafigura's hedge-fund arm, Galena Asset Management, from 2004 until 2009.[8] Trafigura defended court actions during the 2006 Ivory Coast toxic waste dump scandal and The Guardian suggested his appointment may be an attempt to de-toxify the Dutch company globally.[9]


Coat of arms of Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde
A Bear's Head erased Gules muzzled Argent
Gules three Bears' Heads erased Argent muzzled Azure within a Bordure indented Or charged with three Mullets of the Third a Crescent of the Second for difference.
Two Bears Gules muzzled Argent
Ab obice suavior ('Gentler because of the obstruction', alluding to the muzzled bear's head of the Clan Galbraith crest)


  1. ^ a b c d Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. pp. 3774–3776. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ "Lord Strathclyde: Expert on Scottish Affairs". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 15 July 1985. p. 10.
  3. ^ James Landale. "BBC News - Lord Strathclyde resigns from cabinet". Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  4. ^ 10 Downing Street. "10 Downing Street - Appointment to the Order of the Companions of Honour". Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  5. ^ "UEA's 2018 honorary graduates named". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  6. ^ Samira Shackle, Stephanie Hegarty and George Eaton The new ruling class New Statesman 1 October 2009
  7. ^ Glen Owen The coalition of millionaires: 23 of the 29 member of the new cabinet are worth more than £1m... and the Lib Dems are just as wealthy as the Tories Mail on Sunday 23 May 2010
  8. ^ Leigh, David; Evans, Rob (17 September 2009). "Lord Strathclyde severs links with oil trader Trafigura after waste scandal". The Guardian. London.
  9. ^ Leigh, David (16 September 2009). "Inside Trafigura: Accusations, sour deals and friends in high places". The Guardian. London.

External linksEdit