Tory ex-chancellor Nigel Lawson retires from Parliament after nearly 50 years

Tory former chancellor Nigel Lawson has retired from the House of Lords, ending a parliamentary career stretching back nearly five decades.

It was announced the Conservative grandee and leading Brexiteer had stepped down from the upper chamber on December 31 as peers returned to Westminster after the Christmas break.

He represented the former Leicestershire constituency of Blaby in the Commons from 1974 until 1992, before taking his seat on the red benches the same year.

Joining Margaret Thatcher’s newly elected government in 1979, he served as her chancellor from 1983 to 1989.

Nigel Lawson with Margaret Thatcher at a Tory conference
Nigel Lawson with Margaret Thatcher at a Tory conference (PA)

The parliamentary record shows Lord Lawson of Blaby, who chaired the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum, last spoke in the House in April 2019 when he raised the spectre of “undesirable insurrectionary forces” if Parliament refused to accept the result of the Brexit vote.

Warning of a “rift” with the public, the veteran politician highlighted the danger of “an ugly situation” developing.

Lord Lawson had previously faced claims of hypocrisy after it emerged he was applying for a French residency card.

He was also founding chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which has lobbied against climate change policies such as net zero.

Informing peers of Lord Lawson’s retirement, deputy speaker Baroness Fookes said: “On behalf of the House, I thank him for his much-valued service.”