Peter Lilley

From Academic Kids

The Right Honourable Peter Bruce Lilley (born August 23, 1943) is a British MP. He currently represents the constituency of Hitchin and Harpenden and, prior to boundary changes, represented St Albans which was its predecessor seat.

He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Nigel Lawson, and Financial Secretary to the Treasury before joining the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to replace Nicholas Ridley in mid-1990 after the latter was force to resign over an anti-German gaffe. After the 1992 UK General Election he became Secretary of State for Social Security and the coincidence of his youthful, good looks, right wing reputation and area of departmental responsibility resulted in the satirical television show Spitting Image potraying him as an SS Officer. It was rumoured that he had an affair with Michael Portillo, who later admitted to having gay liaisons, when both were ministers in John Major's Government, an allegation he later strenuously denied, famously declaring that homosexuality had to him all the appeal of "eating cardboard".

In 2001 Lilley provoked controversy both in his party and in the wider country (UK) by calling for cannabis to be legalised.

In 2005 Lilley produced a report for the Bow Group centre-right think tank that was highly critical of Government plans to introduce national identity cards.

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Preceded by:
Nicholas Ridley
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
1990–1992
Followed by:
Michael Heseltine
Preceded by:
Tony Newton
Secretary of State for Social Security
1992–1997
Followed by:
Harriet Harman
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