David Hunt, Baron Hunt of Wirral - Life and Career

Life and Career

Born in Glyn Ceiriog in 1942, the son of former Royal Naval Reserves Officer Alan N Hunt OBE and Jessie E E Northrop, David Hunt was the middle child of three, with two sisters. Growing up, David was an active member of the Young Conservatives where he was inspired into running for political office for the Conservative Party.

Hunt became Member of Parliament for Wirral after winning a by-election in 1976. The seat was broken up and Hunt became Member of Parliament for the new Wirral West constituency in 1983.

In government he served as a whip and junior minister under Margaret Thatcher, who made him Secretary of State for Wales in 1990, shortly before her resignation later that year. He remained at the Welsh Office until 1993, then served as Secretary of State for Employment from 1993 to 1994 and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1994 to 1995. In the Cabinet reshuffle of 1995, it was rumoured that Hunt was offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister which was turned down, that position then going to Michael Heseltine. He briefly returned to the Welsh Office, whilst remaining Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, for two weeks during the leadership election in mid-1995 as acting Secretary of State for Wales after the incumbent, John Redwood stepped down in order to be a candidate.

He lost his seat in the Labour landslide at the 1997 general election.

He was made a life peer as Baron Hunt of Wirral of Wirral in the county of Merseyside, in 1997. Lord Hunt was senior partner at the national law firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs (now Beachcroft LLP) between 1996 and 2005. He is now chairman of the firm's financial services division and is regarded as a major figure in the world of insurance and financial services. On certain Bills he used to occasionally step back up to the opposition front bench in the House of Lords, on an ad hoc basis. On 7 October 2008, David Cameron formally appointed him to the front bench to shadow Peter Mandelson in the House of Lords on Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform matters.

Hunt was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Bristol on 21 February 2008. He is vice-president of the Holocaust Educational Trust. He became chairman of the Press Complaints Commission on 17 October 2011. In December 2011 he recommended closing the PCC and replacing it with an alternative independent press regulator.

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