In The News

Tributes are paid to Lord McAlpine

Tributes are paid to Lord McAlpine

LORD McAlpine, who was a former top official in the Conservative Party and an adviser to Margaret Thatcher, has passed away at the age of 71.

A descendant of the family behind the McAlpine construction company — one of the biggest building firms in the UK — Alistair McAlpine had originally been a director of the company before heading to Australia where he made his fortune as a property developer.

After returning to the UK in the mid-70s, he became involved in Tory politics and was soon a close adviser to Margaret Thatcher, serving as a highly successful Conservative  Party Treasurer during her entire period at Number 10 and also as a deputy chairman for several years.

He was made a life peer in 1984 and remained a member of the Lords until 2010 when he stepped down in order to preserve his non-domiciled status under the tax system.

After serving the party during the Thatcher era, Lord McAlpine’s support for the party waned over the issue of Europe, resulting in a brief involvement with the Referendum Party.

Away from politics, Lord McAlpine was an art collector and author.

In 2012, he received substantial damages from the BBC after being falsely implicated in a child abuse scandal following a report carried on the Newsnight programme, see below. He donated the money to charity. A substantial payout was also received from ITV during the same period, while many Twitter users, who had been found to have circulated the false allegations, were encouraged to make small contributions to charity in order to avoid legal action.

Lord McAlpine passed away at his home in Italy.

Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes to the former Tory party grandee. He said Lord McAlpine had been “a dedicated supporter of Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative party”.

To view an interview in which Lord McAlpine spoke about his dismay at being falsely linked to a child abuse scandal, click here.

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