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Gordon Campbell (British politician)

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Gordon Campbell (British politician)

Gordon Thomas Calthrop Campbell, Baron Campbell of Croy, MC, PC, DL (8 June 1921 – 26 April 2005), born in Lossiemouth, Moray, and a Scottish Conservative & Unionist politician.

He was the son of Major General J A Campbell and was educated at Wellington College before joining the Royal Artillery in 1939. After serving in the Second World War during which he won the Military Cross and Bar, he served the Foreign Office in New York and Vienna until 1957. Elected to parliament in 1959, he served as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Moray and Nairn until February 1974 when he was defeated by Winnie Ewing of the Scottish National Party. He served as a Government Whip, 1961–62; Lord Commissioner of the Treasury and Scottish Whip, 1962–63; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, 1963-64. He was Opposition Spokesman on Defence, 1967–68 and a member of the Shadow Cabinet, 1969-70.

He was Secretary of State for Scotland during the whole of Edward Heath's government. During his term in office the issues of fishing and oil led to him losing his Moray coastal seat to the SNP. Government papers released under the 30 year rule reveal an attitude that may explain that loss. Papers from 1970 revealed how the Scottish Office was prepared to have a "weaker and less efficient national fleet"[1] to enable the UK to sign up to the controversial Common Fisheries Policy. On oil in 1972 Campbell was against any move to pump oil revenues directly into the Scottish economy despite Heath asking government departments to explore such an arrangements to help revive Scotland's economy with "its own resources".[2] Further papers from 1974 revealed how he proposed "exceptional measures" to force Shetland Islands Council to accept an oil terminal without financial benefit to the islands.[3]

After leaving the Commons, he was made a life peer as Baron Campbell of Croy, of Croy in the County of Nairn in 1975. He became Chairman of the Scottish Board in 1976, and was Vice President of the Advisory Committee on Pollution at Sea from 1976 to 1984. He married Nicola Madan, daughter of Geoffrey Spencer Madan and his wife Marjorie Noble, and had three children.

He and his Crown Office colleagues are thought by some not to have conducted themselves with any merit during the campaign to free Paddy Meehan who served 7 years for a murder in Ayr which he did not commit. Campbell is alleged repeatedly to have ignored new evidence.


  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005:
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Gray Stuart
Member of Parliament for Moray and Nairn
1959 – 1974
Succeeded by
Winnie Ewing
Political offices
Preceded by
William Ross
Secretary of State for Scotland
1970 – 1974
Succeeded by
William Ross

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