Douglas Hurd is a former leading Conservative MP who served as a Cabinet Minister in the governments of Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, from 1979 to 1995.
As Foreign Secretary, Douglas oversaw Britain's diplomatic responses to the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, as well as the first Gulf War to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. As Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, his diplomatic skills paved the way for the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement on the future of Northern Ireland, which marked a turning point in British-Irish co-operation in the troubled region.
Douglas left the House of Commons after the 1997 General Election, and on 13 June 1997 was created Baron Hurd Of Westwell, becoming one of the Conservative Party's most senior elder statesmen. He retired from the House of Lords in June 2016, but continues his long term ties with politics as a patron of the Tory Reform Group and as a member of the top level group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation.
Born in Marlborough, Wiltshire, Douglas joined the Diplomatic Service In 1952. He was posted to China, the USA and Italy, leaving the service in 1966 to enter politics. He first entered Parliament in 1974 as Conservative MP for the Mid Oxfordshire constituency (later Witney).
Douglas was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974 and Companion of Honour in the 1996 New Year Honours list. He was formerly a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, and Chairman of the German-British Forum. In 2009, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt) from Aston University at its Degree Congregation.
Lord Hurd has written a number of political thrillers, including Scotch On The Rocks, A Vote To A Kill, Palace Of Enchantments, Image In The Water and 10 Minutes To Turn The Devil. His non-fiction works include The Arrow War, An End To Promises, The Search For Peace and Choose Your Weapons.
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