Sir John Major

The RT HON Sir John Major KG CH

Sir John Major has been a Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse, based in London, since 2001.

Sir John became involved in politics at the age of 16 and, in 1968, won his first Election to a local authority in Lambeth.  He stood for Parliament twice in the 1970s, before securing election to Huntingdon in 1979.

In Parliament, Sir John served in the Government for 16 years and in the Cabinet for 10 years.  He entered Government as Junior Whip in 1983; Senior Whip, 1984; Parliamentary Secretary, 1985; and Minister for Social Security and the Disabled in 1986.  He joined the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1987; and in July 1989 was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, a position he held for 94 days before being appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in October of that year.

Sir John was appointed Prime Minister on November 28, 1990 and served in that position until May 1997.  In the General Election of April 1992, he led the Conservative Party to an unprecedented fourth term in Office.

As Prime Minister, Sir John focused his efforts upon securing peace in Northern Ireland and upholding Britain's position in the world community as a political, social and economic leader.  He was Prime Minister throughout the first Gulf War and, at home, instigated long-term reforms in education, health and public services.  On May 1, 1997, he handed over the strongest economy any incoming UK Government had inherited.  On New Year's Day 1999, The Queen appointed him a Companion of Honour in recognition of his initiation of the Northern Ireland Peace Process.  On St George's Day 2005, Sir John was appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.  In 2008, he was granted the Freedom of the City of Cork, Republic of Ireland.  He was awarded The Grand Cordon of The Order of The Rising Sun by The Emperor of Japan in May 2012. 

Sir John retired from the House of Commons at the UK General Election in May 2001. His business interests include Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse;  Chairman of the Advisory Board of Global Infrastructure Management;  and Chairman of the Global Advisory Board of AECOM.  He served as Chairman of the Council of the Ditchley Foundation from 2000 to 2009, and became Joint President of Chatham House, London, in 2009.  He was sworn in as an Elder Brother of the Corporation of Trinity House in 2013.  Sir John is also on the International Advisory Board of the Peres Center for Peace in Israel and Patron of the Atlantic Partnership. His charitable interests include the Presidency of Asthma UK; and Patron of Prostate Cancer UK, Sightsavers UK, Mercy Ships, Support for Africa 2000, and British Gymnastics. He also takes an active interest in the work of other charities both in the UK and overseas.

 

In October 2011, Sir John was appointed Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, a Commonwealth-wide initiative which has been established to create a lasting legacy to Her Majesty’s 60 years as Sovereign. 

Sir John served as President of Surrey County Cricket Club at The Oval between 2000 and 2002, where his lifetime passion for cricket was born.  He was a member of the MCC Committee at Lord's Cricket Ground for three terms.  In addition to cricket, his leisure interests include football, rugby, music, theatre and reading.

Sir John has been married to Dame Norma since 1970 (she was appointed a Dame of the British Empire in June 1999 in recognition of her charitable work for disabled people). They have two children, Elizabeth and James, and three grandsons.