Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG, CH

Sir John Major 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 sixteen years joining the Cabinet in 1987 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In July 1989 he 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 became Prime Minister in November 1990, and led the Conservative Party to an unprecedented fourth term in Office at the General Election in April 1992.

Sir John retired from the House of Commons at the General Election in May 2001.

His business interests are Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse; Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the National Bank of Kuwait; Chairman of the European Advisory Council of the Emerson Electric Company, St. Louis; and Chairman of the Advisory Board of Global Infrastructure Partners. He is on the International Advisory Boards of the Peres Center for Peace in Israel, the InterAction Council in Tokyo, and Patron of the Atlantic Partnership. His charitable interests include the Presidency of Asthma UK; and Patron of the Prostate Cancer Charity, Sightsavers UK, Mercy Ships and Support for Africa 2000. He also takes an active interest in the work of other charities.

Sir John served as President of Surrey County Cricket Club at The Oval between 2000-2002, where his lifetime passion for cricket was born. In the autumn of 2009, he will join the MCC Committee at Lord's for the third time. His leisure interests also include football, music, theatre, discovering new authors and writing books, and poetry.

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