Thomas Alexander Fermor-Hesketh, 3rd
Baron Hesketh, KBE, PC (born 28 October, 1950), is a
British Conservative politician.
most of his life, he has preferred to be addressed by his middle
2006, he sold the family seat Easton Neston, at Towcester, Northamptonshire, attributed to the English baroque architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor, with the
Alexander succeeded to the titles of 3rd Baron Hesketh
, of Hesketh, in the County
Palatine of Lancaster and also to the title of 10th Baronet
Hesketh, of Rufford, co. Lancaster on 6
1955 when his father, Major Sir Frederick Hesketh, died
at the age of thirty nine. Alexander was then aged four.
educated at Ampleforth
College, Yorkshire, England.
He went on
to work for Dean Witter Inc in
returning to manage his family’s businesses.
He married Hon. Claire Georgina Watson, daughter of Joseph Rupert
Eric Robert Watson, 3rd Baron Manton and Mary Elizabeth Hallinan,
on 21-05-1977 and has three children, Hon. Flora Mary
Fermor-Hesketh (born 1981), Hon. Sophia Christian Fermor-Hesketh
(born 1984) and the Hon. Frederick Hatton Fermor-Hesketh (born
13-10-1988). The children use the surname Hesketh
automatically became a member of the House of Lords but took no active part in politics until he met
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
after the Irish Republican
Army’s bomb attack on her in Brighton on 12 October 1984.
Thatcher visited Easton
Neston and in conversation, Alexander explained that he did not
occupy his seat in the House of Lords. He later explained Mrs.
Thatcher asked me if I served on a regular basis in the House, and
when I told her no, she said, 'You must. It's your duty,
and I expect you to be there.
From that point Hesketh worked
under Thatcher, who he described as the most outstanding person
I ever worked with
and held the office of Parliamentary
Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment between 1989
and 1990 and was Minister of State in the Department of Trade and
between 1990 and 1991. On 22 May of that
year, he became Captain of
the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms (Government
Chief Whip in the House of
Lords), under the next Prime Minister John Major a position he kept until the 16 September, 1993.
During his period in office as Chief Whip he helped secure the
Council Tax Bill (1992)
and the Maastricht
. In 2003 he became Treasurer of the
Conservative Party. He is chairman of The Conservative Party
Known for his love of motor racing
founded Hesketh Racing
in 1972, best
known for competing in Formula One
1973 to 1978. The team was famous for its flamboyant and patriotic
approach to the sport and for refusing sponsorship
. Between 1973 and 1975 the
team had some success with the English driver James Hunt
, including winning the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix
. He later was president of
the British Racing Drivers'
from 1993 to 2000.
Lord Hesketh formed Hesketh
. In 1982 a modern purpose built factory was
set up to manufacture the Hesketh
V1000 motorcycles in Daventry.
However, there were numerous problems. The
bikes were heavy, made worse by a high riding style; and
unreliable, with numerous manufacturing problems adding to an
overheating rear cylinder due to lack of air flow. The resultant
bad press combined on top of an under-developed bike, lack of cash
and a collapsing market meant that after the production of 139
bikes, the company went into receivership. The Triumph
looked at buying the rights to the
machine, as they lacked a new model beyond the aged Triumph Bonneville
. A V1000 machine even
appeared with a Triumph badge on its tank, but Triumph also lacked
funding to buy and develop the machine. In 1983, Lord Hesketh
formed a new company called Hesleydon Ltd
manufacture a revamped V1000 with a full fairing, called the
Vampire. However, although the company had produced a motorcycle
with export potential in mind, the Vampire retained too many of the
V1000's faults and only 40 were produced before the company closed
again in 1984.
In 1994 he helped set up British Mediterranean Airways, later known
. He also became chairman of the new
airline. A role in which he continued until early 2007 when BMED
was purchased for £30 Million by UK Airline BMI
In 1997, he was invested as a Knight Commander of the