| Member of Parliament |
for Richmond, North Yorkshire
8 October 1959 –13 May 1983
|Preceded by||Thomas Dugdale|
|Succeeded by||Leon Brittan|
Timothy Peter Geoffrey Kitson
28 January 1931
|Died||18 May 2019 88) (aged|
|Alma mater||Royal Agricultural College|
Sir Timothy Peter Geoffrey Kitson (28 January 1931 – 18 May 2019) was a British Conservative politician who was Member of Parliament for Richmond, North Yorkshire. He was first elected at the 1959 general election, and stood down at the 1983 general election.
Kitson was born in Leeds, the son of Geoffrey H. and Kathleen Kitson.His family ran a locomotive manufacturing company which went into receivership during his childhood. He was educated at Charterhouse and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. He farmed in Australia from 1949 to 1951.
Kitson married Diana Mary "Sally" Fattorini in 1959; the couple had two daughters and one son.
From 1954 to 1957, he served as a councillor on Thirsk Rural District Council, and from 1957 to 1961 on North Riding County Council.In 1959, he was elected to Parliament for Richmond, North Yorkshire, after Thomas Dugdale was elevated to a peerage. He acted as joint honorary secretary of the Conservative parliamentary committee on agriculture, fisheries and food from 1965 to 1966 and a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Prime Minister Edward Heath from 1970 to 1974. He showed no interest in promotion to higher office, and kept a relatively low profile.
In 1964 and 1965, Kitson supported the Labour MP Sydney Silverman's successful 'Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Bill'.He opposed abolition in the form finalised in 1969, however. Kitson received a knighthood in Heath's resignation honours list in 1974.
The droll side of his personality was caught in an anecdote told by Heath in his autobiography. Heath had friendly relations with the Singapore politician, Lee Kuan Yew ['Harry' Lee]:
"Whenever I have visited Singapore, except for the 1971 Commonwealth Conference, Harry Lee has generously settled me in his personal guest-house, and extended his hospitality to me. His dinners are marked by an invitation card and a menu with 'Smoking is not permitted' heavily printed at the top. Dining with the Lee family one time outside in his garden, I was alarmed when the butler came up to Sir Timothy Kitson, my parliamentary private secretary, and handed him a note. After reading it, Tim apologised to the Prime Minister [Lee Kuan Yew] and asked to be excused while he made a telephone call to London. He returned after some twenty minutes, but half an hour later the same thing happened. Again Tim came back without a word of explanation. When we got up after dinner, I quietly went up to him and said, 'Tim, what was all that about ? Is something wrong ? What is happening in London?' 'I didn't worry you because everything is perfectly all right,' he replied. 'I just had to have a smoke.'"
Kitson was part of Heath's campaign team in the 1975 Conservative Party leadership election, though when Heath failed to surpass Margaret Thatcher in the first round, it fell upon Kitson to inform him of his loss.Uncomfortable with the direction the party took under Thatcher, Kitson stood down from parliament at the 1983 general election. He was a staunch defender of Heath's legacy for the rest of his life.
After leaving parliament, Kitson was chairman of the Provident Financial Group from 1983 to 1995, and of the Halifax Building Society from 1995 to 1998.
Kitson lived in Middleham, North Yorkshire, in retirement, where he died on 18 May 2019, aged 88.
Sir Edward Richard George Heath, commonly known as Ted Heath, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1974 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1975. Heath also served for 51 years as a Member of Parliament from 1950 to 2001. Outside politics, Heath was a yachtsman, a musician, and an author.
William Stephen Ian Whitelaw, 1st Viscount Whitelaw, was a British Conservative Party politician who served in a wide number of Cabinet positions, most notably as Home Secretary from 1979 to 1983 and as de facto Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1988. He was Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1991.
Richard Edward Geoffrey Howe, Baron Howe of Aberavon,, known from 1970 to 1992 as Sir Geoffrey Howe, was a British politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1989 to 1990. A member of the Conservative Party, he was Margaret Thatcher's longest-serving Cabinet minister, successively holding the posts of chancellor of the Exchequer, foreign secretary, and finally leader of the House of Commons, deputy prime minister and lord president of the Council. His resignation on 1 November 1990 is widely considered to have precipitated the leadership challenge that led to Thatcher's resignation three weeks later.
Keith Sinjohn Joseph, Baron Joseph,, known as Sir Keith Joseph, 2nd Baronet, for most of his political life, was a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served as a minister under four prime ministers: Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher. He was a key influence in the creation of what came to be known as "Thatcherism".
Alan Gordon Barraclough Haselhurst, Baron Haselhurst,, is a British Conservative Party politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden from 1977 to 2017, having previously represented Middleton and Prestwich from 1970 to 1974. Haselhurst was Chairman of Ways and Means from 14 May 1997 to 8 June 2010, and later Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association between 2011 and 2014. The oldest Conservative MP to stand down at the 2017 general election, he was created a Life Peer in May 2018, sitting in the House of Lords as Baron Haselhurst.
Sir Edward MacMillan Taylor, known as Teddy Taylor, was a British Conservative Party politician who was a Member of Parliament (MP) for forty years, from 1964 to 1979 for Glasgow Cathcart and from 1980 to 2005 for Southend East.
Kenneth Wilfred Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking, is a British politician, Conservative Member of Parliament from 1968 to 1997, and a cabinet minister, including holding the offices of Home Secretary, Education Secretary and Conservative Party Chairman. He is a life member of the Tory Reform Group.
Sir Geoffrey Johnson-Smith, was a British Conservative politician. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1959 to 2001, with only a brief interruption in the 1960s. He was also a television presenter.
Ian Hedworth John Little Gilmour, Baron Gilmour of Craigmillar, was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was styled Sir Ian Gilmour, 3rd Baronet from 1977, having succeeded to his father's baronetcy, until he became a life peer in 1992. He was Secretary of State for Defence in 1974, in the government of Edward Heath. In the government of Margaret Thatcher, he was Lord Privy Seal from 1979 to 1981.
Leonard Robert Carr, Baron Carr of Hadley, was a British Conservative Party politician who served as Home Secretary from 1972 to 1974. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 26 years, and later served in the House of Lords as a life peer.
Peter Wynford Innes Rees, Baron Rees, was a British Conservative politician and barrister. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Dover and Deal from 1974 to 1983 and MP for Dover from 1970 to 1974 and 1983 to 1987. He was Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1983 until 1985. He was created a life peer as Baron Rees, of Goytre, in 1987.
Sir Gerard Folliott Vaughan was a British psychiatrist and politician, who reached ministerial rank during the Thatcher administration. He was perhaps most famous for losing a battle of wills with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's Joan Ruddock over the government's grant to the Citizens Advice Bureau, a battle that cost him his government post and permanently curtailed his political ambitions.
Sir Ronald McMillan Bell QC was a barrister and Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, representing South Buckinghamshire from 1950 to 1974 and Beaconsfield from 1974 to 1982. He also briefly represented the Newport constituency from a by-election in May 1945 until the general election two months later.
Alick Laidlaw Buchanan-Smith was a Scottish Conservative and Unionist politician.
Sir John Anthony Grant was a British Conservative politician who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1964 until his retirement in 1997. He was knighted for political and public service in the 1983 New Year Honours.
Sir David Laidlaw Knox is a British Conservative Party politician and former Member of Parliament.
Sir Dudley Gordon Smith was a British Conservative politician who served as a junior minister under Edward Heath. He was a Member of Parliament for a total of 35 years, latterly for Warwick and Leamington, which he represented for almost 30 years before he lost his seat in the Labour landslide in the 1997 general election.
Sir William Jeremy Masefield Shelton was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was Member of Parliament for Clapham from 1970 to February 1974, then for Streatham from February 1974 until he lost the seat to Labour Party candidate Keith Hill in 1992.
Sir William Radcliffe van Straubenzee was a British Conservative Party politician.
The February 1974 Dissolution Honours List was issued on 2 April 1974 following the dissolution of the United Kingdom parliament in preparation for a general election.