World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Edward du Cann

Article Id: WHEBN0003338656
Reproduction Date:

Title: Edward du Cann  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Taunton (UK Parliament constituency), List of Question Time episodes, Anthony Barber, Niall Macpherson, 1st Baron Drumalbyn, Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 1975
Collection: 1924 Births, Chairmen of the Conservative Party (Uk), Conservative Party (Uk) Mps, Knights Bachelor, Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Living People, Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for English Constituencies, Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, People Educated at Woodbridge School, Royal Navy Officers of World War II, Uk Mps 1955–59, Uk Mps 1959–64, Uk Mps 1964–66, Uk Mps 1966–70, Uk Mps 1970–74, Uk Mps 1974, Uk Mps 1974–79, Uk Mps 1979–83, Uk Mps 1983–87
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Edward du Cann

Sir Edward Dillon Lott du Cann, KBE (born 28 May 1924) is a retired politician from the United Kingdom. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1956 to 1987 and served as Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1967 and as chairman of the party's 1922 Committee from 1972 to 1984.


  • Early life 1
  • Political career 2
  • Post-political retirement 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Du Cann was educated at Colet Court, Woodbridge School and St. John's College, Oxford, where he was a friend of Kingsley Amis. At the start of World War II, he was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Navy. Serving as a Lieutenant in motor torpedo boats based in East Anglia patrolling the North Sea, he served alongside both Owen Aisher (later a noted yachtsman and entrepreneur) and David Wickins (the founder of British Car Auctions and an entrepreneur).[1][2] At the end of hostilities, he became a company director.

Political career

In 1951 du Cann contested Walthamstow West and, in 1955, Barrow-in-Furness, both times without success. He was elected as MP for Taunton in a 1956 by-election. Du Cann served as the Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 1962 and as a Minister of State at the Board of Trade 1963–64. He was then the Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1967 and chairman of the 1922 Committee from 1972 to 1984. He was appointed a Member of the Privy Council in 1964.

In 1974 du Cann played a part in the events surrounding the elevation of Margaret Thatcher to the leadership of the Conservative Party. Following two narrow defeats for the Conservatives at the polls, in February and October 1974, significant disquiet in the party had developed over the leadership of Edward Heath, who had lost three elections as leader. On 14 October 1974, the executive of the 1922 Committee met at du Cann's home, amidst a good deal of press attention. That was soon followed by a more public meeting of the executive at du Cann's offices at Keyser Ullman, on Milk Street, where it was decided that the Committee would press Heath to hold a leadership election. The location of this meeting led to Fleet Street nicknaming the attendees the "Milk Street Mafia". As Alec Douglas Home, at Heath's request, considered the procedures for a leadership election, there was some speculation that du Cann would himself stand as a representative of the party's right wing against Heath.

By the time Douglas Home reported in December 1974, however, events had intervened. The devastating collapse of the banking boom had swept up du Cann's firm, Keyser Ullman, in its path, and du Cann did not put himself forward as a candidate in the leadership contest. This released key support for Margaret Thatcher, especially as another potential right-wing candidate, Keith Joseph, had already withdrawn from any leadership calculations, following a series of controversial speeches on social policy. Consequently, after defeating Heath in the first round, Thatcher emerged triumphant in the second round in early 1975, defeating a number of other candidates who would play significant roles in her subsequent premiership.[3]

In the last week of the 1975 referendum on British membership of the European Economic Community, du Cann came out against British membership.[4] He was chairman of the Public Accounts Committee from 1974 to 1979.

Post-political retirement

Du Cann retired from the House of Commons in 1987, selling his home Cothay Manor in 1993 and returning to live in London. He was instrumental in creating a scholarship programme for rugby league players at the University of Oxford.[5]

Du Cann succeeded Duncan Sandys as chairman of Lonrho, a position from which he was forced to resign due to his role as deputy chairman of Homes Assured, a finance company which crashed.[6] His resignation came two days before the company collapsed, owing £10 million to creditors.[7] He was criticized as "incompetent" by a 1974 Department of Trade and Industry report regarding the bankrupt Keyser Ullman bank, of which he was a director.[6][6] Du Cann has been involved in several legal disputes over debts; his Somerset estate was repossessed in 1992 and his London flat was repossessed in 1993. He later had a bankruptcy order served against him.[8]

He is a board member of E-Clear, a British payment processing company, which went into administration in January 2010.[9]


  1. ^ "Obituary - David Wickins".  
  2. ^ "Auctions magnate began by selling just one old car". February 13, 2007. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  3. ^ Phillip Whitehead The Writing On The Wall – Britain In The Seventies (London: Michael Joseph, 1985), pp. 326–7.
  4. ^ David Butler and Uwe Kitzinger The 1975 Referendum (London: Macmillan, 1976), pp. 173–4.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c Bower, Tom (1998). Fayed: The Unauthorized Biography. Macmillan.  
  7. ^ Ward, Stephen (1993-03-26). "Du Cann will apply to have bankruptcy order lifted: Former chairman of Conservative Party faced petition for solicitors' bills". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  8. ^ Prestage, Michael (1992-08-16). "Du Cann struggles to buy back his estate". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  9. ^ O'Connell, Dominic; Bradley, Jane; Jefford, Kasmira (2009-12-27). "City bigwigs Derek Tullett and Sir Edward du Cann dragged into Flyglobespan row". The Times (London). 

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Edward du Cann
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Hopkinson
Member of Parliament for Taunton
Succeeded by
David Nicholson
Political offices
Preceded by
Lord Blakenham
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Succeeded by
Anthony Barber
Preceded by
Sir Harry Legge-Bourke
Chairman of the 1922 Committee
Succeeded by
Cranley Onslow
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.