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JOHN THURSO MP
Lord Thurso was born 10th September 1953, the eldest son of Robin Sinclair, 2nd Viscount Thurso and Margaret Robertson. He is the grandson of the 1st Viscount Thurso, better known as Sir Archibald Sinclair, the wartime Liberal leader and Secretary of State for Air.
Educated at Summerfields near Oxford and Eton College, he joined the Savoy company as a management trainee in 1971 and worked in all the companyís hotels except the Connaught and in each of the principal departments. In 1981 he was appointed General Manager of the Hotel Lancaster, Paris.
In 1985 he left the Savoy company and France to return to England as Founder General Manager and Operations Director of Cliveden, now Britainís highest rated hotel. In 1991, in recognition of his services to the industry, he was awarded the prestigious Master Innholder award by the Worshipful Company of Innholders. From 1993 to 1997 he served on the Executive of the Master Innholders Association and was Chairman from 1995 to 1997. In 1998 he was admitted to the Livery of the Worshipful Company.
In 1992, he left Cliveden having been headhunted to take on the role of Chief Executive of Granfel Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kuwaiti Investment Office and proprietor of 3 hotels and the prestigious East Sussex National Golf Course. During 3 years as Chief Executive of Granfel Holdings he turned the company from substantial loss to profit, enabling the owners to sell one hotel and concentrate investment in the remaining properties.
Having completed the task of revitalising Granfel Holdings, Lord Thurso joined Fitness & Leisure Holdings as Managing Director where he was employed until his election to parliament in June 2001. This companyís principal asset is Champneys, the health resort.
Lord Thurso is non-executive director of a number of private companies including the International Wine & Spirit Competition. He is Deputy Chairman of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Plc and was Chairman of Walker Greenbank Plc until April 2002, as well as a non-executive director of The Savoy Group Plc from 1993-1998 and Chairman of Scrabster Harbour Trust, Scotlandís most northerly deepwater port until October 2001. He is also Chairman of a number of family companies including Thurso Fisheries Limited.
From 1998 to 2003 he was Patron of the Hotel Catering and Institutional Management Association. He is also Patron of the Institute of Management Services, President of the Academy of Food and Wine Service, President of the Tourism Society and a Patron of the Keepers of the Quaich. He was formerly Chairman of the British Hospitality Associationís Clubís Panel and Chairman of the Savoy Society, of which he is now President.
Following the passage of the House of Lords Bill, Lord Thurso chose not to stand for a hereditary place, where he was Liberal Democrat Front Bench spokesman for Tourism from 1997-1999 and Food 1999. Lord Thurso was a Highland list candidate for the Scottish Parliament in 1999. In June 2001, he was elected to Westminster as the MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross and in October 2001, joined the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet as Spokesman on Scotland.
Date of Birth