Monday 03 April 2023 9:29 pm
Nigel Lawson has passed away, aged 91
The former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, who oversaw the City’s mid-eighties Big Bang, has passed away at 91.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak led tributes to the party grandee and leading Brexiteer as an “inspiration” while Boris Johnson marked him as a “giant” of Tory politics.
Prior to entering politics Lawson was the City editor of the broadsheet Sunday Telegraph, while his daughter, Nigella, became a well-known television cook.
Lawson served at No. 11 Downing Street through six years of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership and is credited with some of the most far-reaching reforms ever delivered in the British economy.
Tory MPs took to social media to pay tribute to a man who is seen as a vital architect of the Thatcher years.
The Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “Sad news that Nigel Lawson has died. A true statesman. His contributions to this nation will not be forgotten.”
Nigel Lawson was a fearless and original flame of free market Conservatism. He was a tax-cutter and simplifier who helped transform the economic landscape and helped millions of British people achieve their dreams.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 3, 2023
Later Lord Lawson, he retired from public life last year, giving up his seat in the House of Lords.
Sunak, himself a former chancellor, said Lord Lawson was a “transformational chancellor and an inspiration to me and many others”.
He added: “One of the first things I did as Chancellor was hang a picture of Nigel Lawson above my desk.”
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson
Johnson described him as a “fearless and original flame of free market Conservatism”.
“He was a tax-cutter and simplifier who helped transform the economic landscape and helped millions of British people achieve their dreams,” the former prime minister added.
“He was a prophet of Brexit and a lover of continental Europe. He was a giant. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Nigel Lawson being interviewed by broadcaster Brian Walden
Former prime minister Liz Truss said: “Incredibly sad to hear of the death of Nigel Lawson. A true giant of 20th century politics who as Chancellor famously sought to abolish at least one tax at every Budget.
“His time at the helm of the Treasury was transformational.”
Nigel and Nigella Lawson
Tory party chairman Greg Hands said Lord Lawson “will be remembered for his clarity of thinking, commitment to free market economics & willingness to challenge orthodoxies”.
Former chancellor Sajid Javid said: “Very saddened to hear this. One of Britain’s greatest public servants, especially as Chancellor.”
While Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Nigel Lawson was a rarity amongst politicians, someone who transformed our thinking as well as transforming our economy.
“Since he stepped down as Chancellor his shoes have been impossible to fill but he inspired all his successors, leaving the country more prosperous and enterprising.”
Lord Lawson helped transform Britain while serving in the Thatcher government, slashing personal taxation.
His resignation in 1989 after rows over Europe and economic policy marked the early stages of her downfall a year later.
He chaired the Vote Leave campaign ahead of the 2016 EU referendum but faced allegations of hypocrisy after applying for a French residency card.
He also faced criticism for being a denier of the climate crisis.