Drinks Reception with Lord Lamont: Chancellor of the Exchequer 1990-93

Date
Thursday, 5th March 2020
Time
7:30 - 9:30pm

Drinks Reception with Lord Lamont (Chancellor of the Exchequer 1990-93)

Lord Lamont served as a minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major for 14 years, culminating as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Despite his tenure being defined by the tumult caused by ERM membership and the Maastricht Treaty, more recent evaluations credit Lamont with laying the groundwork for the decade and a half of prosperity that followed.

After serving in Energy, Industry, and Defence, he moved to the Treasury in 1986, where he served as Financial Secretary and Chief Secretary before becoming Chancellor.  He successfully managed Major’s election as party leader and Prime Minister.

Replacing Major as Chancellor in John Major’s new Cabinet, the government’s principal economic objective was to regain control of inflation.  He was a long-standing opponent of economic and monetary union, but inherited Major's policy of ERM membership.  However, Lamont stopped ERM membership being a requirement of EU membership under the Maastricht Treaty: giving the UK a way to leave the ERM and avoid joining the Euro in future.

After the Conservatives’ victory in the 1992 general election, ERM membership proved increasingly unsustainable and collapsed on Black Wednesday.  After Britain’s exit from the ERM, Lamont quickly reduced inflation and borrowing.

After the 2009 budget, the Sunday Times editorialised that Lamont’s budget had been so badly received that he was out of his job within two months, “but it fixed the public finances and set up the prosperity of the 1990s and beyond".  Derek Scott, Tony Blair’s economic adviser from 1997 to 2003, wrote that Lamont was “rightly praised” for putting in place the post-ERM framework, that stage of Lamont’s career being “due for re-rating since, in addition to designing a proper framework for monetary policy (later consolidated by Bank of England independence in 1997), he also took most of the tough decisions on spending and tax to put the public finances on the road to recovery."

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5 March 2019 | Doors open at 7.30PM
At a private home in West Hampstead | Drinks and nibbles included
£25 Members | £30 Non-Members - RSVP by emailing agent@hampsteadandkilburnconservatives.co.uk

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