Sir Ian Lloyd

Tory MP who was an early ambassador for IT and 17 years ago advocated action on global warming


Ian Stewart Lloyd, politician: born Durban, South Africa 30 May 1921; Economic Adviser, Central Mining and Investment Corporation 1949-52; Director of Research, British and Commonwealth Shipping 1956-64, Economic Adviser 1956-83; MP (Conservative) for Portsmouth Langstone 1964-74, for Havant and Waterloo 1974-83, for Havant 1983-92; Kt 1986; married 1951 Frances Addison (three sons); died Chichester, West Sussex 26 September 2006.

Ian Lloyd was a long-serving Conservative MP, first for the Langstone division of Portsmouth for 10 years from 1964, and then for Havant until 1992; he was also a shipping expert. Regarded by many of his constituency party as an intellectual snob, he had to fight hard to retain his place in the House of Commons when the new constituency of Havant and Waterloo was formed, his party executive having voted to deselect him in 1971.

Although he had left his native South Africa in protest against its apartheid policies, he became a hard right-winger where policies towards Africa were concerned, but in many other respects he was forward-thinking. Highly numerate, he was known for his expertise on computers, argued the case for continued technological innovation, and was among the earliest to call for a Minister of Information Technology.

As the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Energy in three successive parliaments, he was an advocate of nuclear power, although critical of the way in which the industry went about its business, and conscious of its relatively high costs. He recognised the dangers of global warming early, claiming in July 1989 that civilisation was clinging by its fingernails to the cliff over which it had fallen, the danger was so great; and he urged the Government to take compulsory measures to limit energy consumption. While he welcomed Margaret Thatcher's conversion to the cause in November 1989, he remained critical of the inadequacy of the investment in research to combat the threat.

In addition to his other activities, he was the author of a history of Rolls-Royce from 1906 until 1945 (the three-volume Rolls-Royce, 1978) and he wrote a good deal in various journals on economics, politics and information technology.

Born in 1921, Lloyd came of a Glamorganshire gentry family, one branch of which had emigrated to South Africa. He was educated at a prep school in Johannesburg, at Michaelhouse in Natal, and at Witwatersrand University. He went on to King's College, Cambridge, skiing for the university, becoming President of the Union in 1947 and leading a debating tour of the United States. He took an MSc in 1952 and studied at the Administrative College at Henley.

A skilful pilot, he had already taken part in the Second World War, initially as an instructor, but then flying Spitfires with 7 Squadron, SAAF. After the war, while at Cambridge, he served until 1949 with the RAFVR. On his return to South Africa, he joined Torch Commando and the Liberal Party, but became a civil servant. Intense dislike of apartheid drove him out of South Africa in 1955 and he joined the British and Commonwealth Shipping Company as their Director of Research, remaining as their Economic Adviser until 1983.

Lloyd came to politics through chairing the Conservative Political Education Committee in East Hertfordshire and was selected for the safe Conservative seat of Portsmouth Langstone in March 1962. He served as its MP from 1964 until February 1974, but, when the greater part of the seat became part of the new Havant and Waterloo constituency, he had to take his selection to a full meeting of the association on two occasions, since the executive council had voted 33-8 in January 1971 to deselect him.

He won the first vote a year later by 340 to 68, but, when he was challenged by Janet Fookes in December 1972, he found himself harder pressed. In February 1973 his selection was finally endorsed by 480 votes to 336. He retained the seat until 1983 and was then selected to fight the reshaped seat of Havant. In 1989 he indicated that he would not contest the next election.

Always an active backbencher, although he had a flourishing business career, Lloyd served as secretary to the Conservative backbench shipping subcommittee, 1965-72, and chaired the Shipping and Shipbuilding Committee, 1974-77. In 1970 he unsuccessfully challenged Edward du Cann for the chairmanship of the 1922 Committee. Although an early advocate of an Atlantic Free Trade Area, he served on the Council of Europe and on the parliamentary assembly of the Western European Union, 1968-72 and remained an articulate advocate of the European ideal.

He chaired the All-Party Committee on Information Technology from 1979 to 1987 and the Select Committee on Energy from 1979 to 1989, leading the UK delegation to the OECD Conference on Energy in 1981.

Lloyd was a strong opponent of sanctions and an advocate of restoring sporting links with South Africa, although he remained a critic of its apartheid policies and welcomed the fact that they had been brought to an end. He was also an outspoken critic of Kenneth Kaunda and Robert Mugabe and there were suspicions, voiced in the House by David Nellist, that he was in the pay of the South African government. The political commentator Hugo Young memorably described him as "one of the four beknighted horsemen of the African apocalypse".

However, he was respected in the Commons for his scientific knowledge and contributions to discussions on energy policy and nuclear power. He was staunch in rebutting the idea that Chernobyl had taught the West anything about nuclear safety, and, although he had urged some cutback of the nuclear power programme in 1981, he insisted that it was safe and reliable, if costly, and that it had its part to play in meeting Britain's energy needs.

Widely read, well travelled and extremely well-informed, Lloyd could be regarded as unlucky in not catching the whips' eyes when ministerial reshuffles were in train, but his somewhat disdainful manner did him no favours, and he was inclined, as another political journalist observed, to bore on about microchips. Peter Lloyd, who knew him as a neighbouring MP, put it more fairly and with a strong sense that both country and government were the worse for not harnessing his talents:

He was good at getting hold of major subjects, usually ones on which he was right and which were important to the future of this country, but he pursued them without any regard to matters of current political concern, and he therefore came to be regarded as boffinesque and slightly detached.

There was also a tendency in Margaret Thatcher's time to regard an MP who had not made the front bench earlier as having been passed over rightly. Lloyd may well have made a more substantial contribution to the shaping of public policy as a backbencher than he was ever likely to achieve as a junior minister, but, as Peter Lloyd hints, his namesake's failure to achieve high office speaks volumes about the inability of Britain's political system to identify significant longer-term issues.

Ian Lloyd had that gift, but was not honoured for it.

John Barnes

Further to John Barnes's perceptive obituary of Ian Lloyd ­ he was, indeed, more respected and comfortable at all-party events, than among Tory colleagues ­ may I testify to his huge service to Parliament, as a holder of every office on the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee? writes Tam Dalyell.

"Ian's trouble," mused our Honorary President from 1983 to 1986, the Nobel Chemistry laureate Lord Todd, "is that he insists on being before his time. And timing is everything in politics, isn't it?"

Lloyd was almost certainly the last surviving economist who was personally taught and supervised by John Maynard Keynes. This showed ­ and did not help him with his Tory colleagues. If only he had done more to conceal how clever he was.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing