Profile: Lord Alistair McAlpine
Instant rapport with Thatcher was followed by a fierce loyalty
An encounter at a dinner in 1975 with the then leader of the Opposition, Margaret Thatcher, converted Alistair McAlpine from just another wealthy Tory backer into one of the most prominent political fundraisers of his day.
The young property developer and the future Prime Minister hit it off immediately and within a matter of days he was appointed party treasurer – a position he was to hold until 1990 when Mrs Thatcher was ousted from Downing Street.
In that time, and in his role of deputy chairman, he amassed a vast war chest from a variety of sources. Donors included the disgraced tycoon Asil Nadir, whose donation Lord McAlpine later called for to be returned. But the money he generated helped propel the Tories to three electoral victories.
The son of Sir Robert “Concrete Bob” McAlpine, the construction magnate, he became a devoted follower of the former Tory leader, naming his autobiography The Servant (after Machiavelli’s The Prince) and dedicating it to “the most magnificent, Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven”.
Fiercely loyal, discreet and highly effective, he refused to give up on his mistress, helping to re-establish her after her downfall while denouncing as traitors those who had had the temerity to unseat her.
In 1984 he was rewarded for his loyalty with a life peerage, and remained a thorn in the side of Lady Thatcher’s successor, briefly joining Sir James Goldsmith’s anti-Europe Referendum Party.
Married three times and with three children, his interests include art collecting, gardening and travel. He has lived in Italy in recent years and is said to be in poor health. A noted bon viveur, he was forced to slow down in 1987 after undergoing a heart bypass operation.
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan in new celebrity hacking attack weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Isis in Syria: 60,000 Kurds flee terror in new exodus
Alan Henning kidnapping: Wife appeals for Isis to release 'peaceful and selfless' British aid worker
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...