Jeremy Hanley

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Person.png Sir Jeremy Hanley   SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Jeremy Hanley.jpg
BornJeremy James Hanley
17 November 1945
British Conservative politician

Employment.png Chairman of the Conservative Party Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
20 July 1994 - 5 July 1995

Employment.png Minister without Portfolio Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
20 July 1994 - 5 July 1995

Employment.png Minister of State for the Armed Forces

In office
27 May 1993 - 20 July 1994
Preceded byArchie Hamilton

Jeremy Hanley is a politician and chartered accountant from the United Kingdom. He was the Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1994 to 1995, and as a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the constituency of Richmond and Barnes from 1983 to 1997.


Hanley was educated at Rugby School, and began his career with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Company (now KPMG) as an articled clerk in 1963. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1969, and as a certified accountant and chartered secretary in 1980. He joined the Financial Training Company, responsible for training chartered accountants, as a lecturer in Law and Accountancy (now Kaplan Financial Ltd), and rose to become the organisation's deputy chairman.


Hanley stood unsuccessfully as the Conservative Party candidate in the 1978 Lambeth Central by-election, and for the same seat in the General Election the following year, before becoming the MP for Richmond and Barnes at the 1983 General Election, narrowly defeating the SDP–Liberal Alliance candidate Alan Watson.[1] On his first day in the House of Commons he ended up sitting next to Ian Paisley and introduced himself saying: "How do you do? I did not realise that you were on our side", to which Paisley replied: "Never confuse sitting on your side with being on your side."[2]

Hanley was the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Richard Luce, Baron Luce from 1987 to 1990, and briefly the PPS to Chris Patten. He became an Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office in 1990, and a Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence in 1993.

In 1994, Hanley was brought into the Cabinet by Prime Minister John Major, who made him the Chairman of the Conservative Party and a minister without portfolio. He served in this position until the 1995 Cabinet reshuffle, when he was moved to the non-Cabinet role of Minister at the Foreign Office, where he remained until the 1997 General Election.

Hanley has been a member of the Privy Council since 1994.

In 1995, while party chairman, Hanley was confronted by several members of the fictional 'Jeremy Hanley fanclub' in the first episode of satirical TV series The Saturday Night Armistice.

Hanley's Richmond and Barnes constituency was abolished as part of a redrawing of constituency boundaries ahead of the 1997 election. He stood as the Conservative candidate for the new constituency of Richmond Park, but was defeated by the Liberal Democrat candidate Jenny Tonge.

Hanley was awarded a knighthood in John Major's farewell honours list in 1997. He is also a Freeman of the City of London, and Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants.

Since leaving politics, Hanley was on a number of company boards and as a director of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce.

Personal life

Hanley is the son of the actor Jimmy Hanley (1918–1970) and the actress Dinah Sheridan (1920–2012). His sister, Jenny Hanley, became an actress and TV presenter in the 1970s. In 1973 he married Verna, Viscountess Villiers, (née Stott, former wife of George Henry Child Villiers, Viscount Villiers, d.1998) and had one son, one son by a previous marriage and one step daughter.[3]

He is a member of Mensa.[4]

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  2. "Mr Jeremy Hanley (Richmond and Barnes) in Hansard"], 7 November 1990. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  3. "HANLEY, Rt Hon Sir Jeremy (James)", Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2011; online edn, Nov 2011, accessed 25 Nov 2012
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