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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleFinsberg; Geoffrey (1926 1996); Baron Finsberg; politician
Extent133 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryFinsberg was born in 1926 and was educated at the City of London School. He was a 'Bevin boy' from 1945 to 1947. He became involved in Conservative Party politics from a young age. He was founder chairman of the Mansfield Young Conservatives 1946 -1947 and served as National Chairman of the Young Conservatives from 1954 until 1957. In 1953 he became a member of the Executive Committee of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, serving until 1979. Finsberg was Chairman of the Greater London Area Conservative Local Government Committee from 1972 until 1975 and was a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party Organisation from 1975 to 1979 and again from 1983 until 1987.

In 1949, at the age of 22, he was elected as a Borough Councillor. He remained a councillor until 1974, serving first on Hampstead Borough Council and then, from 1964, on Camden Borough Council when Hampstead became part of that Borough. He was Leader of Camden Council from 1968 to 1970. He was also Deputy Chairman, 1969-1971, and Vice-President of the Association of Municipal Corporations, 1971-74. Finsberg's local government career was influenced by Lord Woolton, for whom he briefly worked in the 1940s. Following Woolton's ideas for rejuvenating the Conservative Party after their disastrous 1945 election defeat, Finsberg forged close links with the people of Hampstead, he injected youth into an aging organisation by championing the Young Conservatives, becoming their National Chairman from 1954 until 1957, and he also worked tirelessly to increase Conservative local government representation in London.

In 1955 Finsberg unsuccessfully contested the Parliamentary seat of Islington East but was elected as MP for Hampstead in 1970, becoming MP for Hampstead and Highgate when the constituency was renamed in 1983. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the 1922 Committee from 1974 to 1975 and was a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Expenditure from 1970 until 1979. He acted as Opposition spokesman on Greater London from 1974 and became Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Education in the new Conservative Government in 1979. In 1981 Finsberg moved to the Department of Health and Social Security, being a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State until 1983. From 1983 Finsberg was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, serving as President from 1991 until 1992, and Western European Union where he was leader of the British delegation from 1987. He retired as an MP in 1992. On his retirement he became Deputy Chairman, Commission for New Towns.

Finsberg was also active in business. He was Controller of Personnel and Chief Industrial Relations Adviser for Great Universal Stores from 1968 to 1979. He also was Deputy Chairman for the South East Regional Board of the Trustees' Savings Bank from 1986 until 1989. He was a member of the Council of the Confederation of British Industry from 1968 until 1979 and sat on the Post Office Users National Council from 1970 until 1977. Interested in Jewish affairs, Finsberg was Joint National Honorary Secretary for the Council of Christians and Jews and was a Patron of the Maccabi Association of Great Britain. Further charity work included being a trustee of the Marie Curie Cancer Foundation and a governor of University College School. He became a JP for Inner London in 1962. Finsberg was awarded the MBE in 1959 and was made a Knight in 1984. In 1992 he was created a life peer. Finsberg was awarded the Order of Merit, (Austria), in 1989 and Commander, Order of Isabella the Catholic (Spain) in 1990.

Finsberg married Pamela Benbow Hill in 1969. After her death in 1989 he married (Yvonne) Elizabeth Sarch (née Wright) in 1990.

Finsberg died in 1996.
DescriptionPapers of Sir Geoffrey Finsberg, Baron Finsberg of Hampstead, Conservative MP for Hampstead and Highgate, [1970-1989]. Comprises material concerning Finsberg's work for his constituency, as a local councillor and for the Hampstead area in general; papers relating to his work for London, as a Parliamentary politician and with the Conservative Party; papers concerning the Council of Europe and the Western European Union; general correspondence, photographs and family papers. Also includes some papers of his wife Lady Pamela Finsberg, and of the Hampstead and Highgate Conservative Association and the Young Conservatives.
Access StatusMainly open; some items closed
Copyright TypeCopyright is held by the depositor
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