We are delighted to welcome Sir John to KITE 2023. In conversation with Tortoise Media’s editor in chief James Harding, and accompanied by a selection of meaningful music that has soundtracked his long and distinguished career, Sir John will share reflections on his political life, and his views on the key issues of 21st century politics.
About Sir John Major
Sir John entered the House of Commons in 1979, and Government in 1983. He joined the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1987; was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in July 1989; and Chancellor of the Exchequer in October 1989. Sir John was appointed Prime Minister on November 28, 1990 and served in that position until May 1997. In the General Election of April 1992, he led the Conservative Party to an unprecedented fourth term in Office.
As Prime Minister, Sir John focused his efforts upon securing peace in Northern Ireland and upholding Britain’s position in the world community as a political, social and economic leader. He was Prime Minister throughout the first Gulf War and, at home, instigated long-term reforms in education, health and public services. On May 1, 1997, he handed over the strongest economy any incoming UK Government had inherited. Sir John retired from Parliament at the UK General Election in May 2001. He chairs the Campaign Board of King’s College London, is President Emeritus of Chatham House, and Patron or President of a number of UK and international charities.
In 1994, Sir John was awarded the King Abdulaziz Order of Merit. On New Year’s Day 1999, HM The Queen appointed Sir John a Companion of Honour in recognition of his initiation of the Northern Ireland Peace Process; and on St George’s Day 2005, a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. In October 2011, Sir John was appointed Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, a Commonwealth-wide initiative which was established to create a lasting legacy to Her Majesty’s 60 years as Sovereign. In 2012, Sir John was awarded The Grand Cordon of The Rising Sun by The Emperor of Japan.
In 2017, he received the Sir Winston Churchill Award from the International Churchill Society. In 2019, he was presented with The George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service – the last recipient to be chosen personally by President George H W Bush. In 2021, Sir John received the New England Historic and Genealogical Society Lifetime Achievement Award.