Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Tuesday, January 5, 1999 Published at 11:01 GMT

UK Politics

The old school tie

Lord Falconer went to school with Tony Blair

It has taken less than two years for former high-flying barrister Lord Falconer to swap his legal wigs for the hard hat of the high-profile dome chief.

Lord Falconer is the backroom minister who takes over from Peter Mandelson as the "government's shareholder" in the Millennium Dome.

Upon Labour's election victory, he gave up his legal practice, from which he is reported to have earned £500,000 a year, to join the Tony Blair's government.

Flat mates

Like his predecessor at the dome, Lord Falconer is a firm friend of the prime minister.

Not only did the 47-year-old life peer share a flat with the prime minister, but the pair also went to the same school.

Like the prime minister, Lord Falconer was educated at Fettes College - Scotland's Eton.

[ image: As well as the dome, Lord Falconer sits on 14 committees]
As well as the dome, Lord Falconer sits on 14 committees
Lord Falconer went on to Cambridge and as a young lawyer in London, shared a flat with the future prime minister.

His long friendship with Mr Blair has overshadowed his appointment to the dome and his other responsibilities within the government.

Lord Falconer sits on 14 Cabinet committees - more than any other government member, elected or appointed.

He did try to get selected for a seat in the black country but he fell foul of the Dudley selection panel for sending his four children to private schools.

'Eyes and ears'

Despite that set-back, it has not stopped him becoming what many call "the eyes and ears" of Mr Blair within government.

Last summer, he swapped this obscure legal post for the less well-defined, but potentially key role of Minister of State at the Cabinet Office.

Downing Street has emphasised he sat on no more committees than a predecessor in the Cabinet Office - Peter Mandelson.

Lord Falconer is not only described as sharp and intelligent but also jovial, full of anecdotes and "keen on laughter".

He is a pop music buff, reportedly able to name the B-sides of long-lost records from the 60s. He also loves his food.

And, like his school pal, he is also married to a barrister.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Politics Contents

A-Z of Parliament
Talking Politics
Vote 2001

Relevant Stories

05 Jan 99†|†UK Politics
Blair flatmate lands dome job

Internet Links

BBC News Online's Domecam

New Millennium Experience

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Livingstone hits back

Catholic monarchy ban 'to continue'

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Straw on trial over jury reform

Blairs' surprise over baby

Conceived by a spin doctor?

Baby cynics question timing

Blair in new attack on Livingstone

Week in Westminster

Chris Smith answers your questions

Reid quits PR job

Children take over the Assembly

Two sword lengths

Industry misses new trains target