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Last Updated: Monday, 10 November, 2003, 09:16 GMT
Profile: Lord Saatchi
Lord Saatchi
Lord Saatchi's advertising firm was synonymous with 80's excess
Maurice Saatchi's status in the Tory Party was assured by his role in helping Margaret Thatcher towards her historic 1979 election victory.

He is credited with the famous "Labour isn't working" posters of that campaign and 1997's "New Labour, New Danger".

Many see his appointment as new joint party chairman as proof of the importance Michael Howard puts on getting his message across to voters.

Now Lord Saatchi, he is also known for his demands for simpler tax laws.

Audacious bid

Lord Saatchi, 57, made a name for himself with the advertising agency he founded in the early 1970s with his brother, the renowned art collector, Charles.

He was chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and under his stewardship the firm became the world's biggest advertising agency.

Tory campaign poster
Saatchi's 1979 election poster depicted a long dole queue

It became indelibly linked with the excesses of the 1980s boom and launched an audacious bid to take over one of Britain's biggest banks, the Midland.

A shareholder revolt brought a swift end to his role at the firm in 1994.

But it was not the end of the brothers' advertising careers and their new agency, M&C Saatchi, was set up soon afterwards.

The success of both companies has seen the brothers firmly establish themselves among the most colourful characters in the advertising world.

Poorest people

Maurice Saatchi became a Lord in 1996 and is considered a long-term ally of Michael Howard.

Michael Howard
Michael Howard shares Lord Saatchi's interest in taxation

Their partnership is said to have strengthened during Mr Howard's time as shadow chancellor while the Tories were led by Iain Duncan Smith.

He became a shadow Treasury spokesman in the House of Lords and has persistently campaigned for the simplification of the tax system.

Two years ago he argued that eight million of Britain's poorest people should stop paying income tax altogether.

Mr Howard has already said that he would like a Tory government to cut taxes and it is expected that Lord Saatchi would help him flesh out the plans.

Lenin statue

Lord Saatchi's private interests are less well known than those of his brother, whose wide-ranging modern art collection attracts worldwide attention.

But Maurice is considered a music lover, who also has a taste for the arts himself.

He recently paid 18,400 for a 10ft 6in high statue of Lenin as a young man, which had stood outside a Czech court until the fall of communism.

Lord Saatchi is married to the novelist Josephine Hart.




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