ALAN CLARK Biography - Polititians


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Alan Kenneth Mackenzie Clark (April 13, 1928 - September 5, 1999) was a British Conservative politician, historian and diarist. Alan Clark was the eldest son of Lord Clark of Saltwood. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied law. He did not practice however, and instead became a military historian. His first book, The Donkeys (1961), was a revisionist history of British involvement in the Great War, which was well received by the public but which greatly irritated the Army. It was the inspiration for the popular pacifist musical Oh! What a Lovely War, though Clark himself was not pleased with the adaptation. He produced several more respected studies of the First and Second World Wars, before becoming involved in politics.


Clark entered Parliament as MP for Plymouth Sutton in 1974 and served in various junior ministerial posts at the departments of Employment, Trade and Defence during the Thatcher governments of the 1980s.


He was an outspoken maverick with strong views on animal rights, Unionism, race and class. Although personally liked by Margaret Thatcher, she never entrusted him with high office and he left Parliament in 1992 following her fall from power. He then published his political and personal diaries, which caused a minor scandal by their candid descriptions of senior Conservative politicians such as Michael Heseltine, Douglas Hurd and Kenneth Clarke.


He became bored with life outside of politics however, and returned to Parliament as member for Kensington and Chelsea in the election of 1997. He died in 1999 of a brain tumor.


After his death, his seat was contested and won by Michael Portillo.


A recent BBC TV serialisation of his Diaries re-ignited the controversy surrounding their original publication and once again brought his memory back into the UK press and media.