John Thurso

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person.png John Thurso   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
BornJohn Archibald Sinclair
Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, UK
Alma materEton
Children • 1 daughter
• 2 sons
SpouseMarion Sage
PartyLiberal Democrats

John Thurso was elected MP for Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross at the general election in June 2001. The Liberal Democrats report that 'He was a member of the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet from October 2001 until March 2006, serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland from October 2001-March 2006 and took on the additional role of Shadow Secretary of State for Transport from October 2003 until May 2005. Currently a member of the Treasury Committee, the Administration Committee and the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, he was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee from 2001 until May 2005.'[1]

Biographical Information


Thurso gives the following bigraphical information on his own website:

Born 10th September 1953, John was educated in Thurso and at Eton following which he joined the Savoy Group as a management trainee in 1972. He has had a distinguished career in the hospitality industry, managing the Lancaster in Paris (81-85) and founding Cliveden (85-92) before becoming CEO of Granfel Holdings, owners of East Sussex National Golf Course from 1992 to 1995. From 1995 until his election to Parliament he was CEO of the Champneys group and featured in the TV documentary “Trouble at the top- shape up with Lord Thurso”.
John retains his links with the industry through his Presidency of the Tourism Society and the Academy of Food and Wine Service. He is a Fellow of the HCIMA and was their Patron for 6 years, until June 2003.
Coming from an old Liberal family (his grandfather was party leader 1935-1945), John has always had a keen interest in politics. Following his father’s death in 1995 he took his seat in the House of Lords where he was spokesman on Tourism and later Food. He was a Highland list candidate in 1999. John spoke many times in the House of Lords in favour of Lords reform and following the 1999 Act, chose not to try and stay. He is the first and only hereditary peer to have been elected to the Commons having previously sat in the Lords.
John and his wife Marion have been married for 26 years and have a daughter and 2 sons. The family live in Thurso.[2]

Current activities

Aristocracy of Whisky

[Lord] Thurso is also one of 12 Patrons of the Quaich which he considers a huge honour. “We are all dedicated to whisky, to its purity and variety not only as a commodity but also as Scotland’s greatest export,” he orates. “We are like a constitutional aristocracy. We have no power but considerable influence. It is a great honour to be a Keeper of the Quaich but particularly to be a Patron.” Grand masters of the past have included the Duke of Argyll and Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden.[3]



Register of Interests

1. Remunerated directorships

Chairman of: International Wine and Spirit Competition Ltd; organisers annual wine and spirit competition. Ulbster Holdings Ltd.; manages family estates in Scotland. Thurso Fisheries Ltd; manages family estates in Scotland. Director of three wholly owned subsidiaries of Ulbster Holdings Ltd:

Director of Millennium and Copthorne Hotels PLC; international hotel company.

8. Land and Property

Estate in Caithness.

9. Registrable shareholdings

(a) Walker Greenbank PLC (2% of share capital is owned by Ulbster Holdings Ltd. which I own 100%). (a) Ulbster Holdings Ltd (which owns 100% of Lochdhu Hotels Ltd., Ulbster Estates (Sporting) Ltd and Sinclair Family Trust Ltd.) (a) Thurso Fisheries Ltd.[5]

Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. John Thurso Biography
  2. John Thurso Biography
  3. Whisky Magazine Whisky Issue 9
  4. New Zealand United Distillers Association Press release 21st October 2008 Scotch honour for Distilled Spirits Association chief accessed 14th November 2008
  5. They Work for Thurso Register of interests