Martin Narey writes:In 1991, many years before I became Director General of thePrison Service, and in the hope that it mig...
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Lord ferrers' obituary

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My contribution to The Times' obituary for Robin Ferrers, one of the most respected and liked Home Office Ministers

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Transcript of "Lord ferrers' obituary"

  1. 1. Martin Narey writes:In 1991, many years before I became Director General of thePrison Service, and in the hope that it might teach a juniorprison governor something about Whitehall, I was appointedas private secretary to Robin Ferrers.As Minister of State he had a massive brief, covering police,fire, charities and broadcasting, although he was never PrisonsMinister. At the same time he had to steer through the Lordsevery piece of Home Office legislation. He rarely finished workin the Lords until late into the night.He was, by some measure, the most courteous man I ever metand one of the kindest. Officials in the Home Office loved him.For his part he insisted that anyone who worked into theevening offering him advice from the officials box later had tobe entertained to a drink in his office.He was uncomfortable with aggressive party politics andinstead worked hard at relationships on every side of theLords. Time and again he steered difficult legislation througha sceptical House, often by virtue of his considerable charmand evident decency.I worked for him for 18 months. During all that time I neveronce saw him compromise his beliefs. He simply never said ordid anything which he didn’t think was the right thing to do.He was a great man.

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