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Larry Whitty, Baron Whitty

The Lord Whitty

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
12 June 2001 – 10 May 2005
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byBob Ainsworth
Succeeded byThe Lord Bach
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Roads
In office
28 July 1998 – 11 June 2001
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Baroness Hayman
Succeeded byDavid Jamieson
Government Whip
In office
7 May 1997  – 28 July 1998
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Lord Lucas
Succeeded byThe Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
21 October 1996
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born15 June 1943
Political partyLabour
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge

John Lawrence Whitty, Baron Whitty, PC (born 15 June 1943), known as Larry Whitty, is a British Labour Party politician.

Early life

Born in 1943, Whitty was educated at Latymer Upper School and graduated from St John's College, Cambridge with a BA (Hons) degree in Economics. He worked for Hawker Siddeley Aviation from 1960 to 1962 and at the Ministry of Aviation Technology from 1965 to 1970.


Trade unions

He was employed by the Trades Union Congress from 1970 to 1973 and the General Municipal Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union from 1973 to 1985.

The Labour Party

In 1985, Whitty became the General Secretary of the Labour Party, a post he held until 1994. He was part of the reforming leadership of Neil Kinnock and in the role progressed a wide-ranging agenda including the modification of internal rules, a shift towards a national membership scheme, the expulsion of entryist Militant group members and, following the 1987 election defeat, the internal Policy Review. Whitty's period as General Secretary meant that he oversaw two general elections (the later in 1992), and the election of John Smith and Tony Blair as leaders of the party. He was the European Co-ordinator for the Labour Party from 1994 to 1997.


Whitty was created a life peer on 21 October 1996 as Baron Whitty, of Camberwell in the London Borough of Southwark.[1] From July 1998, Whitty was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions with responsibility for roads and road safety issues. From 1997 Lord Whitty was a Lord-in-Waiting (Government Whip) covering education and foreign affairs. He became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at DEFRA with responsibility for Farming, Food and Sustainable Energy in June 2001, serving in this position until the general election of May 2005.

Consumer Focus

Whitty was appointed as the first Chairman of Consumer Focus in July 2007.[2] Consumer Focus was the statutory organisation campaigning for a fair deal for consumers in England, Wales, Scotland, and, for postal services, Northern Ireland. Consumer Focus was created through the merger of three organisations – energywatch, Postwatch and the National Consumer Council (including the Scottish and Welsh Consumer Councils) – by the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007.

Personal life

Whitty is married, with two sons from a previous marriage. He is the brother of Geoff Whitty, a former Director of the Institute of Education, London University.

Styles of address

  • 1943–1996: Mr Larry Whitty
  • 1996–2005: The Rt Hon. The Lord Whitty
  • 2005–: The Rt Hon. The Lord Whitty PC


  1. ^ "No. 54562". The London Gazette. 28 October 1996. p. 14281.
  2. ^ Poulter, Sean. Labour in fresh jobs row as pro-GM Lord is given £60,000 Food Standards post. Mail Online. 1 July 2009.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Mortimer
General Secretary of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Tom Sawyer
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth
Baron Whitty
Followed by
The Lord Lloyd-Webber