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George Kenneth Hotson Younger


(4th Viscount Younger of Leckie)

1931 - 2003

Politician and banker. A member of the noted family of brewers, George Younger was educated in Edinburgh and Oxford. He served as Conservative Member of Parliament for Ayr (1964-92), Secretary of State for Scotland (1979-86) and then Defence Secretary (1986-9) in the Thatcher administration. On leaving politics in 1992, he was created a life peer as Lord Younger of Prestwick, in recognition of a campaign he fought in relation to the airport. He became Chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland group and led that company in their successful take-over of the English National Westminster Bank (2000) and to their declaration of all-time record profits for a Scottish company of £4.4 billion (2001).

Younger inherited the Viscountcy of Younger of Leckie on the death of his father in 1997. He lived on the family estate of Leckie, by Gargunnock (Stirling). He was also a Brigadier in the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's official bodyguard in Scotland, a Knight of the Order of the Thistle (1995) and has served as Chancellor of Napier University. He held an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh.

Younger commanded respect and admiration across the political spectrum, becoming known as 'Gentleman George'. A tory 'wet', with a reputation for integrity, he shielded Scotland from some of the worst excesses of Thatcherism.


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