George Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie

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The Right Honourable
The Viscount Younger of Leckie
George Younger.JPEG
Secretary of State for Defence
In office
7 January 1986 – 24 July 1989
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Michael Heseltine
Succeeded by Tom King
Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
4 May 1979 – 7 January 1986
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Bruce Millan
Succeeded by Malcolm Rifkind
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
18 February 1975 – 15 January 1976
Leader Margaret Thatcher
Succeeded by Ian Gilmour
Member of Parliament
for Ayr
In office
15 October 1964 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Thomas Moore
Succeeded by Phil Gallie
Personal details
Born (1931-09-22)22 September 1931
Stirling, Scotland
Died 26 January 2003(2003-01-26) (aged 71)[1]
Leckie House, Gargunnock, Scotland
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Diana Tuck (1932 - 2015)
Children 4
Alma mater New College, Oxford
Profession Businessman (Brewing)
Military service
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
Battles/wars Korean War

George Kenneth Hotson Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie, KT, KCVO, TD, PC (22 September 1931 – 26 January 2003) was a British politician and banker, born in Stirling, Scotland.

Early life and career

Younger's great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, George Younger (baptised 1722), was the founder of Younger's, the family's brewing business, George Younger and Son. Younger's great-grandfather, George Younger, was created Viscount Younger of Leckie in 1923. Younger was the eldest of the three sons of Edward Younger, 3rd Viscount Younger of Leckie.

He was educated at Cargilfield Preparatory School, Winchester College, and New College, Oxford, where he obtained a Master's degree. Joining the British Army, he served in the Korean War with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. On 7 August 1954, he married Diana Tuck, daughter of a Royal Navy captain; they had 4 children.[2]

Political career

He first stood for Parliament, unsuccessfully, in North Lanarkshire in the 1959 General Election. Subsequently, he was initially selected to stand for the Kinross and West Perthshire seat in a by-election in late 1963, but agreed to stand aside to allow the new Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home the chance to enter the House of Commons.

Following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather the 1st Viscount, Younger became Member of Parliament for Ayr in 1964. He succeeded Michael Heseltine as Secretary of State for Defence in 1986 when Heseltine resigned from the cabinet over a dispute about helicopters known as the Westland crisis.

Later years

Younger quit the cabinet in 1989, and joined the Royal Bank of Scotland, becoming its chairman in 1992. He was created a life peer as Baron Younger of Prestwick of Ayr in the District of Kyle and Carrick on 7 July 1992, five years before succeeding to the viscountcy. As such, he continued to sit in the House of Lords after the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999 which expelled most of the hereditary peers.



  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)
  • Burke's Peerage & Baronetage (106th edition, 1999). Editor-in-chief: Charles Mosley; publisher: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Moore
Member of Parliament for Ayr
Succeeded by
Phil Gallie
Political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Millan
Secretary of State for Scotland
Succeeded by
Malcolm Rifkind
Preceded by
Michael Heseltine
Secretary of State for Defence
Succeeded by
Tom King
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Younger
Viscount Younger of Leckie
Succeeded by
James Younger