Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
The Right Honourable
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
In Washington, D.C., January 2010
Head of the Policy Unit United Kingdom Independence Party
Assumed office
November 2010
Leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Nigel Farage
Personal details
Born 14 February 1952 (1952-02-14) (age 59)
Political party UK Independence Party
Spouse(s) Juliet Mary Anne Malherbe Jensen
Relations Rosa Monckton (sister), Timothy, Jonathan and Anthony (brothers)
Alma mater Churchill College, Cambridge
University College, Cardiff
Occupation Politician, journalist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (born 14 February 1952) is a British politician, public speaker,[1] former newspaper editor and hereditary peer. Formerly a member of the Conservative Party, Monckton has been the Head of the Policy Unit for the UK Independence Party since November 2010. He was Deputy Leader of the Party under Lord Pearson of Rannoch. He served in Conservative Central Office and worked for Margaret Thatcher's Number 10 Policy Unit during the 1980s. He also worked for The Universe, The Sunday Telegraph, Today and Evening Standard newspapers.

Monckton became known in the 1990s for his invention of the Eternity puzzle, a mathematical puzzle for which he offered a prize of one million pounds to the first person who could solve it within four years.[2] In recent years he has come to public attention for holding sceptical views about man-made climate change.[3][4][5][6].


Personal life

Monckton was born the eldest son of the late Major-General Gilbert Monckton, 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and Marianna Letitia (nee Bower), former High Sheriff of Kent and a Dame of Malta. He has three brothers, Timothy, Jonathan and Anthony and a sister, Rosa, wife of journalist Dominic Lawson. His father raised the family as Roman Catholics after converting at Cambridge.[citation needed]

Monckton was educated at Harrow School and Churchill College, Cambridge, where he received an MA in classics in 1974, and at University College, Cardiff, where he obtained a diploma in journalism studies. In 1990, he married Juliet Mary Anne Malherbe Jensen. In 2006, on the death of his father, he acceded to the title of viscount.[citation needed]

Monckton is a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Broderers, an Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and a member of the Roman Catholic Mass Media Commission. He is also a qualified Day Skipper with the Royal Yachting Association, and has been a trustee of the Hales Trophy for the Blue Riband of the Atlantic since 1986.[7]

He suffers a mild form of Graves' disease. [8]



Monckton joined the Yorkshire Post in 1974 at the age of 22, where he worked as a reporter and leader-writer. From 1977 to 1978, he worked at Conservative Central Office as a press officer, becoming the editor of the Roman Catholic newspaper The Universe in 1979, then managing editor of The Sunday Telegraph magazine in 1981. He joined the London Evening Standard newspaper as a leader-writer in 1982.[7]

In 1979, Monckton met Alfred Sherman, who co-founded the pro-Conservative think tank the Centre for Policy Studies with Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph in 1974. Sherman asked Monckton to take the minutes at the CPS's study group meetings.[9] Monckton subsequently became the secretary for the centre's economic, forward strategy, health and employment study groups.[10] He wrote a paper on the privatisation of council housing by means of a rent-to-mortgages scheme that brought him to the attention of Downing Street.[9] Ferdinand Mount, the head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and a former CPS director, brought Monckton into the Policy Unit in 1982.[10] He was recruited as a domestic specialist with responsibilities for housing and parliamentary affairs,[11][12] working alongside Mount and Peter Shipley[13] on projects such as the phasing out of council housing.[11] He left the unit in 1986[10][14] to become assistant editor of the newly established, and now defunct, tabloid newspaper Today. He was a consulting editor for the Evening Standard from 1987 to 1992 and was its chief leader-writer from 1990 to 1992.[7] In 1989 Monckton claimed damages for libel over the article "Rosa's bit of cheek" in the 9 March edition of the Daily Mail.[15] In 1991, Monckton won a libel case over a 28 September 1990 article about his financial affairs in Private Eye.[16]

Since 2002 Monckton has had several newspaper articles published critical of the IPCC and current scientific consensus on climate change,[17][18] in addition to more light hearted pieces related to his bowler hat wearing.[19]


In 1995, Monckton and his wife opened Monckton's, a shirt shop in King's Road, Chelsea.[20]

In 1999, Monckton created and published the Eternity puzzle, a geometric puzzle that involved tiling a dodecagon with 209 irregularly shaped polygons called polydrafters. A £1 million prize was won after 18 months by two Cambridge mathematicians.[21] By that time, 500,000 puzzles had been sold. Monckton also launched the Eternity II puzzle in 2007, but, after the four-year prize period, no winner came forward to claim the £2 million prize.

Political career

Although Monckton inherited a peerage, he did so after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999,[22] which provided that hereditary peers would no longer have an automatic right to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Monckton asserts that the Act is flawed and unconstitutional, and has referred to himself as "a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature" in a letter to US Senators,[23] and also as "a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote."[24]

The House of Lords authorities have said Monckton is not and never has been a member and that there is no such thing as a non-voting or honorary member of the House.[6][25] In July 2011 the House took the "unprecedented step" of publishing online a cease and desist letter to Monckton from the Clerk of the Parliaments, which concluded, "I am publishing this letter on the parliamentary website so that anybody who wishes to check whether you are a Member of the House of Lords can view this official confirmation that you are not."[26][27]

Notwithstanding his criticism of the House of Lords Act, Monckton has offered himself as a candidate for one of the retained seats for hereditary peers which it provides. He stood unsuccessfully in four by-elections for vacant seats created by deaths among the 92 hereditary peers remaining in the Lords after the reforms. He stood for a Conservative seat in a March 2007 by-election; of the 43 candidates, 31 received no votes, Monckton included.[28] He subsequently stood in the crossbench by-elections of May 2008,[29] July 2009,[30] and June 2010,[31] again receiving no votes. He was highly critical of the way the Lords was reformed, describing the procedure in the March 2007 by-election, with 43 candidates and 47 electors, as "a bizarre constitutional abortion."[32]

He has also considered standing for election to the House of Commons (which hereditary peers are entitled to do if they are not members of the House of Lords). At the 2010 general election he was nominated as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate for the Scottish constituency of Perth and North Perthshire, but withdrew in accordance with UKIP's policy of not opposing other Eurosceptic parliamentary candidates.[25] In June 2010, UKIP announced he had been appointed its deputy leader, to serve alongside David Campbell Bannerman.[33]

In 2011 he stood as lead party-list candidate for UKIP in the Scottish Parliament constituency of Mid Scotland and Fife.[34] Despite failing to gain representation in the Scottish Parliament, UKIP improved its performance in Mid Scotland and Fife, gaining 1.1% of the region's vote.

Political views

Climate change

Monckton questions the magnitude of global warming expected by the majority of climate scientists in response to anthropogenic increases in CO2 concentration.[6][35]

Monckton questions much of the science that is used as the basis for the IPCC predictions for global warming.[36] His position on the correlation between CO2 and global warming appears contradictory[to whom?] — at times he implies that he believes there is a greenhouse effect, and that CO2 contributes to it, at other times he appears to believe that marked changes in global temperature cannot be caused by CO2 because "there is a startling absence of correlation between the CO2-concentration trend and the temperature trend, necessarily implying that—at least in the short term—there is little or no causative link between the two", and that there is "a close correlation between CO2 concentration and temperature: but it was temperature that changed first".[36] At times Monckton agrees that humanity is adding CO2 to the atmosphere and that some warming will result, but he questions how much CO2 is being added, how much warming will occur, how much damage it will do, and whether addressing it by taxing or regulating CO2 is cost-effective.[citation needed] In a 2006 article he questioned the appropriateness of using a near-zero discount rate in the Stern Review, which, he wrote, had underestimated the costs of mitigation and overstated its benefits. He said that mitigation was "expensively futile without the consent of the Third World's fast-growing nations".[37]

After a presentation by Monckton at Bethel University (Minnesota) in October 2009, Professor John P Abraham[38] of University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) produced a rebuttal to Monckton's claims. John Abraham investigated the origins of many of the claims by contacting the authors of those papers Monckton had cited[35][39][40] and concluded that "he had misrepresented the science".[40] Monckton responded to Abraham's statement soon after, stating, "he looks like an overcooked prawn", and expressing the view that Abraham had repeatedly misquoted him to third-party scientists and had then obtained understandably hostile comments from them, which he had improperly used against Monckton. John Abraham's responses to Monckton's criticisms were that Monckton "dealt with a small number of very peripheral issues", and that it did not address the "many serious scientific lapses which were present in your [Monckton's] presentation". [41]

Monckton "initiated the process of having Abraham hauled up before whatever academic panel his Bible College can muster, to answer disciplinary charges of wilful academic dishonesty amounting to gross professional misconduct unbecoming a member of his profession",[42] and asked that Abraham's talk be removed from the University servers, and a donation of $10,000 and $100,000 be made respectively by Abraham and the University to the "United States Association of the Order of Malta for its charitable work in Haiti".[43][44] The university responded that "The University of St Thomas respects your right to disagree with Professor Abraham, just as the University respects Professor Abraham's right to disagree with you. What we object to are your personal attacks against Father Dease, and Professor Abraham, your inflammatory language, and your decision to disparage Professor Abraham Father Dease and The University of St Thomas"[45][46], and it refused all of Monckton's demands.[47]

Since 2008 he has toured Britain, the US and Australia delivering talks to groups related to the subject. In 2009 he was invited on three occasions before Congress to speak on the behalf of Republican representatives. He followed this up with his July 2010 tour of Australia. Between 2009 and 2010 the film maker Rupert Murray followed Monckton on his climate change tour. The film was later broadcast on 31 January 2011 on BBC Four titled "Meet the sceptics". Prior to its broadcast its depiction of Monckton was described by fellow sceptic James Delingpole as "another hatchet job".[48] Previously in 2008 Monckton had appeared in another BBC production "Earth: The Climate Wars" that he accused of making him look like a "potty peer".[49] Monckton went to the High Court to gain an injunction against the "Meet the sceptics" broadcast, complaining of breach of contract and requesting a ruling that his three minute or 500 word rebuttal should be added to the programme. He did not obtain the injunction, the judge ruled that Monckton's interpretation of clarity in the contract was incorrect, and the "balance of justice" favoured refusal of the injunction.[50]

Social and economic policy

Eddy Shah: Today and the Newspaper Revolution describes him as "a fervent, forthright and opinionated Roman Catholic Tory"[51] who has been closely associated with the "New Right" faction of the Conservative Party.[52] As one of Margaret Thatcher's policy advisors, he has been credited with being "the brains behind the Thatcherite policy of giving council tenants (public housing) the right to buy their homes."[53] Criticizing the campaign to save the Ravenscraig ironworks, Monckton wrote, "The Scots are subsidy junkies whingeing like crumpled bagpipes and waiting for a fix of English taxpayers' money."[54]

He has been associated with the Referendum Party, advising its founder, Sir James Goldsmith. In 2003 he helped a Scottish Tory breakaway group, the Scottish Peoples Alliance.[53] In 2009 he joined the UK Independence Party;[55] he is now deputy leader. [33] Monckton was a sponsor of the anti-homosexual Conservative Family Campaign in the 1990s.[56]

In 1997, Monckton criticised works at the Fotofeis (the Scottish International Festival of Photography) and Sensation as "feeble-minded, cheap, pitiable, exploitative sensationalism perpetrated by the talent-free and perpetuated by over-funded, useless, muddle-headed, middle-aged, pot-bellied, brewer's-droopy quangoes which a courageous Government would forthwith cease to subsidise with your money and mine."[57]

Views on AIDS

In a 1987 article for The American Spectator entitled "AIDS: A British View", he argued that "there is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month ... all those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently." This would involve isolating between 1.5 and 3 million people in the United States ("not altogether impossible") and another 30,000 people in the UK ("not insuperably difficult"). Monckton's article concluded, however, that current Western sensibilities would not allow this standard protocol for containing a new, fatal and incurable infection to be applied: therefore, he said, many would needlessly die. The article was controversial and The American Spectator's then assistant managing editor, Andrew Ferguson, denounced it in the letters column of the same issue.[58] Monckton appeared on the BBC's Panorama programme in February 1987 to discuss his views and present the results of an opinion poll that found public support for his position.[52]

Monckton has since stated "the article was written at the very outset of the AIDS epidemic, and with 33 million people around the world now infected, the possibility of [quarantine] is laughable. It couldn't work." He also said that this standard protocol could have worked at the time; that senior HIV investigators had called for it; and that many of the lives that have been lost could have been saved.[59]

Resurrexi Pharmaceutical

Resurrexi Pharmaceutical is stated on the UK Independence Party (UKIP) web site to be a company of which Monckton is a director. In the BBC documentary, "Meet the Sceptics" (2011),[48] Monckton, said he had cured himself of Graves' disease an auto-immune disease thought to have been triggered either by a one-time virus or bacterial infection, and said he was researching a "broad-spectrum cure" for infectious diseases. UKIP's CV for Monckton states that "patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves' Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex 6. Our first HIV patient had his viral titre reduced by 38% in five days, with no side-effects. Tests continue."[60]

There are no other sources than UKIP for the claims, and some scepticism has been expressed about their validity.[61]

Two patent applications in Monckton's name are registered at the UK Intellectual Property Office[citation needed].

European integration

Monckton has been an advocate of Euroscepticism for many years; as he put it in a 2007 interview, he would "leave the European Union, close down 90 per cent of government services and shift power away from the atheistic, humanistic government and into the hands of families and individuals."[62] In 1994, he sued the Conservative government of John Major for agreeing to contribute to the costs of the Protocol on Social Policy agreed in the 1993 Maastricht Treaty, although the UK had an opt-out from the protocol. The case was heard in the Scottish Court of Session in May 1994. His petition for judicial review was dismissed by the court for want of relevancy.[63]

Published works

The Science and Public Policy Institute, of which Monckton is policy director, has published nine non peer-reviewed articles by Monckton on climate-change science.[64]

See also


  1. ^ "Christopher Monckton - Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (£8,000 - £25,000)". Parliament Speakers. 
  2. ^ "The Eternity puzzle solved". BBC News. 2 October 2000. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Climate deniers to send film to British schools". The Independent. 2 October 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Christopher Monckton (4 November 2006). "Climate chaos? Don't believe it". Telegraph. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Christopher Monckton (12 November 2006). "Wrong problem, wrong solution". Telegraph. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Leo Hickman (11 August 2010). "Lords distance themselves from climate sceptic Christopher Monckton". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Who's Who 2007, p. 1599
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Cockett, Richard (1995). Thinking the unthinkable: think tanks and the economic counter-revolution 1931-1983. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780006375869. 
  10. ^ a b c Kandiah, Michael; Seldon, Anthony (1997). Ideas and think tanks in contemporary Britain, Volume 2. Routledge. pp. 59, 62. ISBN 9780714647715. 
  11. ^ a b "Tory project to phase out council houses". The Times: p. 1. 1982-12-06. 
  12. ^ "Policy unit at full strength". The Times. 1984-11-06. 
  13. ^ "Two more advisers at No 10". The Times. 1982-11-25. 
  14. ^ Womersley, Tara (2001-06-22). "Puzzle inventor sells £1m home to Chanel model". The Daily Telegraph. 
  15. ^ "Law Update: In court: who's suing whom". The Independent. 24 March 1989. 
  16. ^ "Law Update: In court: who's suing whom". The Independent. 12 October 1990. "Journalist Wins Libel Apology". Press Association. 24 May 1991. 
  17. ^ Christopher Monckton (17 December 2010). "The climate bugaboo is the strangest intellectual aberration of our age". The Telegraph. 
  18. ^ Christopher Monckton (05 Nov 2006). "Climate chaos? Don't believe it". The Telegraph. 
  19. ^ Christopher Monckton (7 October 2010). "the day I stopped a riot with my bowler". The Daily Mail. 
  20. ^ "The Undie-Serving Rich". Evening Standard. 10 November 1995. 
  21. ^ "£1m Eternity jackpot scooped". BBC News Online (BBC). 2000-10-26. 
  22. ^ "House of Lords Act 1999 (original text)". 1999-11-11. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  23. ^ "Uphold Free Speech about Climate Change or Resign". Frontiers of Freedom. 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2010-12-17. 
  24. ^ Monckton, Christopher (2020-07-15). "Questions from the Select Committee Concerning My Recent Testimony". Science & Public Policy Institute. 
  25. ^ a b Hickman, Leo (2010-04-20). "Lord Monckton throws his safari helmet in the ring as Ukip candidate". The Guardian. 
  26. ^ Hickman, Leo (18 July 2011). "Climate sceptic Lord Monckton told he's not member of House of Lords". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  27. ^ "Letter to Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from the Clerk of the Parliaments" (in English) (Press release). House of Lords. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  28. ^ "Conservative Hereditary Peers Byelection March 2007 Result". British Parliament. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  29. ^ "Crossbench Hereditary Peers’ By-election, May 2008: Result". 2008-05-22. 
  30. ^ "Results: Crossbench hereditary Peers' by-election following the death of Viscount Bledisloe". 2009-07-15. 
  31. ^ "Results: Crossbench Hereditary Peers’ by-election". 2010-06-23. 
  32. ^ Beckett, Andy (2007-02-24). "Born to run: There are 47 voters, 43 candidates, and the race to be elected a hereditary Tory peer is on. Is this democracy at last in the House of Lords?". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  33. ^ a b "Lord Monckton is new deputy leader". UK Independence Party. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  34. ^ "Invitation to Stirling on Sun 3 April 2011". UKIP. March 31, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  35. ^ a b George Monbiot (9 June 2010). "Monckton's climate denial is a gift to those who take the science seriously". 
  36. ^ a b Christopher Monckton (7 January 2009). "Temperature Change and CO2 Change - A Scientific Briefing". Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  37. ^ Christopher Monckton (12 Nov 2006). "Wrong problem, wrong solution". The Telegraph. 
  38. ^ "John P. Abraham bio". University of St Thomas, Minnesota. 
  39. ^ John P. Abraham. "John P. Abraham Published texts". 
  40. ^ a b John P. Abraham (3 June 2010). "Monckton takes scientist to brink of madness at climate change talk". 
  41. ^ Abraham, John. "Abraham reply to Monckton". Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  42. ^ Monckton, Christopher. "Climate: The Extremists Join the Debate at Last!". Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  43. ^ Christopher Monckton. "Response to John Abraham" (PDF). WattsUpWithThat Blog. 
  44. ^ George Monbiot (Wednesday 14 July 2010). "Monckton's response to John Abraham is magnificently bonkers". 
  45. ^ "Abraham surrenders to Monckton. Uni of St Thomas endorses untruths.". Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  46. ^ "Correspondence between Lord Monckton and Prof. John Abraham, and the University of St Thomas". Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  47. ^ Casey Selix (July 19, 2010). "St. Thomas Prof. John Abraham in royal smackdown with global-warming denier Christopher Monckton". Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  48. ^ a b James Delingpole (31 January 2011). "Meet The Sceptics: another BBC stitch-up". 
  49. ^ Tamara Cohen (27 September 2008). "BBC investigated after peer says climate change programme was biased 'one-sided polemic'". Daily 
  50. ^ Associated Press (31 January 2011). "BBC wins battle over climate show". 
  51. ^ MacArthur, Brian. Eddy Shah: Today and the Newspaper Revolution, p. 154. David & Charles Publishers, 1988. ISBN 0715391453
  52. ^ a b Virginia Berridge. AIDS in the UK: The Making of a Policy, 1981-1994, p. 132. Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN 0198204736
  53. ^ a b Leppard, David. "Top Tory in a kilt hit by visa 'racket' case", The Times, 3 October 2004
  54. ^ Angus McLeod (16 April 1995). "Christopher Monckton and his support for subsidies to Scotland". Sunday Mail. 
  55. ^ Vaughan, Adam (2009-12-11). "In denial: Lord Monckton's climate change rant at activists". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  56. ^ "Persuaded to act otherwise". The Independent. 3 April 1992. 
  57. ^ Christopher Monckton (23 September 1997). "'It is feeble-minded, exploitative sensationalism perpetrated by the talent-free'". The Scotsman. 
  58. ^ Bawer, Bruce (1993). A place at the table: the gay individual in American society. Poseidon Press. p. 75. ISBN 9780671795337. 
  59. ^ Ray Moseley (August 14, 1999). "Ertl In Puzzle As Gay Group Protests". Chicago Tribune. 
  60. ^ "Christopher: A man of many talents". 
  61. ^ Madder and madder
  62. ^ "'I'm bad at doing what I'm told. I'm a born free-thinker ' - The 5-Minute Interview", The Independent, 24 August 2007
  63. ^ "Lawful for UK to contribute to European social policy costs - Scots Law report", The Times, 12 May 1994
  64. ^ Science and Public Policy Institute - Monckton Papers

External links

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gilbert Monckton
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
Succeeded by
Preceded by
David Campbell Bannerman
Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party
Succeeded by
Paul Nuttall

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