Adam Fergusson (MEP)

Adam Fergusson (MEP)

Adam Dugdale Fergusson (born 10 July 1932) is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician who served one term in the European Parliament. He has remained involved in the field of European Union affairs since, as a Special Adviser to Conservative governments and as a business consultant.

Early career

Fergusson was the son of Sir James Fergusson, 8th Bt. of Kilkerran. He attended Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge where he read History, graduating in 1955. He went into journalism on the "Glasgow Herald", working as a Leader-writer in 1957-58 and as Diplomatic Correspondent from 1959 to 1961.

"The Times"

Leaving the "Herald", Fergusson moved to "The Statist", a journal for economists and businesmen. He was Foreign Editor of the "Statist" from 1964 until it ceased publication in 1967, afterwards joining "The Times" as a feature-writer specialising on political, economic and environmental matters. He was at the "Times" for ten years, also using his time to write fiction.

Anti-devolution campaigning

In the late 1970s Fergusson became active in Conservative politics. As a firm opponent of devolution, he spoke at conferences trying to persuade the Conservatives to oppose the Scottish Assembly; after this campaign was successful, he was a member of the "Scotland Says No" campaign for the devolution referendum. At the 1979 elections to the European Parliament, Fergusson fought the Strathclyde West constituency, which had seemed safe for Labour; however, a collapse in the Labour vote saw him elected by 1,827 votes.

European Parliament

For three years, Fergusson acted as spokesman for the European Democratic Group on political affairs. He supported calls for a boycott of the Moscow Olympics, arguing that the invasion of Afghanistan and the internal exile of Andrei Sakharov showed the two sides of the Soviet Union: "Aggression without, and oppression within". When Barbara Castle criticised the expenses of the European Parliament, he described her as "the single most damaging export the United Kingdom has on its hands today".

When in 1982 the European Union proposed that the electoral system for European Parliament elections be changed to the party list, Fergusson led the Conservative MEPs' opposition. He kept up constant pressure on the government of Poland over its crackdown on Solidarity, and condemned not only the USSR over the shootdown of Korean Air Flight 007, but the Greek government which had failed to issue its own condemnation. He was a rapporteur in late 1983, bringing in a report which called for European co-operation on arms manufacture.

1984 election campaign

At the 1984 election, Fergusson opted out of defending his seat in Strathclyde, and instead fought London Central where the sitting MEP Sir David Nicolson was standing down. He found it impossible to understand how people could vote for his opponent Stan Newens, who had opposed EEC entry, but on election day Newens won the seat by 13,000 votes.

ubsequent career

Fergusson was Special Adviser on European Affairs to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1985 to 1989. He then set up as a consultant on European affairs. Fergusson also continued journalism, and contributed to the rebuilding of the City of Bath (he was Vice-President of the Bath Preservation Trust from 1997). His novel "Scone", a political satire on the effects of devolution in Scotland, was published in 2005.

Remaining fully committed to the European ideal, Fergusson derided the Conservative Party's approach to the 1999 European Parliament elections in a joint letter which wished for a manifesto "more like that of the Pro-Euro Conservative Party".


*"Who was Who"
*"The Times".

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