A bronze bust of former Prime Minister, Sir John Major KG CH, by sculptor Anne Curry was unveiled in the Speaker's House this week. The bust was commissioned by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art and will be displayed in the Members' Lobby of the House of Commons.
Sir John Major, KG, CH, born 29 March 1943, was bought up in Brixton, south London and trained to become a banker. From 1968 to 1971 he was a Conservative councillor for the London borough of Lambeth then became MP for Huntingdon at the 1979 election. He later joined the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and then became Secretary of State to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and then Chancellor of the Exchequer and HM Treasury.
In 1990 Sir John was elected as Leader of the Conservative Party and became Prime Minister, the youngest for a century. In 1992 Sir John led the Conservative Party to a general election victory with an overall majority of 21.
Under his premiership, the poll tax was abolished, the National Lottery was set up and the peace process was restarted in Northern Ireland.
In 1997 the Conservative Party lost the general election to Tony Blair's Labour party and Sir John was replaced as leader of the party by William Hague. Sir John continued as the MP for his Huntingdon constituency until he retired from the House of Commons at the 2001 general election.
The sculptor - Anne Curry
Anne Curry was born in Charente, France and was educated in Bordeaux, Paris and Oxford. While studying History of Art, and predominantly Egyptology, she became interested in sculpture. After a successful career in publishing in Paris, she settled in England, where she trained under the tuition of Rosemary Barnett, who until recently was the Principal of the Frink School of Figurative Sculpture in Stoke-on-Trent.
Anne Curry has previously sculpted the busts of Lord Jenkins of Hillhead and Lord Heseltine for the House of Commons, and has featured in BBC2 programme on the works of art collection in the House of Commons.
At the unveiling ceremony Anne Curry said: "It has been an exceptional honour and great pleasure not only to sculpt the bust of John Major but also to have my work displayed alongside that of some of the great names of modern sculpture in that very venerable institution, the House of Commons."
The Speaker, the Rt Hon Michael Martin MP, said: "I am honoured to have Sir John Major, his family and friends in Speaker's House for the unveiling of his bust. I am particularly pleased, as we both entered Parliament at the same time, following the 1979 general election."