Hugh Thomas

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Hugh Swynnerton Thomas, Baron Thomas of Swynnerton (born 21 October 1931-7 May 2017) was a British historian and a close ally of Margaret Thatcher. He was chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies from 1979 to 1990. [1]

In early 1980 Thomas was asked by Margaret Thatcher to set up a committee offering 'independent' advice after she had been advised by the Foreign Office that the Soviet Union did not pose a serious military threat. One of the committee members, Michael Howard, writes:

In the USA a group of hawks formed a well funded Committee on the Present Danger, consisting largely of pupils and associates of Albert Wohlstetter, who urged the breaking off of arms-control negotiations and massive rearmament. Mrs Thatcher was temperamentally inclined to agree with them. The Foreign Office was not. Not surpringly, the Prime Minister sought further options...She asked Hugh to set up a small committee to draft independent recommendations for the conduct of British foreign policy consisting of myself, Leonard Schapiro and Elie Kedourie...We put together a totally incoherent docuement which deserved to go straight into the waste paper basket and probably did. [2]


Centre for Policy Studies, Chairman 1979-90
The Other Club, member
Conservative Philosophy Group, former member [3]


  1. THOMAS OF SWYNNERTON’, Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2009; online edn, Nov 2009 [Accessed 30 December 2009]
  2. Michael Howard, Captain Professor The Memoirs of Sir Michael Howard (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006) pp.192-3
  3. John Casey, 'The revival of Tory philosophy', The Spectator, 17 March 2007.