Euro Football

Brian Mawhinney, Ulster-born Tory minister and chairman of the Football League who clashed with Ken Clarke over the euro and oversaw transformation of the First Division into the Championship – obituary

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Lord Mawhinney, who has died aged 79, was a short-fused but canny Ulster-born medic who served in John Major’s Cabinet, privatised Railtrack, chaired the Conservative Party to its heaviest defeat in half a century and became an effective chairman of the Football League.

Renowned in Whitehall for bawling out civil servants, and heroic consumption of Lucozade, Brian Mawhinney showed an astuteness as a junior Northern Ireland minister, Health Minister and Transport Secretary that was valued by his increasingly embattled prime minister.

Deciding in the summer of 1995 that the “soft copper” approach of the party chairman Jeremy Hanley was not reviving Tory fortunes, Major put Mawhinney into Central…

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