Lord Gilbert: fearless interrogator


I was sad to hear that Lord (John) Gilbert, the Labour peer, died over the weekend. Up until recently he had been an active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services and frequently deployed the interrogatory powers that many of this morning's obituaries commend.

He had served as a minister under three Labour Prime Ministers and when in opposition had made life uncomfortable for the Thatcher government. His instinctive thoroughness meant he was always well prepared on the subjects under discussion at the All Party Group. In particular, I recall one dinner with Lloyds TSB shortly before the last General Election when he had the bank's chairman, Sir Wim Bischoff, firmly on the back foot over the mess the bank was in and the limited room for manoeuvre it had.

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