The Lord Cotter
|Member of the House of Lords|
30 May 2006
|Member of Parliament|
1 May 1997 - 11 April 2005
Brian Joseph Michael Cotter
24 August 1936
|Political party||Liberal Democrats|
Born in London, the son of a doctor from Weston-super-Mare, he was educated at Saint Benedict's School, Ealing, and Downside School in Somerset, where at age sixteen he ran a 4½ minute mile. On leaving school he entered the British Army, serving two years National Service, spending time stationed in Germany. He entered business after the Army, after studying Business Studies at a polytechnic in London, eventually running his own small manufacturing company, Plasticable Ltd in Alton, which is now run as a co-operative.
Formerly a Conservative, as he stated in Woking Liberal/SDP Alliance General Election campaign newspaper, "The Voice" in 1987, Brian Cotter was elected to Woking Borough Council in 1986, as a Liberal/SDP Alliance candidate, representing the Mount Hermon West ward. He retained this seat until standing down in 1990.
In 1997, he was elected as the first Member of Parliament for Weston-super-Mare not from the Conservative Party since 1923. He had fought the same seat in 1992. He was re-elected in 2001, but the seat was won by John Penrose (Conservative) in the 2005 election. Throughout his time in Parliament he served as Small Business Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats.
In April 2006, it was announced that Cotter would be created a life peer to join the Liberal Democrat ranks in the House of Lords, and on 30 May he was created Baron Cotter, of Congresbury in the County of Somerset. He delivered his maiden speech in the Lords on 29 June.
He takes an interest in a number of areas, and on various issues as they arise. Specifically, before the coalition government was elected he led for the Liberal Democrats on Small Business issues and vocational education, specifically apprenticeships. Within the coalition he concentrated on business and vocational training issues.
He married Eyleen Patricia Wade in February 1963. They have two sons and a daughter.