Lord Fraser dies suddenly

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One of Scotland’s most influential politicians over the last three decades Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, died suddenly at his home in Carmyllie on Saturday morning.

He was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing inquiry and the investigation into the cost over-run of the Holyrood Parliament building project.

Peter Fraser was elected as a Conservative MP for Angus in 1979 and he remained in the House of Commons until June, 1987.

He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to George Younger, Secretary of State for Scotland.

In 1982 he was appointed Solicitor-General for Scotland by Margaret Thatcher and became Lord Advocate in 1989, when he was made a life peer and a member of the Privy Council.

During his time as Lord Advocate, he had ultimate responsibility for the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie investigation. He has appeared for the United Kingdom in both the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

From 1992 to 1995 he was Minister of State at the Scottish Office covering Home Affairs and Health.

He was then Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry with a responsibility for export promotion and overseas investment with particular emphasis on the oil and gas industry. In 1996 he became Minister for Energy.

As a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Lord Fraser was one of David Cameron’s Commissioners invited to review the European Commission on Human Rights and report on a possible British Bill Of Rights. He was a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Europe.

In June, 2003, Lord Fraser was invited by the First Minister of the Scottish Executive to head an Inquiry into the cost over-run of the new Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. Breaking new ground all the proceedings were allowed to be televised and all documentation before the Inquiry (except for limited security matters) was published on the Inquiry website.

The Report was delivered in September, 2004, within time and under budget.

Lord Fraser was chairman of the Anglo Azeri Society and frequently visited Azerbaijan. He was also chairman of the British Kazakh Society.

Commenting on the death of Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Lord Fraser leaves an outstanding record of public service to Scotland as a politician and, particularly, as Lord Advocate. More recently, he readily agreed to serve as an independent adviser to the Scottish Government on the Ministerial Code – another public service he performed without fear, favour or any remuneration.

“Scottish public life is much poorer for his passing and my thoughts are with his wife, Fiona, and their family at this sad time.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “Peter brought a formidable intellect to both Parliament and Government.

“He loved Angus - the area he represented as an MP for so many years, and where he continued to live until his sudden death. A hugely engaging figure, he was passionate about both history and the law.

“My thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Fiona, and to their family.”

Lord Fraser is survived by his wife, Lady Fiona Fraser, DL, two daughters, Jane Nurse and Katie Fraser, and a son, Jamie Fraser. There are seven grandchildren.