Obituary: John Purvis 1938–2022

Obituary: John Purvis 1938–2022

Monday, 9th May 2022
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The politician and banker John Purvis CBE has died at the age of 83.

John was made an Honorary RTS Member in 1986 following his appointment as the member for Scotland on the Independent Broadcasting Authority. He served on the IBA from 1985 to 1989.

John was born in St Andrews in 1938, where he also went to university and met an American student, Louise Durham, who would become his wife of almost 60 years.

Following a career in banking, John was elected as Conservative MEP for Mid Scotland and Fife in June 1979, sitting in the first European Parliament.

He lost his seat in 1984 but stood again successfully in 1999 and remained an MEP until his retirement in 2009. John was a fervent European, influenced by the work of his father, Lt-Col Robert Purvis, who had fought in the Second World War and, during its aftermath, was responsible for securing food and other supplies for starving Germans. In 1946, as an eight-year-old boy, John had played amid the rubble of Hamburg.

In a 2001 speech to the European Parliament, he said: “The European Union and this Parliament are our family’s guarantee that the peace and security for which my father has fought and worked in his lifetime will indeed continue for future generations.”

During the Brexit referendum, John campaigned for a “Remain” vote.

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