Burnley Lord is awarded CBE

CBE: Lord Carlile
CBE: Lord Carlile

A POLITICIAN who grew up in Burnley and had early ambitions to represent the town in Parliament has been made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to national security.

Alex Carlile (63) became a familiar figure in Parliament as the sole Liberal in the House with a Welsh seat.

The son of Polish immigrants, his late father was Dr Erwin Falik. His mother, Dady, still lives in Fence.

A football fan, he has long supported the Clarets, and was more than happy to lend his support to former fellow MP and Clarets fan Peter Pike when the Emmaus project for the homeless was launched in Burnley.

Lord Carlile was educated at Epsom College, in Surrey, and did a law degree at King’s College, London, before being called to the bar in 1970. He was a QC by the time he was 36, in 1984.

As a barrister, one of his most noted appearances was when he defended Princess Diana’s butler, Paul Burrell, who was accused of stealing items belonging to the late Princess’s estate.

His connections in the legal profession were instrumental in Alex Carlisle becoming an MP, following in the footsteps of his head of chambers in representing Montgomeryshire for the Liberal Democrat Party. He held the seat from 1983 to 1997 and was the first MPs to campaign for the rights of transsexuals. He was made a life peer in 1999, taking the title of Baron Carlile of Berriew.

Two years later, in the wake of the September 11th attacks, Lord Carlile became the Government’s independent terrorism legislation review. The 10 years he held the post covered the controversial introduction of the Prevention of Terrorism Act in 2005. He supported control orders, which put terrorism suspects under close supervision, and criticised human rights rulings in Strasbourg which he said had made the UK a “safe haven” for suspected foreign terrorists.

A deputy high court judge since 1998, he was made president of the Howard League for Penal Reform in 2006 and chaired the inquiry into how children and young offenders are treated and physically restrained in prisons and secure units. He has also warned about the dangers of laws undermining human rights and criticised increased use of police “stop and search” powers.

Away from public life, Lord Carlile has been married twice and has three children and six grandchildren.