Lord An­thony Ja­cobs

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - GAVIN STOLLAR


FOR OVER 20 years as pres­i­dent of the Lib­eral Demo­crat Friends of Is­rael, David An­thony Ja­cobs com­bined a highly suc­cess­ful busi­ness ca­reer span­ning 33 years, with his top level in­volve­ment with the Lib­eral Democrats. Dur­ing this pe­riod he was chair­man of three ma­jor com­pa­nies; Nig Se­cu­ri­ties Group (19571972); the Tri­cov­ille Group (1961-1990) and The Bri­tish School of Mo­tor­ing (1973-1990).

Baron Ja­cobs joined the Lib­eral Party in 1972, serv­ing on both the Hous­ing and Eco­nomic Com­mit­tees ,and was co-au­thor of Help for the First Time Buyer. He be­came Eco­nom­ics and Tax­a­tion Ad­viser to the Lib­eral Party from 1973 to 1978, work­ing closely with John Par­doe MP. In 1974, he con­tested the par­lia­men­tary con­stituency of Wat­ford in the Fe­bru­ary and Oc­to­ber Gen­eral Elec­tions, and in­creased the Lib­eral share of the vote from 6% to 24%.

In 1984, he was elected Joint Trea­surer of the Party and was re­turned un­op­posed each year un­til he stepped down in 1987. He was a keen sup­porter of the merger of the Lib­eral Party and SDP and served as Chair­man of the Party in Eng­land and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Fed­eral Party. In 1988, he re­ceived a Knight­hood. On Oc­to­ber 18, 1997 he was cre­ated a life peer as Baron Ja­cobs of Bel­gravia in the City of West­min­ster. He took the Lib Dem whip un­til Jan­uary 2011, when he re­signed on the grounds of op­po­si­tion to the party’s poli­cies on tax­a­tion. He sat in the House of Lords as a non-af­fil­i­ated mem­ber un­til his death and from 1999 to 2002 was a mem­ber of the House of Lords Works of Art Com­mit­tee.

The son of Ri­d­ley and Ella Ja­cobs, he was ed­u­cated at Clifton Col­lege, Bris­tol and the Univer­sity of Lon­don. He joined the fam­ily busi­ness, Nig Se­cu­ri­ties Group in the mid 1950s and be­came chair­man from 1957 to 1972, later sell­ing it to Oza­lid, a pub­lic com­pany, in the late 60s. In 1954 he mar­ried Evelyn Felic­ity Patch­ett.

He left the board of Oza­lid in 1971, based on his de­sire to re­tire at the age of 40, but his busi­ness drive led him to con­tinue to pur­sue other in­ter­ests in the field. Fashion and food were among the busi­nesses in which he in­vested. They in­cluded the fast-food potato firm Spudu­like.He bought BSM in 1973, at­tracted by the fact that it was a brand name, and founded the fashion firm Tri­cov­ille in 1961.

He bought Jeeves of Bel­fravia, an up­mar­ket dry-clean­ing com­pany, which he ex­panded, but sold to Sketch­ley, dry-clean­ers in 1987.

It was these busi­ness in­ter­ests in driv­ing schools and fast foods that led to his wealth be­ing es­ti­mated at £128 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Sun­day Times Rich List of 2008. It ranked him 614th.

Lord Ja­cobs used his ex­ten­sive busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence in the House to chal­lenge the Govern­ment on a range of is­sues. An­thony was both a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for Is­rael and a pas­sion­ate Lib­eral and it was there­fore no sur­prise that his stead­fast sup­port of the Lib­eral Demo­crat Friends of Is­rael was a key part of his po­lit­i­cal and per­sonal ad­vo­cacy. Un­der Mon­roe (now Lord) Palmer’s chair­man­ship, An­thony Ja­cobs acted for over 20 years as LDFI’s Pres­i­dent. He was also Chair­man of the Board of Gov­er­nors of Haifa Univer­sity in Is­rael from 1992 to 2001.

An­thony is sur­vived by his wife Evelyn, son Si­mon and daugh­ter Ni­cola and five grand­chil­dren.

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