Freedom of the City

Mayor of Salisbury Cllr John Lindley and Mr Robert Key
Mayor of Salisbury Cllr John Lindley and Mr Robert Key

On Wednesday 6 December 2017, Salisbury City Council awarded the Freedom of the City to Mr Robert Key at a special Full Council meeting held at The Guildhall.

Born in Plymouth in 1945, Robert Key served as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Salisbury from 1983 until 2010. During his time in Parliament, Key was the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities in the Department of the Environment (now DEFRA) from 1990–2, setting up the Inner Cities Religious Council in 1991, and was Minister for Sport at the Department of National Heritage (now Culture, Media and Sport) from 1992–3. He was Minister for Roads and Traffic from 1993–4.

In opposition, Mr Key served as a front-bench spokesman during the leaderships of William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith: in 2001, he was the shadow minister for Science and Energy, and in July 2002 the shadow minister for International Development. He stood down from this position in June 2003, returning to the backbenches, but retaining his membership of the Defence Select Committee.

Key retired from politics in 2010, but is still actively involved in the City, in 2015 Key chaired the Salisbury Cathedral Magna Carta 800th Board in Salisbury Cathedral.

The Mayor of the City of Salisbury, Cllr John Lindley presented the Freedom at the meeting and said, “I was delighted as the Mayor of the City to host the evening’s celebration. Mr Robert Key has served this City for over 27 years as the Conservative MP and I was privileged to present Robert with the Freedom of the City.”

On receiving the Honorary Freedom of the City, Robert said, “This is a very great honour. I accept it with humility and pride. For over 750 years our City Council has been the voice of our City and the guardian of our heritage and values. Salisbury is a wonderful place and I will always champion the City I love so much."

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