Lady Olga Maitland is
a well known campaigner on defence and foreign affairs issues.
March 1983 she launched a pro-NATO campaign against the anti-nuclear
protest movement, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. At that time they
were calling for one-sided nuclear disarmament in the face of a Soviet
build up of medium range nuclear weapons.
under the banner of Families for Defence and supported by her vice
chairmen, who subsequently rose to the top ranks of Parliament, Dame
Angela Rumbold, Rt. Hon. Mrs.Virginia Bottomley, MP, Rt. Hon. Ann
Widdicombe, MP, and Mrs. Angela Browning, MP , Olga Maitland led a
vigorous debate across the country into television studios, on the
radio, in the universities and town halls. She organised high profile
demonstrations against the anti-nuclear protest movements which took
place in Trafalgar Square, Greenham Common airbase, Molesworth airbase,
Faslane submarine base etc.
same time she challenged them during the Talks about Talks summits
between the Americans and the then Soviets in Geneva. Olga Maitland's
campaigns took her to Washington where she had a one-on-one meeting
with President Reagan in the Oval Office at the White House, and to
Rome where she had an audience with H.H. The Pope. Finally in Moscow
during the Reagan – Gorbachev Summit Olga Maitland met with all
the leading members of the Soviet government including a private
meeting with Primakov, as well as the head of the Soviet Peace
Committee, Generich Borovic.
the ending of the Cold War and the collapse of Communism, it was
decided to change the remit of Families for Defence from a campaigning
wing to a defence and foreign affairs policy group, Defence and
that Defence and Security Forum have undertaken have included
supporting the Kuwaiti people during the Gulf War, when DSF linked up
with the Free Kuwait Campaign in London. After the liberation, DSF has
lent active support to the National Committee for the Kuwaiti Prisoners
of War held in Iraq. Olga Maitland was invited by the chairman H.H.
Sheikh Salem al Sabah to visit Kuwait and meet the families of the
POWs. She then she had arranged a number of high profile events drawing
attention to their detention in Iraq by Saddam Hussein.
2001 Olga Maitland visited Northern Iraq/ Kurdistan as a guest of the
President Masoud Barzani. She met with the survivors of chemical
weapons attacks by Saddam Hussein in 1988, all of whom continue to have
serious health problems. She was also made aware of the importance the
Kurds attach to the Safe Haven status which the then Prime Minister
John Major put into place with the former President George Bush, Senior
Maitland has been a journalist since 1964. She began her career
reporting crime and hard news with the Fleet Street News Agency. In
1965 she joined the Sunday Express as a reporter becoming a leading
columnist from 1975 to 1991. She freelanced until 1998 when she joined
the Daily Mail until 2001.
1986 Olga Maitland began her political career as a Conservative
candidate for Holborn and St. Pancras in the ILEA elections. In 1987
she stood as Parliamentary Candidate for Bethnal Green and Stepney. In
1997 she was elected Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam with a
of 10,750. She was defeated in 1997 by 2,000 and stood again for the
seat in 2001, but was defeated.
her Parliamentary career Olga Maitland was a member of education,
health and the procedures select committees. She took through
Parliament two Private Members Bills, the Prisoners Return to Custody
Act 1995, and the Offensive Weapons Act 1996. She introduced two Ten
Minute Rule Bills on Juvenile Crime, 1993 and Solvent Abuse, 1994.
was an officer of the Northern Ireland, Defence and Foreign Affairs
1996 Olga Maitland was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to
Rt. Hon. Sir John Wheeler, PC, MP, Minister of State, and Deputy
Secretary of State, Northern Ireland with special responsibilities for
Olga Maitland is currently an adviser to a number of companies and
Maitland published in 1989 'Margaret Thatcher - The First Ten Years'
1997 'Faith In the Family.' She was founder and chairman of
Families for Defence until 1991. Since then she has been the
President of Defence and Security Forum.