Bill Shelton (politician)

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Sir William Jeremy Masefield Shelton commonly known as Bill Shelton (30 October 1929 – 2 January 2003) was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was Member of Parliament for Clapham from 1970 to 1974, then for Streatham from February 1974 until he lost the seat to Labour Party candidate Keith Hill in 1992.

He was educated at Radley College, Tabor Academy in the United States, and Oxford University.

Bill Shelton's most important political influence was in 1975, when he was one of the few to recognise that Margaret Thatcher was a serious contender for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Working as joint campaign manager with Airey Neave, Shelton is reputed to have organised the successful "stealth" campaign to convince backbench Tory MPs on the party's right wing that by backing Thatcher in the leadership ballot they could oust Edward Heath.[1]

Shelton became Thatcher's Parliamentary Private Secretary during her time as Leader of the Opposition, and later served under her as junior minister for Education and Science from 1981 to 1983.


  1. ^ Choosing the Lady, Another Look at the 1975 Leadership Contest Conservative History Journal, issue 1 Summer 2003, Matthew Bailey and Philip Cowley

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Margaret McKay
Member of Parliament for Clapham
1970February 1974
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Duncan Sandys
Member of Parliament for Streatham
February 19741992
Succeeded by
Keith Hill