Humphrey Atkins

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Colnbrook
KCMG PC
Lord Privy Seal
In office
11 September 1981 – 7 April 1982
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Ian Gilmour
Succeeded by The Baroness Young
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
4 May 1979 – 11 September 1981
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Roy Mason
Succeeded by James Prior
Government Chief Whip in the Commons
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
In office
2 December 1973 – 4 March 1974
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by Francis Pym
Succeeded by Bob Mellish
Member of Parliament
for Spelthorne
In office
18 June 1970 – 11 June 1987
Preceded by Beresford Craddock
Succeeded by David Wilshire
Member of Parliament
for Merton and Morden
In office
26 May 1955 – 18 June 1970
Preceded by Robert Ryder
Succeeded by Janet Fookes
Personal details
Born (1922-08-12)12 August 1922
Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire[1]
Died 4 October 1996(1996-10-04) (aged 74)
Political party Conservative

Humphrey Edward Gregory Atkins, Baron Colnbrook KCMG PC (12 August 1922 – 4 October 1996) was a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1979–82.

Atkins was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, and served in the Royal Navy from 1940–48. He worked for a linoleum manufacturer then as a director of a financial advertising agency.

Atkins contested the constituency of West Lothian in 1951, and was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Merton and Morden in 1955. He became MP for Spelthorne in 1970.

Atkins was Conservative Chief Whip from 1973–79, and served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1979–1981. He was appointed in September 1981 as Lord Privy Seal, in which role he was the chief government spokesman in the House of Commons for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The role was necessary because the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, sat in the House of Lords. He resigned in April 1982 along with Lord Carrington over the Falklands invasion.

Atkins left the House of Commons in 1987, and was made a life peer as Baron Colnbrook of Waltham St Lawrence in the County of Berkshire. He died in 1996.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Ryder
Member of Parliament for Merton and Morden
1955–1970
Succeeded by
Janet Fookes
Preceded by
Beresford Craddock
Member of Parliament for Spelthorne
1970–1987
Succeeded by
David Wilshire
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Morris
Treasurer of the Household
1970–1973
Succeeded by
Bernard Weatherill
Preceded by
Francis Pym
Conservative Chief Whip in the House of Commons
1973–1979
Succeeded by
Michael Jopling
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
1973–1974
Succeeded by
Bob Mellish
Preceded by
Roy Mason
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1979–1981
Succeeded by
James Prior
Preceded by
Ian Gilmour
Lord Privy Seal
1981–1982
Succeeded by
The Baroness Young