Judith Hart

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Hart of South Lanark
DBE PC
Minister for Overseas Development
In office
1977–1979
Prime Minister James Callaghan
Preceded by Frank Judd
Succeeded by Neil Marten
In office
1974–1975
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Richard Wood
Succeeded by Reginald Prentice
In office
1969–1970
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Reginald Prentice
Succeeded by Richard Wood
Paymaster-General
In office
1968–1969
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by The Lord Shackleton
Succeeded by Harold Lever
Minister of Social Security
In office
26 July 1967 – 1 November 1968
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Margaret Herbison
Succeeded by Richard Crossman (as Secretary of State for Social Services)
Personal details
Born Constance Mary Ridehalgh
(1924-09-18)18 September 1924
Burnley, Lancashire, England, UK
Died 8 December 1991(1991-12-08) (aged 67)
London, England, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Anthony Bernard Hart
Alma mater London School of Economics
University of London
Occupation Politician

Judith Hart, Baroness Hart of South Lanark DBE PC (née Ridehalgh; 18 September 1924 – 8 December 1991) was a British Labour Party politician. She served as a government minister during the 1960s and 1970s before entering the House of Lords in 1988.

Early life and education[edit]

Born as Constance Mary Ridehalgh, she was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, the London School of Economics and the University of London. She adopted the name Judith, aged twelve and married Anthony Bernard Hart in 1946. She was a lecturer at a teacher training college. She was a member of the Fabian Society and a branch secretary of the Association of Scientific Workers.

Political career[edit]

After joining the Labour Party aged 18, Hart was unsuccessful Labour candidate for Bournemouth West in 1951, and Aberdeen South in 1955. She was elected as member for Lanark in 1959, holding the seat until 1983. Thereafter she sat for Clydesdale until 1987.

She held ministerial office as joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland from 1964 to 1966, Minister of State, Commonwealth Office (1966–1967), Minister of Social Security (1967–1968), Paymaster-General (with a seat in the Cabinet) from 1968 to 1969, and as Minister of Overseas Development from 1969 to 1970, 1974 to 1975 and 1977 to 1979. In so doing, Hart became the fifth woman ever to have been included in a government cabinet in the history of Britain.

In opposition, Hart was front bench spokesman on overseas aid from 1979 to 1980. Govt Co-Chairman of the Women's National Commission, 1969-70.[citation needed] Within the Labour Party she was a member of the National Executive Committee (1969–1983), serving as Vice-Chairman from 1980 to 1981 and as Chairman from 1981 to 1982.

She was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1967 and appointed a DBE in 1979.[1] On 8 February 1988, she was created a life peer, as Baroness Hart of South Lanark, of Lanark in the County of Lanark.[2]

She died of cancer at the Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton, London, in 1991, aged 67.

Titles and honours[edit]

  • Miss Judith Ridehalgh (1936–1946)
  • Mrs Judith Hart (1946–1959)
  • Judith Hart MP (1959–1967)
  • The Rt. Hon. Judith Hart MP (1967–1979)
  • The Rt. Hon. Dame Judith Hart DBE MP (1979–1988)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Hart of South Lanark DBE PC (1988–1991)

Spike Milligan poem[edit]

Spike Milligan wrote the following poem mentioning Judith Hart:

Judith Hart once made for me
An early morning cup of tea.
It isn't every day that we
Are waited on by an MP.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47868. p. 7600. 14 June 1979. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 51238. p. 1593. 11 February 1988. Retrieved 2009-09-06.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Patrick Francis Maitland
Member of Parliament for Lanark
19591983
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Clydesdale
19831987
Succeeded by
Jimmy Hood
Political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Herbison
Minister of Social Security
1967–1968
Succeeded by
Richard Crossman
as Secretary of State for Social Services
Preceded by
The Lord Shackleton
Paymaster-General
1968–1969
Succeeded by
Harold Lever
Preceded by
Reginald Prentice
Minister of Overseas Development
1969–1970
Succeeded by
Richard Wood
Preceded by
Richard Wood
Minister for Overseas Development
1974–1975
Succeeded by
Reginald Prentice
Preceded by
Frank Judd
Minister for Overseas Development
1977–1979
Succeeded by
Neil Marten