Second Thatcher ministry

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Second Thatcher Ministry
86th Cabinet of United Kingdom
1983 – 1987
Margaret Thatcher.png
Date formed 9 June 1983
Date dissolved 11 June 1987
People and organizations
Head of government Margaret Thatcher
Head of state Queen Elizabeth II
Member party Conservative Party
Status in legislature Majority
Opposition party Labour Party
Opposition leader

Michael Foot (November 1980 – Oct. 1983)

Neil Kinnock

(Oct. 1983 – November 1990)
History
Election(s) 1983 general election
Outgoing election 1987 general election
Previous First Thatcher ministry
Successor Third Thatcher ministry

Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 4 May 1979 and 28 November 1990, during which time she led a Conservative government. She was the first woman to hold that office. During her premiership, Thatcher moved to liberalise the British economy through deregulation, privatisation, and the promotion of entrepreneurialism. This article details the Second Thatcher Ministry, which existed from 1983 until 1987.

Formation[edit]

The Conservative government was re-elected in June 1983 with a majority of 144 seats, with Labour in opposition having a mere 209 seats after its worst postwar electoral performance, seeing off a close challenge from the SDP-Liberal Alliance who came close to them on votes though not with seats.

With inflation firmly under control and union reforms contributing towards the lowest level of strikes since the early 1950s, the Tories were now faced with the challenge of reducing unemployment from a record high of 3,200,000.

March 1984 saw the beginning of a miners' strike which would last for 12 months and divide the country as Mrs Thatcher announced extensive pit closures which would ultimately cost thousands of miners their jobs as well, while the remaining pits were set to be privatised in the proposed sell-off of the National Coal Board. Privatisation of utilities and heavy industry was becoming a key symbol of Thatcherism, with the likes of British Telecom also transferring from public to private ownership.

Michael Foot had stepped down as Labour leader after the 1983 general election. The man elected by Labour with the task of getting them back into government was Neil Kinnock. He proved himself as a fierce rival to Thatcher, and more than once during the 1983-1987 parliament the opinion polls showed Labour in the lead.

The challenge from the SDP-Liberal Alliance was becoming weaker, despite their brief lead of the opinion polls during 1985.

However, economic growth following recession had been re-established by the beginning of this parliament and by 1987 the economy was well on the road to recovery. However, unemployment which had peaked at nearly 3,300,000 during 1984 was barely above 3,000,000 by the turn of 1987, and with the opinion polls all showing a Tory lead, it was anticipated that Thatcher would call the next general election earlier than the deadline of June 1988.

Fate[edit]

A general election was called for 11 June 1987, and the Tories triumphed for the third election in succession. Labour, on the other hand, achieved a better election result than it had the previous time (and also managed to reduce the Conservative majority), with more than 30% of the vote, while the SDP-Liberal Alliance floundered and was soon disbanded as the Social Democratic Party and Liberal Party merged to form the Social and Liberal Democrats (who soon became the Liberal Democrats).

Cabinet[edit]

June 1983 - June 1987[edit]

Changes[edit]

  • October 1983: Tom King succeeds Norman Tebbit as Secretary of State for Employment. Norman Tebbit succeeds Cecil Parkinson as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Nicholas Ridley succeeds Tom King as Secretary of State for Transport.
  • September 1984: Lord Gowrie succeeds Lord Cockfield as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Douglas Hurd succeeds James Prior as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Lord Young of Graffham enters the cabinet as Minister without Portfolio.
  • September 1985: Lord Young of Graffham succeeds Tom King as Secretary of State for Employment. Kenneth Baker succeeds Patrick Jenkin as Secretary of State for the Environment. Norman Tebbit succeeds Lord Gowrie as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Tom King succeeds Douglas Hurd as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Kenneth Clarke enters the cabinet as Paymaster-General. Leon Brittan succeeds Norman Tebbit as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. John MacGregor succeeds Peter Rees as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Douglas Hurd succeeds Leon Brittan as Home Secretary.
  • Early January 1986: Malcolm Rifkind succeeds George Younger as Secretary of State for Scotland. Younger succeeds Michael Heseltine as Secretary of State for Defence.
  • Late January 1986: Paul Channon succeeds Leon Brittan as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.
  • May 1986: Nicholas Ridley succeeds Kenneth Baker as Secretary of State for the Environment. John Moore succeeds Nicholas Ridley as Secretary of State for Transport. Kenneth Baker succeeds Keith Joseph as Secretary of State for Education and Science.

List of Ministers[edit]

Members of the Cabinet are in bold face.

Office Name Dates Notes
Prime Minister,
First Lord of the Treasury
and Minister for the Civil Service
Margaret Thatcher June 1983  
Lord Chancellor The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone June 1983  
Lord President of the Council,
Deputy Prime Minister
and Leader of the House of Lords
The Viscount Whitelaw 11 June 1983  
Minister of State for the Privy Council Office The Earl of Gowrie 11 June 1983 – 11 September 1984  
Richard Luce 2 September 1985 – June 1987  
Lord Privy Seal
and Leader of the House of Commons
John Biffen 11 June 1983  
Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson 11 June 1983  
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Rees 11 June 1983  
John MacGregor 2 September 1985  
Minister of State, Treasury Barney Hayhoe June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
Ian Gow 2 September 1985 – 19 November 1985  
Hon. Peter Brooke 19 November 1985 – 13 June 1987  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury John Wakeham 11 June 1983  
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Hon. Nicholas Ridley 13 June 1983  
John Moore 18 October 1983  
Norman Lamont 21 May 1986  
Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Moore 13 June 1983  
Ian Stewart 19 October 1983  
Lords of the Treasury Alastair Goodlad June 1983 – 10 September 1984  
Donald Thompson June 1983 – 10 September 1986  
David Hunt June 1983 – 10 September 1984  
Ian Lang 11 June 1983 – 1 February 1986  
Tristan Garel-Jones 11 June 1983 – 16 October 1986  
John Major 3 October 1984 – 1 November 1985  
Hon. Archie Hamilton 3 October 1984 – 10 September 1986  
Hon. Tim Sainsbury 7 October 1985 – 23 June 1987  
Michael Neubert 10 February 1986 – June 1987  
Peter Lloyd 16 October 1986 – June 1987  
Hon. Mark Lennox-Boyd 16 October 1986 – June 1987  
Tony Durant 16 October 1986 – June 1987  
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Sir Geoffrey Howe 11 June 1983  
Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Timothy Raison June 1983 – 10 September 1986 also Minister of Overseas Development
Richard Luce 11 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
Malcolm Rifkind 13 June 1983 – 11 January 1986  
The Baroness Young 13 June 1983 – 13 June 1987  
Tim Renton 2 September 1985 – 13 June 1987  
Lynda Chalker 11 January 1986 – June 1987
Chris Patten 10 September 1986 – June 1987
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Ray Whitney 13 June 1983  
Tim Renton 11 September 1984  
Timothy Eggar 2 September 1985  
Minister for Overseas Development Timothy Raison June 1983  
Chris Patten 10 September 1986 also Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Secretary of State for the Home Department Leon Brittan 11 June 1983  
Hon. Douglas Hurd 2 September 1985  
Minister of State for Home Affairs David Waddington June 1983 – 13 June 1987  
The Lord Elton 11 September 1984 – 25 March 1985  
Giles Shaw 11 September 1984 – 10 September 1986  
David Mellor 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
The Earl of Caithness 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs The Lord Elton June 1983 – 11 September 1984  
David Mellor June 1983 – 10 September 1986  
The Lord Glenarthur 27 March 1984 – 10 September 1986  
Hon. Douglas Hogg 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Michael Jopling 11 June 1983  
Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food John MacGregor 13 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
The Lord Belstead 13 June 1983 – 13 June 1987  
John Gummer 2 September 1985 – June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Peggy Fenner June 1983 – 10 September 1986  
Donald Thompson 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Minister for the Arts The Earl of Gowrie 13 June 1983  
Richard Luce 2 September 1985  
Secretary of State for Defence Michael Heseltine June 1983  
Hon. George Younger 9 January 1986  
Minister of State for Defence John Stanley 13 June 1983  
Minister of State for Defence Procurement Geoffrey Pattie June 1983  
Hon. Adam Butler 11 September 1984  
Norman Lamont 2 September 1985  
The Lord Trefgarne 21 May 1986  
Minister of State for Defence Support The Lord Trefgarne 2 September 1985 – 21 May 1986  
Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces The Lord Trefgarne 13 June 1983 – 1 September 1985  
Roger Freeman 21 May 1986 – June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement Ian Stewart June 1983 – 18 October 1983  
John Lee 18 October 1983 – 10 September 1986  
Hon. Archie Hamilton 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Secretary of State for Education and Science Sir Keith Joseph, Bt June 1983  
Kenneth Baker 21 May 1986  
Minister of State, Education and Science Chris Patten 5 September 1985 – 10 September 1986  
Angela Rumbold 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State, Education and Science Hon. Peter Brooke 13 June 1983 – 19 November 1985  
Bob Dunn 13 June 1983 – June 1987  
George Walden 19 November 1985 – 13 June 1987  
Secretary of State for Employment Norman Tebbit June 1983  
Tom King 16 October 1983  
The Lord Young of Graffham 2 September 1985  
Minister of State, Employment Hon. Peter Morrison 13 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
John Gummer 18 October 1985 – 11 September ?  
Kenneth Clarke 2 September 1985 – 13 June 1987 Also Paymaster-General
Under-Secretary of State, Employment John Gummer June 1983 – 18 October 1983  
Alan Clark 13 June 1983 – 24 January 1986  
Peter Bottomley 11 September 1984 – 23 January 1986  
David Trippier 2 September 1985 – 13 June 1987  
Ian Lang 31 January 1986 – 10 September 1986  
John Lee 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Secretary of State for Energy Peter Walker 11 June 1983  
Minister of State, Energy Alick Buchanan-Smith 13 June 1983  
Under-Secretary of State, Energy The Earl of Avon June 1983 – 11 September 1984  
Giles Shaw 13 June 1983 – 11 September 1984  
David Hunt 11 September 1984 – 13 June 1987  
Alastair Goodlad 11 September 1984 – 13 June 1987  
Secretary of State for the Environment Patrick Jenkin 11 June 1983  
Kenneth Baker 23 September 1985  
Hon. Nicholas Ridley 21 May 1986  
Minister of State for Local Government The Lord Bellwin June 1983  
Kenneth Baker 11 September 1984  
Hon. William Waldegrave 2 September 1985  
Rhodes Boyson 10 September 1986  
Minister of State for Housing Ian Gow 13 June 1983  
John Patten 2 September 1985  
Minister of State, Environment The Lord Elton 27 March 1985 – 10 September 1986  
Hon. William Waldegrave 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State for Sport Neil Macfarlane June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
Richard Tracey 7 September 1985 – 13 June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State, Environment Sir George Young, Bt June 1981 – 10 September 1986  
Hon. William Waldegrave 13 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
The Earl of Avon 11 September 1984 – 27 March 1985  
Angela Rumbold 2 September 1985 – 10 September 1986  
The Lord Skelmersdale 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Christopher Chope 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Secretary of State for Social Services Norman Fowler June 1983  
Minister of State, Health Kenneth Clarke June 1983  
Barney Hayhoe 2 September 1985  
Tony Newton 10 September 1986  
Under-Secretary of State, Health and Social Security Tony Newton June 1983 – 11 September 1984  
John Patten 14 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
The Lord Glenarthur 14 June 1983 – 26 March 1985  
Ray Whitney 11 September 1984 – 10 September 1986  
The Baroness Trumpington 30 March 1985 – 13 June 1987  
John Major 2 September 1985 – 10 September 1986  
Nicholas Lyell 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Edwina Currie 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Minister of State, Social Security Rhodes Boyson 12 June 1983 – 11 September 1984  
Tony Newton 11 September 1984 – 10 September 1986  
John Major 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Minister of State, Industry and Information Technology Kenneth Baker June 1983 under Office of Trade and Industry from 12 June 1983
Geoffrey Pattie 11 September 1984 Office abolished 13 June 1987
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Lord Cockfield 11 June 1983  
The Earl of Gowrie 11 September 1984  
Norman Tebbit 3 September 1985  
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Prior June 1983  
Hon. Douglas Hurd 11 September 1984  
Tom King 3 September 1985  
Minister of State, Northern Ireland Hon. Adam Butler June 1983 – 11 September 1984  
The Earl of Mansfield 13 June 1983 – 12 April 1984  
Rhodes Boyson 11 September 1984 – 10 September 1986  
Nicholas Scott 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Nicholas Scott June 1983 – 11 September 1986  
Chris Patten 14 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
The Lord Lyell 12 April 1984 – June 1987  
Richard Needham 3 September 1985 – June 1987  
Peter Viggers 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Brian Mawhinney 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Paymaster-General Vacant 11 June 1983  
John Gummer 11 September 1984  
Kenneth Clarke 2 September 1985 also Minister of State, Employment
Minister without Portfolio The Lord Young of Graffham 11 September 1984 – 3 September 1985  
Secretary of State for Scotland Hon. George Younger June 1983  
Malcolm Rifkind 11 January 1986  
Minister of State for Scotland The Lord Gray of Contin 13 June 1983 – 11 September 1986  
The Lord Glenarthur 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Allan Stewart June 1983 – 10 September 1986  
John MacKay June 1983 – 14 June 1987  
Michael Ancram 13 June 1983 – 14 June 1987  
Ian Lang 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Minister for Trade Paul Channon 13 June 1983 under Office of Trade and Industry
Alan Clark 24 January 1986  
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Cecil Parkinson 12 June 1983  
Norman Tebbit 16 October 1983  
Leon Brittan 2 September 1985  
Paul Channon 24 January 1986  
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Norman Lamont 13 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
Hon. Peter Morrison 2 September 1985 – 10 September 1986  
Giles Shaw 10 September 1986 – 13 June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry John Butcher 14 June 1983 – June 1987  
Alexander Fletcher 14 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
David Trippier 14 June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
The Lord Lucas of Chilworth 11 September 1984 – 13 June 1987  
Michael Howard 2 September 1985 – 13 June 1987  
Secretary of State for Transport Tom King 11 June 1983  
Hon. Nicholas Ridley 16 October 1983  
John Moore 21 May 1986  
Minister of State, Transport Lynda Chalker 18 October 1983 – 10 January 1986  
David Mitchell 23 January 1986 – June 1987  
Under-Secretary of State for Transport Lynda Chalker June 1983 – 18 October 1983  
David Mitchell 11 June 1983 – 23 January 1986  
Michael Spicer 11 September 1984 – 13 June 1987  
The Earl of Caithness 2 September 1985 – 10 September 1986  
Peter Bottomley 23 January 1986 – June 1987  
The Lord Brabazon of Tara 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
Secretary of State for Wales Nicholas Edwards June 1983  
Minister of State for Wales John Stradling Thomas June 1983 – 2 September 1985  
Under-Secretary of State for Wales Wyn Roberts June 1983 – 13 June 1987  
Mark Robinson 3 October 1985 – 15 June 1987  
Attorney General Michael Havers June 1983  
Solicitor General Sir Patrick Mayhew 13 June 1983  
Lord Advocate The Lord Mackay of Clashfern June 1983  
The Lord Cameron of Lochbroom 16 May 1984  
Solicitor General for Scotland Peter Fraser June 1983  
Treasurer of the Household John Cope 11 June 1983  
Comptroller of the Household Carol Mather June 1983  
Hon. Robert Boscawen 16 October 1986  
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Hon. Robert Boscawen June 1983  
Tristan Garel-Jones 16 October 1986  
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Lord Denham June 1983  
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Earl of Swinton June 1983  
The Viscount Davidson 10 September 1986  
Lords-in-Waiting The Viscount Long June 1983 – 2 May 1997  
The Lord Lyell June 1983 – 12 April 1984  
The Lord Skelmersdale June 1983 – 10 September 1986  
The Lord Lucas of Chilworth June 1983 – 9 September 1984  
The Baroness Trumpington 11 June 1983 – 25 March 1985  
The Earl of Caithness 8 May 1984 – 2 September 1985  
The Lord Brabazon of Tara 19 September 1984 – 10 September 1986  
The Baroness Cox 3 April 1985 – 2 August 1985  
The Viscount Davidson 17 September 1985 – 10 September 1986  
The Baroness Hooper 17 September 1985 – 14 June 1987  
The Lord Hesketh 10 September 1986 – 31 January 1987  
The Lord Beaverbrook 10 September 1986 – June 1987  
The Earl of Dundee 3 October 1986 – June 1987  

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
First Thatcher ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1983–1987
Succeeded by
Third Thatcher ministry